Ian Birtwell - B.C. Rugby Union Hall of Fame Induction (Builder Category)

By Brent Frid

Ian began coaching before his playing days ended with the Meraloma Juniors. Once he finished playing, Ian turned his full rugby attention to coaching. As Head Coach, Ian led the Meraloma Club to three consecutive B.C. 1st XV Championships (no Premier in those days) 1986,'87,'88.

In 1988, Ian took on the role of Head Coach for the B.C, Senior Men's team, and in 1989 - the B.C. Rugby Union's centennial season - B.C. defeated Ontario & Newfoundland to win the Canadian Senior Championships.

In late '89, Ian became the Head Coach of the Canadian Senior Men's National team that was preparing for the 1991 Rugby World Cup in Europe. Ian led Canada to a quarter final finish, falling to the All Blacks 29 - 13 in Lille, France. This placed Canada 8th in the world, a ranking position that they have yet to return to.

Ian, also as Head Coach, took Canada to the '95 Rugby World Cup in South Africa. In a pool with Australia, Romania, and eventual Champions South Africa, Canada failed to advance from their pool, managing just a single victory vs. Romania. Ian retired from International coaching following the '95 Rugby World Cup.

The induction ceremony will be held on January 13, 2018 at the Element Vancouver Meterotown Hotel in Burnaby.

By Brent Frid  

The Image below isn't the best quality, so we'll take another jpeg if anyone has one of Ian.


Something to Share

By Martin A. Gotel. Past Club President

On Tuesday 14th November 2017, a good friend Margaret Ray organized a lunch for a group of friends. Included with myself and my wife, were Marjorie Thodos, Mimi Pantages along with Lorna Baker and Keith Bosquet .

Marjorie Thodos and Mimi Pantages are the wives of the late Peter Thodos and Rod Pantages. Known in the CFL as the Golden Greeks. Both are BC Hall of Famers. Rod had previously been inducted and Peter was inducted at the BC Lions game in October 2017.

Peter Thodos scored the winning touchdown for Calgary when they won the Grey Cup in 1948. Both Gentlemen are featured in the Meraloma Club History book. I had the pleasure of gifting each lady with a Club history book. The ladies were extremely grateful to the Meraloma Club and thanked the Club. Having lunch with these lovely ladies and sharing their experiences was unforgettable. Hearing stories of their husbands was great.

The other lunch guests were Lorna Baker and Keith Bosquet. Lorna is the wife of the late Dick Baker regarded as one of the finest rugby referees in BC. Keith was a very good friend of the late Lloyd Williams. I had previously given each Lorna and Keith a copy of our Club History books. I would like to thank Gus Fumano, Doug Sturrock, Ed Murray and Barry Burnham for their kind words written in each of Marjorie's and Mim's books. 

Martin A. Gotel. Past Club President.

In the photos below that's Marjorie in the first photo and Mimi in the second.


In the News - Gary Cohen

Congratulations to Meraloma Club Past President, & Rugby Alumni, Gary Cohen on his performance at the 2017 World Dragon Boat Championships (24 countries competed) that were recently held in Kunming, China.

Gary is a member of the Canadian National Dragon Boat team which competed in the Senior C Division. Gary is the right stroke on the Men's & Mixed teams which went undefeated in 14 races in the distances of 2K, 200m, and 500m, winning 6 Gold medals in total.

"Singing O Canada with my team mates from coast-to-coast, in Canada's 150th year of confederation, makes me proud to be a Canadian" said Gary.

" A big thank you to my family, my False Creek Racing Canoe Club team mates, my Fitness Trainer, friends, Eye of The Dragon Dragon boat team, Maccabi Sports and The Meraloma Club - I share this World Championship with all of you!"

By Brent Frid


Meraloma Club AGM Notice, Thursday, Oct 12th 6:30pm at the Clubhouse

Note that all executive positions are open for election, there are also three Director positions up for election (2-year terms). At the Sports level, we know that Soccer is looking for a new VP. Please contact your own Sports VP if interested in getting invovled at the Club Executive Level as the Club moves forward on many new initiatives. All current paid Club Members are eligible to vote.  

In the upcoming AGM the following amendments to the by-laws will be brought forward as a special resolution:

  • Regulatory changes to be compliant with the current Societies Act  
  • The date of the AGM  will be in the Month of October not the second Thursday of October
  • The position of Vice-President Alumni and Fundraising will be renamed  Vice-President Finance
  • The position of Membership Secretary will be renamed Secretary Membership and Social Media and  "manage social media"  and "manage club communications" will be added to the existing duties.

