Jean Beliveau – A Class Of His Own

Posted by Tom Locke on December 18th, 2014 filed in History, Life, Sports ... All Sorts

Like many people right across Canada I was sadden when I heard of Jean Beliveau’s passing.

As a young boy in 50’s & 60’s I spent many a Saturday night watching this gifted hockey player.  As he grew older, my admiration for him grew.  And that is saying something given that I was never a Montreal Canadiens fan.

If a person’s picture was to be placed in a dictionary to best define a word, his picture would be beside the word “class”.  And he was all of that – on and off the ice.

To me, he was the “Ambassador of Hockey”, a person we could look up to with pride knowing that he would always do the right thing in life and for the game.

On a personal note, I had the pleasure of meeting with Mr. Beliveau during a hockey show a group of us put on in Vancouver in the early 90’s.  At that show, my daughter, Alana, lined up to get his autograph.  When “Big Jean” found out that my daughter was deaf, he stopped signing and, via me as his interpreter, spent some time speaking with my daughter about her hockey playing.  What was  even more amazing was the understanding and respect for Jean’s actions by the others in the crowd who were waiting to get his autograph.

He will be missed but not forgotten.  And let’s hope his “class” will be mirrored by others in the future.

One Response to “Jean Beliveau – A Class Of His Own”

  1. Allan Says:

    Thanks Tom, especially for sharing your and Alana’s personal unique experience.

    Growing up in an original six city in the fifties and sixties, made hockey rivalries, and none was stronger than The Maple Leafs and Les Canadiens. And growing up in Toronto in a family of fervent hockey fans made Jean Beliveau the enemy number one. And usually “Le Deuxieme Etoille… The Second Star…Jean Beliveau.” He would set up or score the tying goal, and then assist on the game winner, who would wind up being the first star of the game. Never stealing the limelight, building his team: a Captain and a Gentleman.

    Or as our father would say, “he is a gentleman first. And the Captain of his team. There is a difference.”

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