WVFHC News Archive

Posted 6/23/2017
WVFHC mourns the passing of Az Ansari

Summary...
 

Az Ansari is one of the founders of Field Hockey in Vancouver and the North Shore. He started the WVFHC in 1972. It started as a Mens and Boys club playing at Klahanie Park. It developed over the years into a thriving field hockey community playing at Hugo Ray Park in the 80s. The Hugo Ray Park clubhouse was built in 1986.

Full text...
 

Dear Friends, 

As you may or may not have heard, Az Ansari passed away on June 10, 2017, at home with his wife Sharon, his son Faiz and daughter Sophia at his side at the age of 87.  

In honour of Az Ansari who will be officially recognized at his service and celebration of life on June 28, 2017 as one of the founding members of the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club-1972 (co-founders: Nick Milkovich, Nick Rowe, Joost Wolsak and Mike Pearson) . Please click here to see the attached invite from the Ansari family to you and your family and members of WVFHC to join them at his service (North Vancouver Cemetery) followed by the celebration of life at Hugo Ray Park/Pavilion. I am personally requesting your help in reaching players you played with at WVFHC and or any members of the Vancouver hockey fraternity that knew Az personally by forwarding this invite on to them.  

At the request of the family you are being asked to dig deep into the storage as they would like to see as many of the retro WVFHC, Jokers and all other league uniforms in attendance at Hugo Ray for his celebration of life to help engage all to share the history and stories of Az and the WVFHC. As you will see below our community has reason to celebrate the life of one of its legends who gave so much of his time, effort and experience to kids and sport: 

A brief history of Az Ansari and the founding of the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club:

  • Helped start the Jokers FHC with Victor Warren (son of Harry Warren/Warren fields at UBC) and some others including my father after they graduated from UBC.
  • In 1971 Az Ansari who had located to the North Shore to begin a family and suggested to his other North Shore Joker teammates that they should start a club on the North Shore so post game beers could be easier. Both Nick Milkovich and Jost Walsak agreed and said to Az; " You start it and we will come play for you". 
  • He did - In 1972 Az Ansari held the first meeting of the West Vancouver Field Hockey Club (WVFHC).
  • He secured Klahani fields (Capilano Rugby Club) and then teams up with his cricket friends in North Van - Mike Pearson and secures two fields at the newly created 3rd st. park (Hugo Ray). 
  • They start with one team in the fall of 1972 in division 2. 
  • Sept 1973 they have three teams in divisions 2,3,4.
  • Sept 1975 the WVFHC top team were promoted to the 1st division.
  • Az completes his term as club President in 1976 where he passes it on to ?

Jr. Boys:

  • In 1972 he also starts Jr Boys hockey at Klahani with both Az and Nick Milkovich running the junior programs.
  • He does this by meticulously preparing 10,000 flyers and brochures and individually visits every school on the North Shore. 
  • Az operated the Jr program until 1985.
  • In 1973 Az opened an indoor training within Glenmore school (Collingwood).
  • In 1974/75 Az, Brian Seymour (Vancouver Hawks) and Jurgen Lankau (Tsawassen Falcons) meet to create what is todays Jr league as there was no league in existence at that time.
  • The first tournament at West Van was held over Easter in 1974 operated by Az and the new club members.
  • Graduates of the West Vancouver Jr Boys program include: 

                                Ian Bird - 2x Olympian, 98' World Cup, 98 CG  (Captain)
                                Paul Wettlaufer - 2x Olympian, 2 x World Cup, 98,03,07 CG (Captain)
                                Mike Mahood - FIH Presidents XI 99' , 2x Olympian, 98 World Cup, 98,03,07 CG (Captain)
                                Peter Milkovich - FIH Presidents XI 99', 2x Olympian, 2 x World Cup, 2x Indoor WC, 98 CG (Captain)
               

Canadian International Players who made WVFHC their club:

  • Dave Bissett - 84,88 Olympics (Captain)
  • Ross Rutledge - 84,88 Olympics (Captain)
  • Chris Gifford - 88,2000 Olympics
  • Trevor Porritt - 84,88 Olympics
  • Lance Carey - 76 Olympics (Founder Richmond FHC)
  • Rob Short - 2000, 2008 Olympics, 2x World Cups, EHL MVP 2011 (Captain)
  • Scott Tupper - 08,16 Olympics, 2x World Cups (Current Captain)
  • Mark Pearson - 08,16 Olympics, 2x World Cups
  • Anthony Kindler - 16 Olympics, 10 World Cup                               

                               
Jr. Girls.

  • In 1981 Az started the junior girls spring program at the club with practices at Sentinel HS gym (still being used by the club today) because his daughter and Victor Warren (former FHC President) wanted their girls to play hockey.
  • Az begins the junior girls program by arranging friendly games with Richmond, Hawks and Falcons.
  • Az then meets with Don Paterson and Brian Seymour and Don Paterson agrees to build the Jr. women's league out in the same fashion as the boys league which is the foundation of the sport for young girls today.

Sr. Women

In 1979 the President of the North Vancouver women's field hockey club phones Az and asks if they can join WVFHC.
A copy of the 1979/80 women's team roster is available. The coach is Bill Purcell whom I play with today on the WVFHC 'D' team.

Clubhouse

  • In 1978 Az persuades Nick Milkovich to prepare drawings for clubhouse at Hugo Ray which has now expanded to four fields. It does not get chosen as the final design.
  • Members Peter Morely and Pat Brook took on the clubhouse venture and successfully raised enough capital for the clubhouse at Hugo Ray.
  • It is still today the only full service clubhouse for hockey in Canada.  

The Ansari family looks forward to seeing and meeting you and your family on June 28.  


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