Les Sinnott

Legion, soccer lose major supporter

Les Sinnott, a man well-known for his commitment to the community, is being fondly remembered.

A MAN well-known for his commitment to the community, the local legion and the game of soccer is being fondly remembered after his sudden death.

Les Sinnott, 59, died after his vehicle went off Hwy 16 near the east entrance to the city in the afternoon of Aug. 4. Sinnott was said to be “in medical distress”  when emergency services arrived and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

An avid and prominent legion member, he was a very big asset to the branch, said legion member Charlie Meek.

“He was just a terrific person to be around,” said Meek.

Sinnott was a “gentleman, a kind person, definitely a loving husband, father, grandfather.”

“He appreciated life and valued life,” said Meek.

“He enjoyed what he was doing and enjoyed being part of the community of Terrace.”

“We lost a good friend and lost a good colleague. He’ll be really, really, sadly missed, not just by his family and friends but [also] by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch,” said Meek.

At the legion, Sinnott was an associate member and helped out wherever he could.

He was president in 2008 for two years, moving to past president and was treasurer for this year; his wife Debbie is the current legion president.

He was born in Liverpool, England in 1952 and moved with his family to West Vancouver in 1965.

He met his wife Debbie in 1977 and they were married in 1981.

He joined BC Tel, the former name of Telus, in 1978.

He and his family moved to Terrace in 2000 where he continued to work for Telus and retired in 2009.

Dallis Winsor, a legion director, said on every Remembrance Day Sinnott was the “stolid and articulate voice of the legion at associated ceremonies.”

He and his wife were quick to help with legion projects.

“I remember telling Deb then that I thought she and Les were the glue that held the Legion in Terrace together,” said Winsor.

Terrace Youth Soccer Association president Bill Warcup said Sinnott always helped out with any issues or problems with his vast knowledge of the game.

He said Sinnott will be “sadly missed in  the community. He was always involved with everything, always involved in any kind of sport and anything that needed doing, he did it.”

Sinnott was the district soccer rep and chair of the 2004 Boys B Provincial Cup for, played at Christy Park in Terrace.

Sinnott wanted to put in a bid to bring the girls provincial soccer championship here for 2008, which was postponed. Soccer coaches here are carrying on those efforts.

The BC Soccer Association posted a page in memory of Sinnott, who was first vice-president of B.C. soccer, calling him a “true friend and tireless supporter of our sport.”

Sinnott was a BC Soccer Board leader since 2003, including being youth vice-president, chair of the governance committee from 2006, and first vice-president as of 2009.

He was a regular B.C. board rep at provincial championships throughout the province, and was also the tireless “face of BC Soccer” throughout northern B.C.

As a member of the Canadian Soccer Association Governance Committee since 2008, he contributed to soccer nationally as the soccer association developed its governance initiatives, which redefined how soccer is being led for the next decade in the nation.

The BC Soccer  Association sent some of its representatives to Sinnott’s funeral service here earlier this week at Knox United Church and plans to hold a reception later this month to honour him.

At his service, local legion member Peter Crompton did the legion tribute to Sinnott.

The legion tribute can be quite moving, said Meek, adding that part of the tribute is laying a red maple leaf on the casket.