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
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.
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
- 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 ?
- In 1972 he also starts Jr
Boys hockey at Klahani with both Az and Nick Milkovich running the junior
- 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
- 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)
Wettlaufer - 2x Olympian, 2 x World Cup, 98,03,07 CG (Captain)
Mahood - FIH Presidents XI 99' , 2x Olympian, 98 World Cup, 98,03,07 CG
Milkovich - FIH Presidents XI 99', 2x Olympian, 2 x World Cup, 2x Indoor WC, 98
Canadian International Players who made WVFHC their club:
- Dave Bissett - 84,88 Olympics
- Ross Rutledge - 84,88
- Chris Gifford - 88,2000
- Trevor Porritt - 84,88
- 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
- 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.
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.
- 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.
Ansari family looks forward to seeing and meeting you and your family on June