AN Head Office (Nipissing First Nation) May 9, 2017 – Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee offers his condolences to friends and family in Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on the passing of Elder Paul Williams.
“Paul used to be on the recreation committee for the Huron Region. He organized all-Ontario events – baseball, hockey, golf. He also organized leadership training and workshops for the youth,” says Grand Chief Madahbee. “He was dedicated to youth over the years. Paul was on the Little NHL executive committee as the Little NHL Elder and instrumental in creating standards by making sure that managers and trainers were certified. He himself was a long-time hockey referee and baseball umpire. He developed accreditation for referees and umpires in the First Nations. Paul also organized provincial and regional championships. He will be greatly missed in the community.”
Wiikwemkoong’s Ogimaa Duke Peltier says that Paul was always willing to step forward to ensure that sport and recreation opportunities were available to all in our community.
“Earlier in my career, while living in Saskatchewan, I was coordinating the 1998 National Sport, Culture, and Recreation Conference and I had invited Paul to speak to the attendees about the importance of volunteering as officials. Recreational opportunities cannot happen without volunteers and officials. He was one of the distinguished guests brought in because of his experience as a referee. Paul was proud that he had advanced training at a NHL referee school.”
Wiikwemkoong will be missing Paul’s presence at Anishinaabe sporting events at the local, regional, and national levels. He was one of the strongest advocates of sport and recreation.
Visitation will be at the Rabbit Island Community Centre on Thursday, May 11 at 5pm and funeral is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, May 13 at 11am at the Holy Cross Mission in Wiikwemikoong.