Ian Stewart was born in China and came to Canada after the death of his parents during World War II. He played football growing up, first for UBC and then for the BC Lions. He moved to Victoria to practice law, but fell in love with rugby. First as a player, and later as a supporter of the James Bay Athletic Association.
Off the field, Ian developed an outstanding record of achievement: in the legal profession as Queen’s Council, in business, and in public life as a supporter of higher education. He owned Honda City, sat on several business boards, was a Victoria City Councillor (before Victoria City Council turned into Mayberry), and was on the Board of Governors for the University of Victoria. In the latter role, he expanded his passion of rugby to the UVIC Vikes rugby team.
As his health diminished, and given his equal and ardent support of both JBAA and UVIC, Ian established the Bays-Vikes Trophy. A two game, total point competition. The first game in this year's challenge takes place this Saturday, September 21, at 2:30 pm at MacDonald Park. There will be two "curtain raisers": The Grizz battle the Jutes at 11 am, and the Bays Premier Reserves compete against the Norsemen at 12:30 pm.*
Of the importance and goal of the Bays-Vikes Challenge, Ian remarked:
“I believe rugby provides a great path for young athletes to achieve excellence in sport – and to become outstanding Canadian citizens in the process.”
Players from both UVIC and JBAA will keep these words in mind when they contest in the first game of the Ian Stewart Bays-Vikes Challenge Trophy on Saturday.
* JBAA Social Members take note: your Social Members Brunch will be held at a later date.