Grey Cup comes to Richmond
A piano held the tune while residents and staff at Fraserview Intermediate Care Lodge raised their voices to "Fight Song."
It was Wednesday—orange-and-black day at the Williams Road complex care facility—and this was practice.
Much of the 102 residents were in the dining hall waiting for the arrival of B.C. Lions receiver Arland Bruce, also known as Runako Reth. Some joined in for a few rounds of "Roar you Lions roar" before another favourite was played: "Can You Feel the Love Tonight."
"That's a good song because it's from The Lion King," said a staff member. "That's what we're celebrating today."
Then they saw it—the flash of the well-worn Grey Cup, proudly held by two-time winner Bruce.
Cue "Fight Song."
Bruce, 34, graciously navigated wheelchairs and orange pompoms to proudly show off the Canadian Football League's crown, won by the Lions two months ago.
"This is great. Ya'll make me feel good just taking time out your day to be around me and the Grey Cup," he said into a microphone.
Fraserview was one of two Richmond stops for Bruce on Wednesday. Rosewood Manor and visits to other cities were also part of his itineracy.
Staff helped residents toward a giant Lions poster—a suitable backdrop for photos with the Kansas City native and the Cup.
Lions flag in hand, Annie Hutchins was one resident who didn't miss the photo-op. At 103 years old, Hutchins is the same age as Grey Cup history.
According to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the University of Toronto won the prize in 1909, but didn't receive the Cup—named after former governor general of Canada Earl Grey—until early in the new year.
Someone asked Bruce why he was here, visiting a small care home. This, he explained, was who he was, never missing a chance to visit with his grandma and aunties.
"I know all these elders in here have wisdom, and they just have a calm, balanced energy about them... I could stay here all day because it's real, it's nothing fabricated, I don't have to act like somebody else. That's why I'm thankful for them today."