Public memorial for Les Wingrove

A public memorial service will be held next week for Coquitlam lacrosse legend Les Wingrove at one of the places he spent so much time: the arena floor at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex.

The family announced Wednesday the service will be held Saturday, May 12, at 1 p.m.

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A longtime lacrosse coach, manager and club executive, Wingrove passed away suddenly last Friday night. He was 74 years old.

Since then, tributes have poured in from every corner of the lacrosse world and the community for Wingrove’s tireless contribution to build the game, from formalizing the formation of the Coquitlam Minor Lacrosse Association in the early 1970s to being the manager of teams that won Minto and Mann cups, to working as the director of operations and alternate governor for the Coquitlam Junior Adanacs and as the assistant general manager and alternate governor for the Western Lacrosse Association’s Langley Thunder.

Those efforts earned him induction as a builder into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, where he was ultimately joined by a number of players he coached as kids or managed as an executive.

Wingrove was also instrumental in the formation of the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame, where he had a hands-on role in building many of the displays, and he was heavily involved in many local associations to promote sport and activity for young people.

Because of those deep sport and community connections, Wingrove’s son, Craig, said a large turnout is expected for the memorial, which will be held in the main arena. The family is also encouraging donations to the Trevor Wingrove Bursary Fund in lieu of flowers. 

That fund was established in 2013 to honour one of Les’ sons who died of cancer in 2010 at the age of 42. Trevor rose from being the Coquitlam Jr. Adanacs’ waterboy when he was 12 years old to becoming a junior league all-star in 1987 and ’88, and then a top player in the WLA. He also worked for the city of Coquitlam for more than a decade, eventually becoming its general manager of corporate services.

In 2011, Coquitlam Minor Lacrosse renamed its annual Dogwood tournament to honour Trevor Wingrove and, three years later, the city dedicated the street through Town Centre Park in his name.

The bursary fund, which is administered by the Coquitlam Foundation, is awarded to graduating high school students who played in the local lacrosse association for at least two years and have plans to enrol in a post-secondary institution, training program or take career training.

For more information about the memorial service, as well as a link to donate to the bursary fund, go to www.leswingrove.com.

mbartel@tricitynews.com

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