Better weather than last year blessed this year’s Barry Bauder Memorial Soccer Tournament, but there was a very important element of the Aldergrove United Soccer Club who missed this year’s event.
John Jones, 71, a long-serving Aldergrove community member, passed away suddenly from a brain hemorrhage at his home Friday evening.
The soccer tournament participants, which included 14 adult male and female teams from the area, held a moment of silence for Jones at the Aldergrove Athletic Park on Sunday afternoon.
It was a fitting location, as Jones had been a key player and supporter of the Aldergrove United Soccer Club and Aldergrove Athetic Park over the years. Jones had raised his family in Aldergrove as well as co-founded Gemco Construction here.
As a major contractor Gemco has installed infrastructure for large projects all over the province, and thanks to Jones, Gemco installed major services at Aldergrove Athletic Park at cost to help make the community project affordable for the Township of Langley and all the donors.
The park is today the envy of surrounding communities, and provides excellent facilities for amateur soccer, baseball and other sports.
This year’s Barry Bauder Memorial Soccer Tournament ended late Sunday afternoon at the Rotary Field house with a visit from the Bauder clan.
The tournament organizer and club president, Elisa Stappler, indicated that by all measures this weekend’s tournament was a success, with only one disappointment that brought a bitter twist to the event: the passing of John Jones, a longtime friend of Aldergrove Soccer and one of the original organizers of the tournament.
This news was a shock to everyone, especially his old teammates who learnt of his passing as they were lacing up their boots early Saturday morning. Beer glasses were raised to his memory many times over during the event.
Soccer referee Art Bandenieks said, “Everyone who knew John or played with him was shocked to hear of John’s premature passing this past Friday. This year’s Barry Bauder Tournament successfully revived itself and as John was always quick to point out, all because the hard work of dedicated club members. John is more than likely delighted that the tournament lives on, just as our memories of John’s contributions to the Aldergrove Soccer community do also.”
Longtime Aldergrove rugby and soccer coach Brian Hunter said, “John has always been an important and inspirational member of the club and community. A massive loss to all of us and I would like to send thoughts and prayers to Wanda, Kyle and Ryan and family members from my family.”
Jonathan Long said, “So sorry to hear of John’s passing. He was around when I played minor baseball and would see him through my adult years. I just saw him a couple months ago in Safeway and we chatted for a couple minutes. Always had a big smile, he will be sorely missed throughout the community, and of course, by his family.”