Ian Stewart: Goodbye Old Friend
from Phil Meyer
posted June 19 2017
This morning, our newspaper came in the door, telling us - Ian Stewart is dead.
I first met Ian on returning to Victoria in 1989. This was well after he graduated in law from UBC and played his stint with the BC Lions. It was well past the time when he moved to Victoria to establish his law practice. It followed his career as a barrister, his lengthy service on the University of Victoria’s Board of Governors – as a Councilman in the City of Victoria – and in many other public and private endeavours.
By the time I met Ian, he had defined his role at James Bay Athletic Association as major “supporter” – not just financially when finance was needed – but as wise advisor as we faced challenges in a changing rugby world. After all, Ian knew everybody – and everybody knew and respected Ian!
I quickly discovered that what attracted him to our club – and we to Ian – was “passion”. He had been heavily recruited when he arrived in Victoria in the early 60’s – looked at the playing options available to him – and chose JBAA, as he often said: “Because JBAA’s passion for competition and for our game matched my own”.
Ian’s passion for sport was not confined to the Bays. He was a major supporter of rugby and other athletics at the University of Victoria. The Ian H. Stewart Sport Complex on the campus carries that support forward into the future in his name.
Beyond his wise advice and financial help, Ian joined Tillman Briggs and select others to provide a Compass for Our Character here at James Bay – helping young players progress from untested youth - to competitive athlete - to strong Canadian citizen.
In recent time, and to further those ends, Ian established the Vikes-Bays Trophy – a two game total points annual competition now in its sixth year – in Ian’s words:
“To establish excellence, respect, and the development of young citizens, through
Now, Old Friend, we say Goodbye. We will still listen for the deep growl of your voice – carrying passion for our game on swirling winter winds at MacDonald Park – at Wallace Field.
We will not forget. We will carry your passion on, and play it forward as we go.
Huddy Huddy Ian.