David Smart, Past President of the British Columbia Rugby Union and clubmate of Rick Bourne’s at the UBCOB Ravens presents the 2011 Jack Patterson Memorial Award. Making the presentation was Chris Le Fevre
VANCOUVER - The Canadian rugby community surprised Rugby Canada chairman Rick Bourne with an appreciation party hosted on Friday evening, held to honour and celebrate Rick for his years of dedicated service to Canadian rugby. Among the many accolades Bourne received, the long time member of the BC Rugby community was also presented with the Jack Patterson Memorial Award.
The recognition is reserved for those who dedicate their time, energy and expertise as a volunteer over a longstanding period of time; and who make a substantial and positive difference to the sports community in British Columbia and those individuals who play rugby.
“It was a definitely a surprise and I didn’t know anything had been planned,” said Bourne of the night planned in his honour. “Showing up and seeing a lot of people from my entire life, life in rugby, is a privilege and it’s great to see their support and the acknowledgement is appreciated and I definitely have to thank everyone who came out.”
As the former chairman settled in, host Gareth Rees presented a slideshow featuring photos of Bourne’s tenure as chairman from the many tours he experienced, the events he took part in and celebrations he was a part of.
“I’ve known Rick almost my whole life, it was an incredible tribute tonight,” said Rees about the past Chairman of the Board. “Not only has he been involved at the very highest level of the sport but right throughout the game, to coaching to minis to Women’s rugby and he has been a huge resource, rugby in Canada wouldn’t be where it is without him.”
Mark Slay, former Secretary of the Board of Directors during Rick’s tenure, opened the award portion of the night by presenting Rick with a Rugby Canada plaque.
“Rick’s leadership has been incredible but more important than that, Rick’s enthusiasm and passion for this game has motivated everyone on the board, everyone in Canada,” said Slay. “He really is a fantastic rugby guy, a great friend and if we keep going where Rick wanted us to go, we are going to be very successful.”
Board of Directors' IRB Council Representative Chris Le Fevre was also in attendance. He honoured Bourne with the Jack Patterson Memorial Award on behalf of the BC Rugby Union for his tireless contribution to the sport of rugby in British Columbia and across Canada.
One of the other surprises of the night was a two minute video that was sent in by Toronto Maple Leafs President and General Manager, Brian Burke, who couldn’t make it out to Vancouver for the festivities but still wanted to be apart of Bourne’s send off as Chairman.
The night didn’t revolve entirely around the past Chairman, however. Rugby Canada CEO Graham Brown took the floor and called on Bourne's wife, Dana, and kids, MacKinley and Jake, and presented them with a commemorative Rugby Canada photo book.
After the awards were said and done, Bourne took the floor and thanked everyone in attendance with an emotional speech.
It was memorable night celebrating the work a man who dedicated his time as Chairman to the growth and prosperity of rugby in Canada.
“It’s been a lot of fun, a lot of work but fun work and really rewarding,” said Bourne of his time as Chairman. “We have a great foundation to do even better than we are now, we just need to continuing building that foundation, work really hard and it’s been a privilege to be apart of it.”
Rick Bourne (Vancouver, BC):
· Director of the Board of Rugby Canada – 2004;
· Chairman of the Board of Rugby Canada – 2008;
· Initial Founder and Past President of the University of British Columbia Old Boy Ravens (UBCOB);
· Currently involved with youth rugby at UBCOB and with the British Columbia Rugby Union;
· Started mini rugby in the BC lower mainland;
· Coached Vancouver Representative Rugby (throughout 70s and 80s);
· Started and supports financially the first nation “native” (native referring to indigenous fist nation community the HAIDI GWAII in the Queen Charlotte Island, British Columbia) rugby program in the Queen Charlotte Islands (QCI);
· Supports financially through his company (Langara Fishing Adventures) rugby throughout British Columbia and Canada;
· Sit on the Board of the Canadian Rugby Foundation;
· Player for British Columbia Provincial Program throughout 70s and early 80s;
· Played against New Zealand (1971) and Wales (1972) on their tours to Canada;
· Manager and player with the Canadian Classics;