The lasting legacy of Abbotsford sports figure Barry Stewart will be honoured on Nov. 18 with a Celebration of Life event at Abbotsford Senior Secondary.
The Celebration of Life will be open to the public, and is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. An informal social gathering following the event will occur at Townhall Public House in Abbotsford.
“We expect hundreds of community members to attend,” stated Abbotsford School District assistant superintendent Angus MacKay. “Barry’s contribution to sports in Abbotsford is incalculable, given the number of teams he coached, and games he refereed, over a teaching and volunteer career, which spanned 60-plus years.”
Stewart began his career in the Abbotsford in 1962, and was a teacher, librarian and counsellor, but was best known as a coach of both school and community sports teams for decades.
He was inducted into the Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 in the builder category for both football and basketball, but also coached dozens of teams in volleyball, track and field, rugby and football.
Stewart volunteered as a coach for numerous teams at secondary and elementary schools in Abbotsford including Abbotsford Senior, Abbotsford Junior and Middle Schools, St. John Brebeuf, Yale and Robert Bateman. For his efforts, he was named a lifetime member of BC School Sports.
He was also inducted into the Basketball B.C. hall of fame in 2005 for his time coaching in the sport. He coached basketball teams at the B.C. Games, Western Canada Games and the Canada Games, in addition to his time spent in the sport at the community and school levels. He continued coaching locally until 2012.
He was known for his belief that everyone should be allowed to play, no matter what their level of expertise.
His name will live on at Abbotsford Senior, as the grass field at the school was named after him in 2012.
The Celebration of Life occurs inside Abbotsford Senior’s small gym on Nov. 18 starting at 2 p.m.