John Jones – Builder: Cavaliers Rugby
John Jones was a well known figure in the Montreal Academic and Sporting community. After moving to the area from his native Australia, he made an enormous impact on Rugby in Quebec and his contribution to the development and growth of the game here was prolific.
Champlain Cegep’s rugby programme began 30 years ago in 1979, when John, head of the History module in the social Sciences Department, received a phone call from Bill Tierney of the English Department at John Abbott College. It was an invitation to play the first ever game of College Rugby in Quebec. At that time, the Cegep system was new and Champlain was only 5 years old, so for a while only two Cegep teams were playing. The idea caught fire immediately and Champlain’s small gymnasium was soon bursting with over 60 eager, if inexperienced players. Two teams were formed and epic clashes with Abbott, McGill, Concordia and a variety of clubs and visitors ensued. Over the years other colleges were to join us, Marianopolis, Vanier, Dawson, Brébeuf, Lennoxville and Valleyfield.
The growth and success of the Rugby program at Champlain College Saint-Lambert is due to John’s dedication, determination and hard work. His belief in the combination of education, sport and fellowship is one to be envied and has impacted the hundreds of people who have played rugby at Champlain and the thousands that he inspired as a professor of History at the college. John eptiomized what it means to be a Cavalier not only through his words, but through his deeds.
Although he stepped back from coaching in the mid-1990’s, John continued to be a fixture at the games and he continued to be a proponent for the great sport of rugby. His inspiration, leadership and friendship have made lasting impressions on the many he has influenced of the past 30 years.
Thank you from the many you’ve touched as a teacher and a coach!