Peters’ Family Memorial Ball tournament making first appearance at Hope’s Brigade Days

20 teams competing against one another as the tournament holds 29th year at Brigade Days

The Peters’ Family Memorial Ball tournament will be making its first appearance at Hope’s Brigade Days on Friday (Sept. 9) and ending on Sunday (Sept. 11). (Barry Stewart/Hope Standard)

The Peters’ Family Memorial Ball tournament will be making its first appearance at Hope’s Brigade Days on Friday (Sept. 9) and ending on Sunday (Sept. 11). (Barry Stewart/Hope Standard)

After 29 years of honouring loved ones with baseball, the Peters’ Family Memorial Ball tournament will be making its first appearance at Hope’s Brigade Days.

The annual baseball tournament will be hosting its 29th year at Brigade Days starting on Friday (Sept. 9) and ending on Sunday (Sept. 11). Baseball fans young and old are invited to witness the decades-old sports event and cheer for their favourite team.

“People miss watching baseball here,” says Monica Florence, a member of Chawathil First Nation and the tournament organizer. “And this is one of the very few [baseball tournaments] that are held in Hope. We have people who will just come out because they want to watch the sport. It’ll be good, competitive games.”

According to Florence, the decision to host the tournament at Brigades Days came while trying to organize dates and locations. This year, the tournament has 20 amateur baseball teams, with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous players, competing against each other— the largest number of teams the tournament has seen to date. Florence, remembering that the event had hosted the Caesar Soares Memorial tournament a few years prior, approached Lori Isbister, the president of Brigade Days, about having them there.

“They haven’t had the Caesar Soares Memorial for a couple years. Just because they didn’t have anybody to run it,” says Florence. “We decided to try it this year and join up with them and keep [the baseball tournament] going… and Brigade Days gives players something to do when they’re not playing ball either. So its a win-win for everybody.”

The tournament was created 29 years ago in honour of Derwin Peters, Florence’s cousin who passed away four years prior, at the age of 18. According to Florence, in Chawathil tradition a mourning period of four years must pass before a memorial of any kind can be held for those who’ve died. Like most people in her family, Peters loved baseball and his family felt a tournament would be a great way to celebrate his memory.

As the years went on, the name was later changed to include other family members that had passed and, soon, they began to invite teams from all over to compete with them.

According to Florence, baseball is a family passion and something that many of them grew up playing and enjoying, especially when Hope still had its own league. She says she’s happy to provide baseball fans in Hope a way to enjoy the sport.

“People should come out because baseball brings people together, and it’s healthy,” says Florence. “And after COVID-19, you want to just be okay with being outside.”

The tournament starts this Friday (Sept. 9) at 5 p.m. at 6th Ave Ball Park. Admission is free and the tournament will open with traditional drumming and singing, in memory of those who have passed.

READ MORE: Hope’s Brigade Days promises new events and as it prepares for guests this weekend


@KemoneMoodley
kemone.moodley@hopestandard.com

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