Meraloma Club Senior Rugby 2017 Awards Night

By Brent Frid:

On Saturday May 13/17, the Meraloma Club’s senior rugby teams gathered at the Library Square Public House to celebrate their best & brightest from the 2016-17 playing season.

The 2016-17 season saw the return of Kris de Scossa to the club in the Director of Rugby/Head Coach role. Three of our four senior teams, Men’s 1st & 2nd XV’s and the Women’s XV, reach the provincial semi-finals. The men’s 2nd XV was our only team to advance to a provincial championship game (played in Abbotsford), and on May 6th 2017 defeated a strong Kamloops RFC team 38 – 0 to retain the title they won during the 2015 – 16 season. Our Men’s 3rd XV were the Mainland Plate Final Winners.  The Rugby section award winners for the 2017 season are;

Men’s 1st XV
Best Back: Steve Lam
Best Forward: Liam Leung
Most Improved: Anton Belozerov

Men’s 2nd XV
Best Forward: Billy Noonan
Best Back: Dom Boyd
Most Improved: Ty Tuckett

Men’s 3rd XV
Best Back: Jason Low    
Best Forward: Andrew Aitken
Most Improved: Isaac Smith & Joseph Mergens            
Men’s Most Valuable Player: Benji Cottle    

Women’s XV    
Best Forward: Tanya Bennett
Best Back: Kristin Vidi
Most Improved: Alix Krahn
Women’s Most Valuable Player: Sara Hernandez

Rugby Section Club Member of the year: Drew Ferrie
Men’s Veteran Award for outstanding play: Mike Hall
Women’s Veteran Award for outstanding play: Kimberley Hume
Women’s Player’s Player of the year: Sara Hernandez
Women’s Dedication to Rugby: Jessica Vander Zaag
Comeback Award (coming back to play after suffering potentially career ending injury): Cristyn Edwards & Alex Patterson
Most Social Member Award: Arthur Davis & Thomas Viljoen

Loma Mens Rugby Div2 2016-2017 Champions

Lloyd Williams


It is with great sadness we announce the passing of long time Meraloma Lloyd Williams.
Lloyd was the oldest living Meraloma member at the time of his passing. Our condolences go out to Lloyd's family & friends. Please see Lloyd's induction into the BC Rugby Hall of Fame video below. Rest in Peace Lloyd. Once a Meraloma, Always a Meraloma.
August 11, 1921 - April 28, 2017.

Brent Frid


Note from Doug Sturrock:

The Celebration of Life for Lloyd Williams will be on Saturday, June 17, at the West Van Seniors Center where Lloyd had attended the Fit Fellas class for over 20 years. Time TBA.

If you wish to send a card of condolence send it to one of his daughters, Martha Williams, #201-1737 Duchess Avenue, West Vancouver, BC V7V 1P5



Meraloma Football Alumni Day Sat June 24, 2017 at 1:00 PM at the Clubhouse

By Raw Crawford:

By request I shall endeavor not to use “BIG WORDS” when a singularly unloquacious and diminutive linguistic expression will satisfactorily accomplish the contemporary necessity.

Over the years our memory does strange things but I still want to embrace the mystical quality of this story as a Launchpad for the tale I shall now unveil.

Strange memories seem like a lifetime ago, when we were the Main Era, the kind of peak that never comes again. On the gridiron it was a very special time and place for us to be a part of. It meant something to all of us but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that we were there and alive in that spec of time and in that corner of the world.

Our football history is not as hard to know as it is to explain. Because to us it seemed entirely reasonable to think that every now and then our energy came to a head, for reasons that nobody really understood at the time and to which we can never explain, in retrospect, as to what actually happened.

We had a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, because we were winning. On the gridiron there was madness in any direction, on any play we would strike sparks everywhere. That was the sense of inevitable victory over the forces of our old and evil opponents. Our energy would simply prevail because we had all the momentum; we rode the crest of a high and beautiful wave.

So now, all these years later, we meet once a year and with aching bodies, fading eyes and deafening ears we smile at the sight of a friend, and in our trademark way weshake hands and as long lost brothers we graciously come together.

So in conclusion and in summary and summation and to wrap things up in a way that will bring things to a close before we say good-bye in a conclusionary fashion, let me leave you with these parting words. This piece of doggerel is simple and catchy, but it unpacks into a resonant, meaningful philosophy that reads as sympathetic to humanity, albeit from a removed, humoring, alien viewpoint.

We ain't as good as we once were but we are as good once as we ever were, be at the clubhouse on June 24, 2017 and you’ll have a good time on this I can assure.

Lyla Badaw

Ray Crawford