Garry Garland aka- Garebear, aka- The Bear
I had ordered this amazing medallion in the picture to be made by the amazing Lisa Muswagon from PCN/Cross Lake, but now residing in Winnipeg just before I was to travel home for Christmas 2016 and surprise my family. We got lucky and were able to meet up as I was in line struggling to make it to my second flight on the day. Her husband HellnBack was nice enough to rush it in to me, through the madness and crowds. Thanks again you guys!
When I had originally decided to ask to have the medallion made, I had a few people in mind to give it to, but in the end it was The Bear that stuck out.
There was a time that no one would dare call Garry Garland “Garebear”; that was pretty much my whole childhood. If you have never met the man, he is my best friend since, well births dad, and whether you know him or not he can/could sometimes be an imposing figure (beard or mustache or both, he is intimidating sometimes). A lot of my childhood years were spent having Garry coach me in minor hockey or eating supper at the Garland residence (well, trying to eat while his son tried to make me laugh). Later into adolescence, our time was spent stealing a few Labbatts Blues, or whiskey and replacing it with water. We have gotten yelled at a lot from Garry for being dumbasses, and even into our thirties, for the stupid shit we sometimes continue to do.
Nowadays though, it is much easier to hang out with The Bear, or to even call him Garebear. He is getting a bit older and a bit softer now that we are “grown up” and need less straightening out.
The Garlands have a long history with my family, as well as a mutual respect. The two families grew up on the same street together in Powassan, Ontario. Garry and his twin brother Barry used to get into a whole bunch of shit with my younger uncles, especially my uncle Peter, and it usually involved them throwing each other through stuff; stories have been told of throwing each other through walls. Maybe the crap we have done isn’t so bad then eh Gar?
I have heard Garry tell many stories about my late grandfather CJ Driscoll, and the amount of respect he had for him as a person; its awesome, I wish I had gotten to spend more time with Grandpa CJ before his passing when I was 7.
I chose to give Garry the medallion and officially name it “The Bear of the Game” award for our family hockey tournament team in Powassan that gets together once a year and tries to play good hockey and party a bit; and maybe get away from some wives and kids for a weekend??? It goes to the player who is an absolute beast during any one game; only The Original Bear (Garry) gets to pick the next Bear of the Game. Its a respect thing.
Garry has been linked with Powassan Minor Hockey since I can remember. He has been coaching for decades and just recently decided to shut it down. I was able to play on Garrys teams as well as coach with Garry and it was an awesome experience. Two things I learned:
- When you are young and one of the better players on the team, if you get cut open on the chin and need stitches, he will keep you in he game, toss some iodine on it and tell you to get back out there ( I have the scars to prove it, though he may not remember)
2. As a coach, if you are down by a couple goals late in the third, just add an extra player to the ice without pulling the goalie and see if you can net a goal before the refs catch you with too many men on the ice ( I have yet to see it work as of yet but it is funny to watch)
I picked Garry for the medallion and as my hero this week because he has always had my back since I was little. I’ve been best friends with his son since birth, Garry is a guy on or off the ice who demands better of you player or person. Hes not afraid to speak or raise his voice, and I respect that. He was a tough coach, and I actually always liked that in a leader; get in my face teach me to be better. Garry is old school. The iodine on the face was awesome, scars are awesome, like I wanted to leave those hockey games!
Now he’s a guy we can sit back with, have a couple Blues without stealing them from him and talk about whatever. I’ve always been made to feel like an extension of the Garland family, not just but Garry but by my second momma Jolyne, his wife as well. His son still tries to make me laugh at the dinner table, as if we were 10 years old again, and always gets yelled at for it. its like tradition now.
I am pretty lucky that over the years I have had so many great male role models to look up to, with Garry being one of them. It is pretty easy to see where I live now that there simply are not as many male role models around for the younger generation to look up to and learn respect from. Plus, Garry can grow the shit outta a beard or mustache which is awesome!
To The Bear: thanks for the years of being a great teacher, leader, role model, father figure, and all around general badass. See you in January to take back our title!
#GSC #FHT2018 #GSCTakeBackWhatsOurs
Garland Service Centres Win Song Below.