Organizer of transporting the World’s Largest Hockey Stick to Cowichan remembered

Bhagwan Mayer a “hard-working fellow who cared about his community.”

Bhagwan Mayer and son John on the Crofton waterfront. (Photo submitted)

Bhagwan Mayer and son John on the Crofton waterfront. (Photo submitted)

Bhagwan Mayer was well-known throughout the Cowichan Valley for his many years in industrial businesses, but will always be remembered most for the important role he played in helping to bring the World’s Largest Hockey Stick and Puck to its final resting place on the side of the Cowichan Community Centre.

Mayer overcame some significant health issues over the years, including quadruple bypass surgery in 2005, but died suddenly on Nov. 12. He was 81 and had just celebrated his 41st anniversary with wife Gail two days earlier.

“He was an optimist, he enjoyed life,” said Gail. “He had so much energy and he loved people.

“He was really well-liked with a huge circle of friends.”

Dick Drew was part of the committee with Mayer, Len Goodman, Karl Schutz and Ron Austen who worked tirelessly first to secure the World’s Largest Hockey Stick and Puck for the Cowichan Valley after Expo ‘86 and then to move it to Duncan in August of 1987. It was dedicated on May 21, 1988, two years to the day after Expo ‘86 opened.

“He was an anchor on the hockey stick committee,” said Drew. “That hockey stick wouldn’t have been there if it wasn’t for Bhagwan Mayer. He organized the towing company that brought it over on a barge.”

It was quite an undertaking to move the stick by barge from Vancouver and then load it and transport it on three flatbed trucks. Mayer was just the man to orchestrate the job.

“Everybody on the committee worked hard, but he was the super organizer,” praised Drew. “It was an amazing show of community support. Everybody was in favour of it, everybody wanted it.”

“I remember Bhagwan as a kind-hearted, super friendly, smart, hard-working fellow who cared about his community,” added Austen. “Not a bad epitaph, would you not agree?”

“He was the ideal person to be on that hockey stick committee,” said Gail. “He arranged for that hauling with Mariner Towing and the Doman trucks.”

Bhagwan was born on April 19, 1939 at the former King’s Daughters Hospital in Duncan and lived in Paldi at a young age before moving into Duncan and was valedictorian of the 1956 Cowichan Secondary School graduating class. He was a committed Boy Scout and Scout Leader, obtaining his Queen Scout designation in 1957.

Bhagwan also served six years on the Malaspina College board and on the Cowichan region’s Social Credit Party board that were among his other community endeavours. He was active in the business community throughout most of his life and was a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow.

His business ventures encompassed many companies over the years.

Bhagwan and Gail moved to Ladysmith in 1994 and have lived there ever since. Gail formerly worked for the Chemainus Festival of Murals in the late 1980s and for 20 years with Community Travel Services in Chemainus.

Bhagwan and Gail loved travelling and in recent years developed close friendships with fellow members of vintage car clubs on Vancouver Island and in Washington and Oregon states.

Bhagwan is survived by five children, eight grandchildren, one sister and three brothers. His son, John, died in 2018 from complications from diabetes.

No memorial service is planned in accordance with Bhagwan’s wishes. For anyone who’d like to make a donation in his name, contributions to the Cowichan District Hospital Foundation would be appreciated.

Business and IndustrialObituary

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Bhagwan Mayer on a hike in 1974. (Photo submitted)

Bhagwan Mayer on a hike in 1974. (Photo submitted)

Bhagwan Mayer’s sweatshirt commemorating the move of the World’s Largest Hockey Stick to Duncan. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Bhagwan Mayer’s sweatshirt commemorating the move of the World’s Largest Hockey Stick to Duncan. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Bhagwan Mayer and wife Gail. (Photo submitted)

Bhagwan Mayer and wife Gail. (Photo submitted)

Bhagwan Mayer on the job in Vancouver to bring the World’s Largest Hockey Stick back to the Cowichan Valley. (Photo submitted)

Bhagwan Mayer on the job in Vancouver to bring the World’s Largest Hockey Stick back to the Cowichan Valley. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

Danielle Groenendijk raised more than twice her goal for Parkinson’s Canada. (Photo submitted)
VIU volleyball athlete doubles fundraising goal for Parkinson’s

Daily runs over 30 days by Groenendijk add up to 254 kilometres

Seven streets in downtown Duncan, including Station Street, will soon have new native names added to their signage. (Submitted graphic)
New street signs in Duncan in English and Hul’q’umi’num

Seven streets to get additional native names on signs

Possible COVID-19 exposures may have occurred at Alexander Elementary School on Jan. 13, 14 and 15. (Google Maps)
Alexander Elementary in Duncan announces possible COVID-19 exposures

Exposures may have occurred on Jan. 13, 14 and 15

North Cowichan to add three more off-leash dog areas in the new year. (File photo)
North Cowichan adds three new off-leash areas

Trial program runs through 2021, but not the summer months

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk in Nanaimo

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)
Two Nanaimo care-home residents have died during COVID-19 outbreak

Death reported Monday was the second related to Chartwell Malaspina outbreak, says Island Health

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Vancouver Island residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

Members of the BC RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) is on route to Drummond Park opposite of Fulford Habour on Saltspring Island after the discovery of a suspicious cylindrical-shaped device. (Google/Screencap)
Bomb disposal unit en route to Salt Spring Island after suspicious device found in park

Police say a resident discovered the device Wednesday morning in Drummond Park opposite BC Ferries terminal

Most Read