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New West lacrosse tourney honours hall of famer

What's happening Around Town? New West Minor Lacrosse honours legacy of Dorothy Robertson
Dorothy Robertson1
Dorothy Robertson’s daughter Janice Wharton took part in a ceremonial faceoff with Miranda Malcom of Surrey and Ryan Swan of Coquitlam (who is Robertson’s great granddaughter) at the Dorothy Robertson Memorial lacrosse tournament in New West.

The New Westminster Minor Lacrosse Association was thrilled to have special guest on hand at the 2022 Dorothy Robertson Memorial Tournament.

More than 400 girls took part in the tournament for novice- to bantam-aged players at Moody Park and Queen’s Park arenas on the Mother’s Day weekend. Dorothy Robertson’s daughter Janice Wharton stopped by to take part in a ceremonial faceoff with Miranda Malcolm of New West (who is playing on a combined New West/Surrey team due to enrolment numbers) and Ryan Swan of Coquitlam (who is Robertson’s great granddaughter).

Born and raised in New West, Robertson started volunteering her time to lacrosse – at a time when organized lacrosse didn’t exist for women. Robertson was inducted to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in the Builder category in 1991 – becoming the first Canadian woman to enter the hall of fame.

“This ceremonial faceoff was significant because Dorothy's granddaughter is actively playing a sport she herself loved and  volunteered for in excess of 50 years … not only for the team she loved but also in the arena she spent so many hours in,” said Jennifer Domville, who helped with the event.

During her lifetime, the loyal Salmonbellies’ fan volunteered in a number of different ways to support the sport she loved. That included serving as secretary with the British Columbia Lacrosse Association from 1968 until 1995 and volunteering as secretary for the Western Lacrosse Association and the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame.

“When she passed away in 1995, a memorial plaque was installed in the southwest corner of New Westminster’s Queen’s Park Arena. This plaque is located on the wall below ‘Dorothy’s seat’ as it was her favourite spot,” said a write-up from the association. “The seat is tucked away in the corner near the entrance to the visitor’s side of the arena and not at centre floor because it is an excellent vantage point to see everything that is happening at the game – a fact that shows how knowledgeable Dorothy was about lacrosse.”

First held in June 2003, the girls’ tournament was soon named the Dorothy Robertson Memorial Tournament – a tournament that aims to provide an opportunity to celebrate and encourage girls to play and enjoy the game of lacrosse.  

The tournament is one of a number of tributes to Robertson. The Western Lacrosse Association’s Coach of the Year recipient receives the Dorothy Robertson Memorial Trophy, the National Women’s Championship was rededicated in her name out of respect for her contribution to the revival of women’s lacrosse in British Columbia and her children founded the Dorothy Roberson Lacrosse Bursary in 1996 and award it to a female player, coach, or official in the local community who exemplifies Dorothy's core values about the game of lacrosse: hard work, fair play, respect, and giving back to the lacrosse community. 

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus