Neil Jamieson

The late Neil Jamieson will be honoured by the Penticton Vees at Friday night's home game.

Neil Jamieson will become the 16th individual (and only one of three non-players) to have his name in the rafters of the South Okanagan Events Centre.

Jamieson is being inducted into the Ring of Honour at Friday night’s BCHL game between the Penticton Vees and Vernon Vipers.

“When I was first hired by the Vees and still living in St. Cloud, Neil phoned me right away,” Vees’ head coach, general manager and president Fred Harbinson recalls.

“I couldn’t understand why an insurance guy was calling me. Within a real short period of time, I understood how genuine Neil was. He wanted to make sure the new coach was comfortable and enjoyed being here.”

Jamieson, owner-operator of Underwriters Insurance and a governor with the Vees, died last year after a battle with cancer. Due to the pandemic, a public celebration of life was never held. Harbinson is hoping that all of Jamieson’s friends and those who benefitted from his generosity will attend. 

A special ceremony will be held prior to the opening faceoff with Jamieson’s son and wife dropping the puck. Several of Jamieson’s family members are travelling from out of town for the occasion.

“Neil Jamieson was such a big part of our organization and also a big part of our community. He was a huge supporter of sports, but he also had a spot in his heart for things such as the breakfast program. I miss him every day,” Harbinson said.

Additionally, Jamieson was active on several BCHL committees. He also refereed hockey in his early years.

Jamieson was the creator of “Wicked Wednesday” when the team raffled off cars with proceeds to the breakfast program.

Appropriately, a car raffle will be held at Friday night’s game.

The team will also wear its retro jerseys.

The Jamieson tribute is rescheduled from an earlier date due to the flooding in Merritt. Harbinson said it’s appropriate that the Vees are playing Vernon because Jamieson always enjoyed the rivalry between the two traditional powerhouses.

Penticton (19-2-0-1) is first overall in the BCHL. They have a 2-0 record against Vernon this year.

In their most recent outing, the Vees trailed 3-0 only to rally to win 4-3.

Tickets are available from the SOEC box office and online at valleyfirsttix.ca. Harbinson recommends arriving a few minutes early as vaccine passports will be checked at the doors.

ICE CHIPS... Forwards and captain Fin Williams, Josh Nadeau and Bradly Nadeau along with defencemen Ryan Hopkins and Josh Niedermayer have been named to the Interior Conference team for the Top Prospects Game, joining 35 other players to make up the total of 40 BCHLers who will come to Penticton for the event. The game will be played Friday, Jan. 14, at the SOEC.