Jack Rochon is clearly an inspirational person, deserving of his induction into the North Cowichan-Duncan Sports Wall of Fame.
For many years, the Chemainus hockey coach devoted himself to leading teams from Fuller Lake and, later, the Cowichan Valley out of the wilderness and into the forefront of battles against powerhouses from all over the Island, the Lower Mainland and beyond.
He’s always been a driven individual and instilled a work ethic in his players that was second to none. The players fortunate enough to have been on his teams thrived, with some making it all the way to the professional ranks and others into college or junior hockey.
The basis that Rochon provided is the reason his honour is so fitting. He not only had a magic formula for creating great hockey players, but outstanding young men who would also go on to thrive in other areas of life.
But life always has a way of throwing us a curve ball and Rochon’s came six years ago when he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. His wife Lana had her own health issues and passed away three years ago less a day to the time of Rochon’s well-deserved recognition from the community.
It’s obviously been an difficult thing for any man to endure and the emotions stirred up in Rochon could readily be seen during Saturday’s ceremony.
Despite the many ups-and-downs of the past few years, Rochon has maintained his demeanour and taken it upon himself to make his health situation another challenge.
“Just like my hockey team, we’re going to fight this son of a bitch,” he declared.
We should all take a page from Rochon’s playbook on how to garner strength in the face of adversity that has always been his trademark.