And, so, we have Ted Fridge, an amicable sports enthusiast who put the “I” in give.
The Port Coquitlam resident was born Edwin George Fridge in 1940 and (at least it seems) has never been removed from one sport or another.
But, oddly, if you ask him to elaborate on his accomplishments as a youngster, Ted will relate the story of when he dressed up as “Mr. Peanut” to hand out goodies during a parade. Now, you would think that such a person would go into show business but his slide into the art of histrionics was derailed when friends pointed out that he looked too much like William Conrad, who played private investigator Frank Cannon on television.
Oh, well! A teaching profession seemed like a reasonable substitute – undoubtedly, dealing with children taught him how to approach the complex problems of mediating the many squabbles that erupt in league boardrooms.
With two young boys in tow, Ted and wife Wendy decided to leave Vancouver in 1972 and move to suburban Port Coquitlam where he was employed as an elementary school teacher. It wasn’t long before the extracurricular activities began – first as an assistance soccer coach under John Buchanan at Simon Fraser University and then as one of the founders of the Coquitlam Cheetahs Track and Field Club.
In 1974, Ted’s eight-year-old son Tom began playing lacrosse; as we enter the millennium, Tom is now retired but old dad is still going strong.
Port Coquitlam Minor Lacrosse officials noticed how supportive Ted was on his son and asked him if he was willing to contribute a little extra time as a member of the association’s executive. He was immediately named Vice President but, when the President resigned three months later, Ted found himself in charge of the club.
Fridge remained President for seven years and added “coach” to his resume, leading son Tom’s teams to two provincial Tier 2 titles and second son Daren’s club to the 1981 PeeWee Nationals in Longueil, Quebec.
The next ten years saw his activities accelerate. Now a school principal, Ted took on:
- Spearheading field lacrosse leagues; one in the Spring and another in the Fall;
- Acting as Chair of the Provincial Coaches Association;
- Co-ordinating a 38-team National Bantam tournament;
- Becoming heavily involved in exchange lacrosse tournaments with field teams from the San Francisco/Oakland area.
- Heading the BCLA Field Directorate;
- Joining the Coquitlam Adanacs Major Junior team as general manager for four years and president for five;
- Spending a season as assistant coach of the Major Senior Adanacs and a year as general manager, and
- Continuing to coach minor lacrosse teams.
In 1990, the were deeply in debt and on the verge of folding the franchise. Fridge, the president of the , agreed to head up the senior team as well. With a new aggressive executive, the senior team went into the black financially and vied (unsuccessfully) for the Mann Cup in 1993.
The following season (1994), Ted turned in his Adanac colours to serve as general manager of the senior team that had moved from Vancouver to Surrey. A year later, Ted was also named president. In 1996, he moved the franchise to . Despite the heavy schedule, Ted also spent time as commissioner of Senior Men’s Field Lacrosse League and sat on the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame Board of Governors.
In 1998, Ted left the Burrards to begin a two-year stint as commissioner of the Western Lacrosse Association. The moment he stepped down from this position, he was elected BCLA Vice President – Promotions/Public Relations.
Ted’s efforts did not go unnoticed. He was awarded the in 1982 as the BCLA’s Executive of the Year, the in 1987 and again in 1988 as BCLA’s Manager of the Year, and the Norm Kowalyk Trophy in 1990 as the WLA’s Executive of the Year.
But the pride in Ted’s heart is linked directly to the accomplishments of his two sons. Tom, born in 1966, went to Whittier College (CA) on a lacrosse scholarship and then remained with the program as an assistant coach while earning his masters degree in education. Tom now teaches in Seattle.
, three years Tom’s junior, went to Sonoma State in Petaluma, CA., Western Washington State, and Simon Fraser University, and is now teaching in B.C.. Daren remains as deeply involved in lacrosse as his father – a star playing with the senior Burrards, a top coach with the Canadian National Field Lacrosse program, and an instructor with the B.C. Lacrosse Coaches Association.
For wife Wendy, it was be involved or be forgotten. Wendy can usually be found fundraising, running a booster booth or concession stand or acting as a secretary either for teams like the Burrards or for a pressed-for-time husband.
It is a family involved.