jueves, 9 de septiembre de 2010

Diana Krall, B.C. sportscasters among hundreds who honoured legendary ref in Nanaimo

By Walter Cordery, Daily News - August 23, 2010

Diana Krall embraces Trudy Gilmour following the celebration of Lloyd Gilmour's life Aug. 20 at the Nanaimo Golf and Country Club. Krall performed her first professional show at the Gilmours' Nanaimo Harbour Lights Restaurant.

Nanaimo, B.C. The celebration wasn't scheduled to start until 2:30 p.m. Friday, but the parking lot at the Nanaimo Golf Club was full to overflowing an hour earlier as friends, colleagues and admirers came out to celebrate the life of Lloyd Gilmour.

Gilmour died peacefully on Aug. 11 due to complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 82.

The former owner of Nanaimo's Harbour Lights Restaurant spent 19 years as an NHL referee and he earned the respect of players and peers, those in attendance at the golf club learned Friday.

Unable to attend, former Vancouver Canucks play-by-play man Jim Robson said via video "I think the people who admired Lloyd most ere the hockey players in those games he refereed."

Nanaimo's Wayne Bianchin will never forget the first NHL game he played in during the 1973 season. Gilmour was the ref and Bianchin, then 19, wanted to shoot the puck around the boards to clear his Pittsburgh Penguins defensive zone.

"I fired it and I didn't see Lloyd skating towards the boards. The puck hit his ankle and he had to be taken off the ice."

Gilmour tore a strip off Bianchin.

"He told me: 'hey kid, don't you know I'm from the Island,'" said Bianchin. "I mean it's my first game and he knows where I'm from."

Among the many dignitaries at the celebration was a jazz superstar who played her first professional show at Gilmour and wife Trudy's restaurant.

Diana Krall told the Daily News on Thursday that among the most nerve-racking performance she'd ever had was her audition for the Gilmours.

"My mom drove me down to the restaurant when I was 15 and I was terrified, but Lloyd and Trudy were great -- they were very parental towards me."

Krall said she learned many lessons at Nanaimo Harbour Lights. For instance, one evening a yachtsman came into the NHL and asked her to play a song.

"He asked for 'Somewhere My Love' and puts down an American $100 bill on the upright piano I was playing. I said 'sir, that's a $100 bill' and he said 'it is, isn't it?' and then replaced it with a $5 bill. I learned then never to question what people are willing to pay."

Krall said she will maintain a warm place in her heart for Lloyd and Trudy.

"I'm very sad he's gone."

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