SCENE & HEARD: Dale Walters, who captured Canada’s first Olympic boxing medal in 52 years at the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles, compared news of Sev Morin’s passing to “a punishing blow to the stomach”.
As much as Morin was known for his accomplishments in our local hospitality and entertainment circles, a lengthy list of professional athletes in Vancouver will remember him for the goodwill and kindness he spread through a more unpretentious era dating back to the 1970s.
“He was always there for us,” Walters says. “When I was training for the Olympics I didn’t have two cents to rub together. Sev sponsored me in the days when Olympic sponsorships were taboo. He put me on his payroll as a goodwill ambassador and I’d parade around town with his restaurant logo on my shirt.”
Severin’s on Kingsway in Burnaby was a home away from home for young hockey and football players who were finding their way in the infant stages of their careers. Cam Neely, Jack McIlhargey, Bob Dailey, Stan Smyl, Jamie Taras and Nick Hebeler come to mind.
“Neely was devastated the day he was traded by the Canucks to Boston,” Walters says. “Sev was right there for him, telling Cam things would work out for the best.”
Neely went on to play 10 seasons in Boston, scored 50 or more goals on three occasions, was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005 and today is president of the Bruins.
Morin voluntarily served on several boards of directors in Vancouver, including tourism institutes, hospice foundations, The Variety Club and Burnaby 2010 Olympic Legacy Committee. He was also a great friend of the late Jack Cullen of radio’s Owl Prowl and Network Replay fame on CKNW.
Great friend. Those two words pretty well sum up this caring, high-spirited man who left us last week following a lengthy illness.
HERE ‘N’ THERE: No sooner did Bob Nicholson announce he was stepping down as president and CEO of Hockey Canada than speculation surfaced that he has a line on a position with an NHL team. While the Calgary Flames under Brian Burke can be eliminated, the same cannot be said for the Canucks … With Pavel Bure and Trevor Linden signing autographs at a Bossa Productions card show April 11 and 12 at the Croatian Cultural Centre, it could be a clue to the “surprise guests” the Canucks have been suggesting for Pat Quinn’s induction to their Ring of Honour prior to the final game of the season April 13 at Rogers Arena.
END ZONE: Former WBA lightweight boxing champ Ray (Boom Boom) Mancini and film director Jesse Miller will be at the Italian Cultural Centre May 1 for a showing of the award-winning documentary ‘The Good Son’. Tickets are available at www.italianculturalcentre.ca
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