|In Memory of Fallen Brothers
Celebration of Life for Gabe Gregg on Quadra Island and at Nanaimo Rugby Club on June 23rd and June 30th
by Patrick Milford
posted June 12 2012
I've been asked by a number of people where to make donations in Gabe's memory. The Nanaimo Hornets RFC are starting a Gabriel Gregg memorial fund for scholarships/bursaries. A few thousand dollars have already been raised between the Edmonton Druids, Edmonton Tigers and Fort McMurray Knights during last saturday's game in Edmonton where the jersey Gabe played his game in was presented to his family prior to the match. An account is in the process of being set up for direct deposits to be made. In the meantime cheques can be sent to the Nanaimo club. Make cheques payable to the Nanaimo Hornets RFC with Gabe Gregg Memorial fund in the memo line. I will update with details on the account hopefully in the next few days.
Nanaimo Hornets RFC
6704 Dover Road
Here are the details regarding two celebration of Gabe's life.
The first one is on Quadra Island which is being organized by Gabe's friends and family.
Date: June 23,2012
Place: Quadra Community Centre
Reception to follow at the Community Centre with snacks and refreshments.
Wake (after reception):
609 Valpy Rd (Kirstie Stewart's House)
Heriot Bay Inn: http://www.heriotbayinn.com/
Luna Vista: http://www.lunavista.ca/
Harbour House: http://www.harbourhouse.bc.ca/
Other Accommodations: http://www.quadraisland.ca/accommodation/
The second one is organized by the Nanaimo Hornets RFC. We understand that many people may not be able to make it out to Quadra Island so this is another opportunity to celebrate Gabe's life. It is open to everyone, but is a great opportunity for the rugby community to have some Lucky's and share some stories about Gabriel.
Date: June 30, 2012
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: Nanamo Hornets Rugby Club, 6700 Dover road (corner of Dover rd and Dickenson rd in north Nanaimo)
This will also be a potluck.
People who knew Gabe are encouraged to attend either or both services. There are a lot of people expected at both events. Anyone with questions regarding either service or the memorial fund can email me at email@example.com and I will answer any questions you have or direct you to someone who can.
Sad Day for Rugby Community at Report of Gabe Gregg's Death: Nanaimo Player Fatally Assaulted in Edmonton
posted June 6 2012
by Patrick Milford
[ed. article in Edmonton Journal.]
I was asked by Chris Rickinson to send you an update on our fallen Hornet brother Gabriel Gregg. Gabriel is originally from Quadra Island near Campbell River. He attended Carihi Secondary school. I do not know much of Gabe's growing up or his family, only that this tragedy is that much more difficult due to his father losing his battle to cancer just a few months ago. I can only share what I know of him from the time I knew him at the Nanaimo Rugby club.
Gabe had recently moved to Edmonton last Tuesday May 29th. Like many on the Vancouver Island, Gabe was struggling to find work. One of his teammates Dennis Murphy (former Cowichan player recently moved to Nanaimo) set him up with a contact in Edmonton, Chal Smyth (former Cowichan player), who helped get Gabe set up with work and the Strathcona Druids RFC. I had spoken with Gabe a few times since his move, he was excited about the new life he was starting with a new job and new team. The following Saturday Gabe played his first game for the Druids and was out on the town with his new teammates celebrating.
Sometime between 2 and 3 am he was leaving the bar and trying to find a cab. A man came out of nowhere and sucker punched Gabe in the face, knocking him unconscious. He hit his head hard on the cement as he fell to the ground.
Gabe instantly went into a coma. He had to be resuscitated a number of times and was put on life support. His family were able to quickly make their way from the Island out to Edmonton to be by his side. Tests were done Monday and confirmed what we had all feared; there was no sign of brain activity. The police did an investigation of the body and the hospital did tests to determine if Gabe's organs were suitable for transplant. The small bright light in this tragedy is that 3 families will have their loved ones saved from part of our fallen brother. So now a part of Gabe can live on as a part of those who his organs are able to save.
At 8am this morning Gabe was taken off of life support and taken in for surgery with a can of Lucky beer in one hand and a picture of his nephew in the other. His family is at peace with his passing and take some comfort in knowing that part of Gabe will help a number of other families. They would like to thank all those who sent their love and support to them and Gabe during this difficult time. All the love sent Gabe's way was passed onto him at his bedside by his family and Chal who has been amazing in supporting the Gregg family in Edmonton as well as relaying information to myself and other Hornets back in Nanaimo so that we were kept up to date with what was happening.
It has been great to see that the rugby family across Canada has stuck together and supported one another through this tragic time. Thank you to the Druids in Edmonton for all they have done these past few days as well as to the Nanaimo Hornets who have been sending messages and their love to the hospital from back home. I've found comfort and support from the Condors RFC (I coach them in the summer) out in Regina to help me through this as I mourn the passing of my friend so far away from home. There has also been countless well wishes from other clubs throughout BC and the rest of Canada.
For those who knew Gabe he was a warrior on the field. Known by many to be that guy who always cut his head open. This trending habit would come from his hard nosed use of his body to clear rucks and make bone crunching tackles with no regard for his own safety. Nearly every game Gabe could be seen clutching at his knee, hip, or shoulder again from having no regard for his own well being when he played. Before anyone could ask if he needed a sub he'd be throwing himself into the biggest player he could find and knock them off their feet (he may have been offside more times than not). He played beside me in the front row at hook, and I can proudly say we were a force to be reckoned with. He has been a major part of our 1st division side for many years and has been a major role player in much of the success we've seen in the last decade.
He had a voice which could be recognized by anyone and a laugh that brought smiles to all around him. No matter how dire the circumstances seemed in life or on the field, Gabe had a way of making the best of it. Even at the lowest times, Gabe enjoyed life and brought happiness to those around him. A true club man, he could always be seen putting his carpentry skills to work around the clubhouse, or lining the fields and putting up ropes before the game. In addition to being one hell of a rugby player, Gabe was a competitive snowboarder which he talked about passionately often.
Gabe was also the organizer of the Williams Lake touring side Le Cox. Most recently seen sporting lime green and bright pink attire at the July rugby festival. Gabe was always at his best on tour.
I wish I could provide more about the wonderful things Gabe did throughout his life. My words fail to pay tribute to the man that was my close friend and front row brother. Service details will be available soon. They will be posted at nanaimohornetsrugby.com
Rest in Peace Gabriel Gregg January 28, 1981 - June 6, 2012