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Jack Diamond’s Legacy (1909-2001)
JACK DIAMOND was a leader in business, a devoted family man, an inspiring community citizen, and to the world of sports the father of modern-day horse racing in British Columbia. Always full of his trademark energy, Mr. Diamond had been an up-front fixture of these dinners. Space doesn’t permit us to tell the complete story of his great life, but here are some highlights.

A leading member of the city’s Jewish community, Jack was a philanthropist, and distinguished himself with several gifts to Simon Fraser University, and a donation of land to the BC Cancer Agency. He was a co-founder of Vancouver’s Variety Club and the BC Heart Foundation, a Chancellor of SFU, a Freeman of the City, and honorary Doctor of Laws, and a Companion of the Order of Canada.

This year’s honouree Wally Buono

Wally Buono enters his 11th season as BC Lions general manager and his second as VP, football operations. Wally retired as Lions head coach following the 2011 season, a record-setting run that saw him lead the Lions to nine playoff appearances; six appearances in the Western Final and a crossover visit to the Eastern Final as well as two Grey Cup Championships in 2006 and 2011. Wally stepped down as Lions head coach in December 2011 following the Lions’ Grey Cup win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. His stable and patient approach in 2011 not only resulted in the club’s sixth league title, it also earned him his fourth Coach of the Year honour.

In a coaching career that spanned 22 years in Calgary and BC, Buono led his teams to 13 regular season division titles and five Grey Cup championships. In 2009, Buono surpassed Don Matthews’ 232 victories to become the all-time leader in coaching wins and finished his amazing career with a regular season record of 254 wins, 154 losses and three ties. Wally is also the Lions’ leader in career wins as head coach with 101. His consistency and success were previously recognized with the CFL’s Coach of the Year Award in 2006, 1992 and 1993.

Prior to the 2012 season, Buono handed over the coaching reins to Mike Benevides who proceeded to lead the Lions to a 13-win campaign last year and a CFL Coach of the Year nomination.

Born in Potenza, Italy, in 1950, Wally moved to Canada in 1953 with his family, later playing minor football in Montreal. He attended Idaho State University and was a linebacker for the Bengals. Wally returned to Canada and played 10 seasons with the Montreal Alouettes as a linebacker and punter, appearing in 152 games. Shortly after his retirement, Wally tried his hand at coaching, landing an assistant position with the Montreal organization in 1983. Four years later, Wally found himself in Calgary where he worked under Larry Kuharich until 1990 when Stamps president Norman Kwong hired him as head coach.

In addition to his accomplishments as a coach and administrator, Wally is a noted contributor to the community and was recognized for his work with the Paul Harris Award in 2001. Wally continues to donate a significant amount of time as an ambassador of the Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation and as a spokesperson for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Among his charitable efforts, Wally is actively involved with Operation Christmas Child, giving presents of clothing and toys to children of impoverished nations. Following the passing of his good friend and former teammate Tony Proudfoot in 2010, Wally lends his support to the ALS Society of BC’s WALK for ALS.

Wally and his wife Sande have four children, Amy, Dayna, Christie and Michael and four grandchildren, Jonah, Lucas, Jack and Lucy.

Past Recipients of the Jack Diamond Sports Personality of the year Award

2013 Jake Kerr & Jeff Mooney Vancouver Canadians
2012 Daniel & Henrik Sedin Hockey superstars, Vancouver Canucks
 2011 Tom Larsheid Beloved sports broadcaster.
 2010 Moray Keith A community minded businessman who made impressive contributions to community sports, athletics and recreation across British Columbia.
 2009 Charmaine Crooks A five time Olympian & Olympic Silver Medalist. The first Canadian woman to run under two minutes over 800 meters.
 2008 Ron Toigo President of the Vancouver Giants, Director of the Delta Police Board Foundation and a fundraising member of the Vancouver Children’s Hospital
 2007 Steve Nash BC Native, Phoenix Suns Point Guard and 2 time NBA MVP
 2006 Ryan Dempster BC Native and Chicago Cubs Pitcher / Closer
 2005 Bob Ackles Former President and CEO, BC Lions
 2004 Jack Poole Former Chairman and CEO, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Bid Corporation
 2003 Stan Smyl Canucks Legend, Manitoba Moose Coach
 2002 Bob Lenarduzzi Vancouver Whitecaps, International Soccer Player & World Cup Olympic Coach
 2001 Glen Ringdal Past President of the BC Lions Football Club and VP of the Vancouver Canucks
 2000 Greg Moore CART Driver (Champion Auto Racing Team), Moslon Indy
 1999 Lui Passaglia Canadian Football Legend & Former Director of Community Relations for the BC Lions
 1998 Trevor Linden Vancouver Canucks Team Captain and NHL star
 1997 Arthur Griffiths Community Builder, Vancouver Grizzlies
 1996 Jim Robson “Voice of the Vancouver Canucks”
 1995 Pat Quinn NHL Head Coach and Defenceman