NICK Martin can think of no better way to honour his father Jim than by throwing a bash to both remember the man and further his legacy of promoting athletics on the North Shore.
"That's the way he always was - he wouldn't want anything super formal," says Nick. "He was always kind of fun and easygoing. This is going to be an event that I think will honour him in the right way."
The Jim Martin Mingler will take place Saturday, June 2 at the Capilano Rugby Club, the first event put on by the Jim Martin Memorial Society set up in the name of the retired North Vancouver coach, teacher and administrator who died last year in a house fire.
Jim worked at several North Vancouver schools, most notably Carson Graham where he helped establish the school's dominant rugby program, before working as the district co-ordinator for the North Shore Secondary Schools Athletics Association until his retirement in 2007.
Several former students, friends and family members started the society this winter with the goal of raising funds to award annual scholarships and bursaries in Martin's name. The reaction to his death gave Nick an impression of just how influential his father was in life.
"When he passed away we were getting calls from all over the world. . . . The word spread literally around the world within 24 hours," he says. "It's amazing. We always kind of knew. We'd walk around North Vancouver and if we were walking with our dad we couldn't go 10 steps without having to stop and talk to somebody he knew. He taught everybody, he was friends with everybody."
Nick, 21, and his brothers Connor, 20, and Luke, 18, already have had an opportunity to continue their father's legacy. At the North Shore Sport Awards held in April they presented the Youth Leadership Award to young students Anca Bosnea and Aidan Prem. The award, one that was of keen interest to Jim when he worked on the Sport Awards selection committee, has now been renamed the Jim Martin Youth Leadership award.
"Being able to go up and give a leadership award on behalf of my family and on behalf of our dad, it was something that was really nice," says Nick, who is president of the Jim Martin Memorial Society. "My dad was a PE teacher and coach for 35 years of his life. If you couldn't find him and had to go look for him you'd probably find him on the field helping coach or picking kids up off the dirt and telling them what just went wrong. He was always a leader in that sense, going out and believing that athletics was really a way to teach life lessons. He took full advantage of his opportunity to go out and coach as much as he could."
All three brothers are hoping to carry on their father's leadership legacy in other ways as well, says Nick.
"He's passed that on to Connor and Luke and I. . . . We've all actually gone back and we've started coaching as well. It's something that we want to really kind of pay it forward. We want to start helping out in the community and really being leaders in the athletic community on the North Shore."
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The Jim Martin Mingler starts with a reception at 6 p.m. in the Capilano Rugby Club's Klahanie Park clubhouse June 2. The evening will include dinner, a silent auction and live music. Tickets are $30 and include dinner and one drink. For more information visit jmartinsociety.org or email info@ jmartinsociety.org.
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