A man who was a fixture at Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows sporting events for decades has died.
Brian Brewer was a former sports reporter for the Haney Gazette, as well as a referee in his younger years, and later an organizer and scorekeeper passed at local sporting events. He passed away at his home on March 28.
He was 78.
A lifelong resident of Maple Ridge and sports enthusiast, he was well known for his column “What’s Brewing,” and was responsible for the paper’s sports pages. He worked at the paper for more than 20 years.
He was a volunteer supporting school sports for more than five decades, and Rich Goulet, former basketball coach at Pitt Meadows secondary, worked with Brewer for most of that – 39 years.
Brewer worked as a coach and manager, then got involved more behind the scenes.
When he arrived at Pitt Meadows secondary to coach basketball, Brewer was writing for the local paper. He also offered to referee high school basketball, so he was plugged in to the high school sports scene.
Goulet headed a group that hosted the Fraser Valley championships for senior boys’ basketball, and for 20 years Brewer ran the gate. He could always be found running a score clock, making sure the game concession was set to go, and training kids to help with such responsibilities.
It is a sad day in Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows as Mr. BRIAN BREWER has passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was a legend in the sporting world and will be missed by many. Our hearts are heavy as we have lost a man who has dedicated decades to our youth!
— Mike Keenan (@MikeKeenan44) March 29, 2019
“He always wanted to make sure people were doing their jobs,” said Goulet.
When health problems kept him away from the gym, Brewer was restless, Goulet added.
“He sorely missed high school, high school ball, and being part of it.”
While Goulet’s involvement was through basketball, he knew Brewer also did a lot of volunteering in baseball as a scorekeeper and in other roles.
Brewer loved baseball, and was a personal friend of Larry Walker Sr., spending Christmases with the family. In the local press, he covered the sporting exploits of Major League Baseball great Larry Walker Jr. when he was an amateur athlete in Maple Ridge.
In a 2009 interview with local media, Brewer said watching Walker’s success was one of the highlights of his involvement in local sports.
“He’s done a lot of volunteering for the schools and the community,” Goulet said of Brewer. “We’re going to miss him.
“There were a lot of people Brian touched.”
A celebration of life will be held at Maple Ridge Alliance Church, 20399 Dewdney Trunk Rd. on May 11 at 1 p.m.