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Letter: Burnaby lacrosse reunion scores with generations of players

Members of teams going back to the 1960s get together at Confederation Park to reflect on sport’s history in city.
Burnaby lacrosse players got together for a reunion July 21 at Confederation Park.


Finally the old boys got together at the Confederation Park in Burnaby on July 21 for a Burnaby Lacrosse Reunion. About 60 players from teams of the early 1960s up to teams in the ’80s attended the reunion, which was planned for 2020 but postponed a couple of years due to COVID-19.  

In December 2019 a group of Burnaby Lacrosse players attended the Celebration of Life for Burnaby Lacrosse Legend Sohen Gill (player, coach, manager, commissioner and many, many other positions through many years).  

We discussed how lucky we were to grow up in Burnaby in the 1960s and learn the game of lacrosse at the old Confederation Park Lacrosse Box that we found out recently will be demolished next year and replaced by a new outdoor covered lacrosse box as part of the Confederation Park Complex Upgrade to proceed in 2023.

At the Celebration of Life for Sohen a few of us from a 1968 Junior B team that met there, after circulating a team picture of that 1968 team, came up with the idea to hold a reunion for Burnaby players from the mid-’60s to mid-’70s team.

Later our organizing committee decided to include the mid-’70s-to-mid-’80s team to include the famous Cablevision teams that won a number of Minto Cups as Canadian Junior Lacrosse Champions. Those powerful ’77-’79 teams were inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

In addition, to that team there are about 20 builders, coaches and players from Burnaby who are also in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, including Sohen of course and some of our early coaches like Jack Crosby and Harry Woolley. They all grew up around that Confederation Lacrosse Box which was the foundation for the development of lacrosse in Burnaby in the 1960s.

It will be sad to see the old lacrosse box replaced but we hope the new facility will be utilized and continue to inspire young players to realize their potential in the game of lacrosse.

We do remember that for us, back in the day, it was because the box was always open and available that it was without a doubt a major contributor to many players honing their skills and progressing from minor lacrosse to junior, to senior and professional leagues.

With this in mind, we hope that the Parks Boards will give consideration to ensuring the new facility is an open box operation for all and if they are looking for a name for the box we would certainly support naming it after Sohen Gill.

To understand Sohen’s contribution to Burnaby Lacrosse check out a writeup about him on the BC Sports Hall of Fame website.

Phil Thomas