Last weekend more than a dozen Gryphons gathered in Orillia to support a teammate. They came from all directions to be there – Calgary, Ottawa, London, Oakville, Burlington, Toronto, Guelph, Brampton and hometown Orillia. They were there to encourage, support and reminisce with teammate Jeff Hale.
A former All Canadian, a 2x OUAA All Star and a 2x team captain, Hale has been battling brain cancer and some of its complications for more than 4 years. You can find a little more background information on Hale in this December 2014 post.
Those who made the trek to Orillia were mostly teammates from the late 1970s and early 1980s. They gathered in a private room at the Brewery Bay Food Co. The location wasn’t chosen by happenstance. It is owned by former Gryphon linebacker/safety from the late 70s – Steve Clarke. Not just known for the restaurant business he and his wife have operated in Orillia for 23 years, Clarke is the current Mayor of Orillia and an honoured community leader.
Gathered with Jeff Hale (seated, wearing red 2015 Yates Cup Champs sweatshirt) are (standing, left to right) the Reverend Jeff Inglis, Carm Sferazza, Calvin Hale (Jeff’s youngest son), Jeff Crampton, Sam Benincasa, Mike Eykens, Mike Hudson, Ken Courtney and Matt Vine. Kneeling or seated are Dr. Scott Hobson, Wayne Laidlaw, Randy Dimitroff, Hale and Mitch Chuvalo.
The gathering also reunited Hale with four of his five 1981 roommmates – Chuvalo, Laidlaw, Vine and Eykins. Missing was Junior Robinson. Not wanting to be left out Robinson called in from Vancouver to talk via speaker phone with Hale & company.
Once a Gryphon, always a Gryphon.