With the closing of the 20th anniversary year of the Millet Classic tournament, it seemed only fitting for Millet Soccer Association (MSA) to follow this up by inducting 14 lifetime members and two honorary members into its ranks during a special awards night held on January 29.
In attendance were past presidents who had served MSA from the early 1990’s all the way through to the current president. Over 40 people attended the function at the Millet Royal Canadian Legion. In addition to the Life Members noted in the captioned photograph, lifetime memberships were also awarded Paul Pay (founder), Esben Larsen, Terri-Sue Larsen, Margaret Shinness and Randy Shinness.
The lifetime members were all recognized for their immense contribution to soccer in Millet over many years – their unique qualities reflected how they each gave time above and beyond the time period that their own kids were involved in the sport. For example, Rex Johnson, who was a board member in 2011, showed the current board in 2015 how to run the paint machine and the irrigation system. David Ramsey, past president from 2000/01, was on hand at last year’s tournament to help with the administration and fill in anyway possible. The list of how these past board members, to this day, continue to help with the Association is endless.
Two outstanding individuals were also named honorary members of Millet Soccer. Chuck O’Neill of C. O’Neill Distributors was not only instrumental in founding the association back in 1989, but he has been a huge supporter of minor sports in Millet. The other individual is Al Hendriks of Pipestone Links Golf Course. Since installing the irrigation system in the Paul Pay fields, Al has been MSA’s turf “expert”. Without his expertise and constant nurturing, the fields would not have been in the great condition they were in just in time for the 20th Annual Millet Classic tournament last year.
A significant moment of the awards evening was recalling the quote made by founder Paul Pay back in 1989. “Why should our kids have to travel to Leduc or Wetaskiwin to play soccer?” Once Paul said that, he and newly inducted honorary member Chuck O’Neill set out to start Millet Soccer 27 years ago. And Millet history was made. Also, since Paul moved from the area a few years later, the ensuing board members had never met him. It was with a great chuckle that a picture of Paul was displayed and the attendees said “Oh, that is what he looks like.”
MSA president Erin Saunders noted that the 2016 board was thrilled to host this event to honour its past. However, “seeing the past made us think of the future,” she said. More board members are needed for this upcoming season as registration starts Feb. 27 in the Hugo Witt room in the Agriplex”. This year, there are 4 registration dates. Feb. 27, March 16, Mar. 22 and Mar. 23. Times and locations can be found at www.milletsoccer.ca, on Facebook, or people can contact MSA registrar Kathryn at 780-362-2369.