Contributed Ina MacInnes awards the Angus MacInnes Memorial Trophy to Kelowna Selects captain John Pratch, left, with 60+ tournament organizer Rob Geier Sunday at Beasley Park in Lake Country.

Soccer tourney celebrates Angus MacInnes

He spearheaded a group of dedicated volunteers who developed first-class soccer fields

They played soccer, hoisted a few beverages, swapped stories and checked their ticket numbers as scores of raffle prizes were given away Sunday at sun-drenched Beasley Park in Lake Country.

It was all in memory of fun-loving Angus Gunn MacInnes, the founding president of the Lake Country Soccer Society in 1996. MacIness, who was still playing regularly with the Lake Country 55+ team last season, died at his home in February of this year. He was 78.

Teams from Lake Country, Kelowna and Vernon played a round-robin tournament with Kelowna dispatching Vernon 7-2 and grounding Lake Country 2-0 for the Angus Memorial Trophy. Angus’ widow, Ina, presented the award to Kelowna captain John Pratch. She was surrounded by several family members all day.

“Angus put so many hours and weekends into building this clubhouse and these fields,” said son-in-law Lee Chapman of Lake Country, who flipped hundreds of burgers and smokies Sunday. “He didn’t always say much but he always had a smile on his face and he got things done.”

Tournament organizer Rob Geier, who rounded up food and bevvie sponsorship, hopes there will be a second event.

“All the money raised today will go to the finish the Angus MacInnes Room,” said Geier, as the three teams got together for a team photo. “We will be planting a tree and building a bench in Angus’ memory as well.”

There are several photographs of Angus and newspaper clippings showing the construction of the Beasley Park pitches in the MacInnes meeting room. There is also a beer fridge.

Born in Scotland, MacInnes immigrated to Canada in 1977 and his family settled in Oyama. He spearheaded a small group of dedicated volunteers who had the vision to develop first-class soccer fields and a club house on 14 acres of donated land from the District of Lake Country. Beasley Park, as it is known today, was constructed in 1998 with the official opening soccer tournament in the spring of 1999.

Once the fields were completed the society didn’t stop. MacInnes, being a carpenter by trade, oversaw the construction of the clubhouse beginning in 2002, which was also completed using volunteer labour, donations, equipment, and both new and re-purposed materials in order to keep the costs down. This is where MacInnes’ Scottish roots came in handy. Finally, the lights were erected and the soccer season was extended by 30 per cent more than any fields in the valley with natural grass.

“Angus left a tremendous legacy for families and soccer players of all ages,” said Vernon striker Kevin Mitchell, 60, who played against MacInnes for decades. “Angus was an intelligent fullback who played with incredible enthusiasm and sportsmanship. He had tremendous respect for the game.”

Ingo Kindler supplied two goals and JC Buratti earned the shutout as Kelowna stopped Lake Country for the tournament win. Lake Country earlier ambushed Vernon 6-1.