At the time, my father worked for Sun Life Insurance.
One day, my father told me he was being summoned to the company’s headquarters in Montreal. He invited me to join him. This was a great adventure for a young boy.
After a series of meetings my father had to attend, and during which a number of doting secretaries kept me entertained, my dad finally emerged. He said that there was someone I might like to meet.
After walking for some time within the cavernous confines of the iconic Sun Life building, we walked outside. I saw a silhouette of a tall, handsome man. When he turned to face us, my eyes glowed when I realized I was about to meet my hockey hero, the Captain of Les Habitants, Jean Béliveau!
Msr. Béliveau gave me a Canadiens jersey with his iconic number four (which in time I wore out) and a signed photo, which I have cherished to this day.
To my mind, Jean Béliveau personified all that is great about sport at its highest level; tremendous skill, leadership by example, with an indomitable will-to-win on the ice, along with grace, poise, humility and class off the ice.