It was a strange day. He was too young, too full of life, nothing about this sits well with me, it doesn't feel right. How does someone so vibrant and healthy, leave us so early? He would have been 40 in April. This summer I will be turning 40. It hit close to home.
The event took place at the Jericho Sailing Club, in the Rugby room. Schrader was passionate about rugby and much of the day was spent remembering his skill and determination on the field, reminiscing about rugby wins and honors, as well as sharing stories about his love of the sport. Shred ( as he was affectionately known by many), was also a a World Cup speed skier, and in Vars, France, 21 Jan 2009, at the Speed Skiing, World Ski Championships he clocked 175.781KPH, his personal best.
It was a powerful day, the second of three memorials planned in and around BC. I made two videos for his family and friends who were not able to be there. Part one is a video of the speeches given by his dear close friends, and part two (below) was a snapshot of the music and mingle afterwords, led by yours truly. I was delighted that fellow Byng student Chris Frye made the trip over from the islands. (like most everyone from Byng, I had not seen Chris in over 20 years, but I had heard he would be there, and knew he was a player, so I brought an extra guitar, hopeful I could get him up to jam....... and here is what happened...)
Chris, you rock my friend! Thanks for letting me twist your arm. I listened to your music, Let Go, had me within a few bars, bravo!
I need to digress here for a moment, because I don't do a solo gig very often, and part of the reason I am sharing this story here, is because if you read my blog, you will know that it has been one of my New Years goals, to continue to work towards being capable of doing a solo gig (if the need arises), and yesterday, was a pivotal day for me, because I managed to sort of, well, pull it off. :)
I don't really do this gig alone, er, ever, really, and I am motivated to keep working on completing a full night of music, solo, and being comfortable while doing it. As it happened, after their games, the rugby teams wandered into the clubhouse we had taken over from them ( which they so graciously shared in honor of their past member), and the room was filled to capacity. I wound up doing my whole set again. I have already been asked back to play after another home game, so something must have worked. I have to say that playing for a room full of big strong boys is quite a lovely thing for a lady, hehe, and as an added bonus, my gear and music equipment ( which I usually lug around myself), magically transported itself to my car when I was finished and ready to go. I could get terrifically spoiled .
I found it flattering and charming that both teams enjoyed the music enough to want me to come back and be the 'home game' girl, I jokingly wondered aloud if I should pick a side, however they assure me they are all good buddies and that I can be shared.....ha!........here is a snapshot of me with Rick Bourne (UBCOB Ravens RFC) and Spence McTavish (UBC Thunderbirds RFC). Spence, was my old PE teacher, and Lord Byng's rugby coach (my old high school). Spence McTavish was an enormous influence on Schrader's life and rugby career. I remember watching our HS team winning no less than 3 rugby championships back in the day, many of those boys went on to long and successful rugby careers. I personally did not follow their rugby adventures after grad year, but those boys were hero's to us when they wandered the school halls.
Which brings us right back to high school, and Schrader, and yesterday. It was Erica and Jody who really put the memorial together, along with Danny Nikas doing the lions share of the promotions. There were lots of helpers, and people who came from all over the province, but Jody, Erica, and Danny (seen in the speeches video) were really the core group, and they really deserve a shout out for their efforts. Surely Shred was there, smiling down on them, and I'll bet he was laughing along with all of us as we celebrated his life.