1909 – 1981
By Keith Carter
Dad was born in England and was brought, by his parents to British Columbia and settled on Salt Spring Island. He came to Edmonton and started a family. In 1959, his mother died and his father came to live with us which prompted a move to a bigger house in North Glenora. He has always supported anything I tried to do, from building go-carts in the garage with other kids on the street or dismantling my bike. He would supply the tools and a little encouragement and let me go. His jumping into lacrosse wholeheartedly should have come as no surprise although at first as I looked at those first sticks supplied by Mr. Tayler and with the thought of owning my own stick for $5.25 I did pause. Dad had registered me in hockey in the community from the age of seven, no problem, no hesitation, swimming lessons in a cold steel tank called The Swimmobile parked at the North Glenora hall, no problem we were there. BUT up until then I had hockey sticks from Woodwards $1.49 Day, a Victoriaville, used until it was fuzzy on the bottom and only then demoted to street hockey games so $5.25 for a stick in MY mind anyway could be a leap. So I readied my arguments for, I already have a helmet and mouth guard and most of the other equipment so it won’t cost much and so on and so on. The resistance never appeared and the arguments were never needed and so I embarked on what was to be my life, and lacrosse, so tightly intertwined I could never have comprehended it at the time, with my dad Ron Carter, to guide me.
We went to the Tayler’s house I picked up my stick and we were off. At the time I thought it was me playing and Dad supporting however he also jumped in with both feet. He was always an organizational kind of guy so committees and the like I expected, Edmonton Lacrosse Association, Alberta Lacrosse Association, meetings with JET and the Canadian Lacrosse Association, managing various teams as I grew up, this type of involment was expected but the depth of his involvement was surprising. What was more surprising was him telling me he was going to BC with the 69 Blues to learn to restring and repair sticks from an Indigenous stick builder.
After that we always had four or five sticks around in different states of disrepair because as all of you reading this know a lot of work goes into each stick by each player to get it just right so when a string breaks or the catgut breaks you want it fixed, you can’t just go out and grab another stick and continue. You want that one that you have held, and spun and worked for hours and hours and adjusted runners and shooting strings. For that you needed someone you could trust to give it back to you as you had it only without that broken runner or gut, and that someone was my Dad for a lot of players.
He not only managed teams and repaired sticks, he would drive players to out of town tournaments, chaperone trips, wash sweaters and fund raise. Looking back North Glenora was full of people like JET and Dad, ready to help their own and everyone else’s kid, do that, enjoy being kids and to grow up to be better people.