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Raymond Moore re-ignited rugby in P.E.I.

Raymond Moore, left, is pictured counselling a player on the sideline of a rugby pitch. Moore is going into the P.E.I. Rugby Union Hall of Fame for his work as an organizer, coach and administrator.
Raymond Moore, left, is pictured counselling a player on the sideline of a rugby pitch. Moore is going into the P.E.I. Rugby Union Hall of Fame for his work as an organizer, coach and administrator. - Submitted

Organizer, coach and administrator being inducted into Hall of Fame

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The P.E.I. Rugby Union (PEIRU) wants to create a lasting legacy to Island rugby and to that end it’s inducting six members into its new Hall of Fame.

The ceremony is part of the PEIRU’s annual awards, which go today, 5-9 p.m., at the Charlottetown Fire Hall.

The inaugural class includes Shannon Atkins, Darryl Boudreau, Natalie Bulger, Mike Lloyd, Raymond Moore and George Woodhead (posthumously).

This is the last of six profiles on the inductees.

Raymond Moore

Moore landed on the shores of P.E.I. in October 1976 and was immediately dismayed by the lack of rugby in his chosen province.

So, with his passion for the game and his get-things-done attitude, he promptly set out to rectify this wrong.

Not only did he re-ignite the game after 20 years of dormancy, but he modelled for future generations what truly giving back to the game looks like.

Along with a small handful of local devotees, he took on the task at hand. In 1977 a notice appeared in The Guardian inviting anyone interested in rugby to come out to Simmons Field. From that group, Ray added three additional volunteers and they went on to establish and coach the first club of the modern era on P.E.I., the Abegweit Rugby Club.

For support Ray forged connections with Rugby Canada (then the Canadian Rugby Union) and Rugby Ontario.

He realized the future lay with the youth of the province and he was instrumental in getting the game into high schools, starting with Charlottetown Rural and led by Mike Lloyd.

As a coach and manager Ray guided the first P.E.I. team to compete in the Canada Games in 1981, and continued to coach at the provincial level throughout the early 1980s and with the Abbies senior team during the next 14 years.

As an administrator, he was a board member for six years starting in 1978 of the national governing body at the time, the Canadian Rugby Union.

He founded the Island club league, which featured teams from Kensington, Montague and Souris among others. The circuit operated through the 1990s and awarded the Moore Cup to its champion.

As a ref, he founded the Island Referee Association and officiated in many games across the province until he hung up his whistle in 1995 after 18 years.

While he may have stepped way from active participation in the game on the Island, Moore can still be found most game days at one of the many pitches on the Island, cheering on the current crop of players.

Little do they know how much they owe to the old rugger coaching them from the sidelines.

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