Rugby Canada Past President Passes
George Montgomery (“Monty”) Heald
June 11, 1937 – July 10, 2015
It is with much sadness that I advise you that one of our patrons, Monty Heald, passed away at home, July 10, 2015, surrounded by his loving family.
A native of Derby, England, Monty was transferred to Canada in 1968 by his long-time employer Aiton & Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of high pressure pipes, to manage its Canadian office. Monty with Una, his wife, and children settled in Burlington.
His first exposure to rugby was at the Royal Masonic School in Hertfordshire. After leaving school, Monty joined Derby Rugby Club and played for them for 15 years and was club captain in 1965/1967. During that time, he played 107 consecutive first-grade games that was probably a
Upon arrival in Canada, he continued to play rugby at the local club Hamilton Hornets, being club captain in 1971. As a project he, together with the late David Swift and other Hamilton stalwarts, founded the Burlington Centaurs Rugby Club with Monty being the first captain and David the first president. Monty also went on to serve as the second president of the club for four years.
For many years, Monty managed the highly successful Niagara Rugby Union men’s representative teams serving on its board as director. During that period, he also served as an Ontario Rugby Union senior men’s team selector.
In 1981, he was appointed a National selector and chaired the selection committee from 1983-1994. He was later appointed manager of the national VIIs team that played in the Hong Kong VIIs. In 1984, he was appointed manager of the national senior men’s team and remained in that position for the Can Am series in 1984, 1986 and 1990. In 1985, Monty was also manager of the first-ever tour to Australia, featuring first-time test matches for Canada against Australia in Brisbane and Sydney.
Monty was also an accomplished administrator and was elected a director of the Canadian Rugby Union (now Rugby Canada) in 1986 and elected as President in 1991. He served in that role until 1999. For several years, Monty represented Rugby Canada at IRB meetings and was the Canadian representative to Para and when formed in 1995 and also served as president for two years.
Monty was elected to the Rugby Ontario hall of fame in 2004. In 2013 for his dedicated and untiring service to Rugby Canada, Monty was inducted as an Honorary Life Member.
Always a staunch supporter of Fletcher’s Fields, Monty was one of the first to sign up as a patron in 1993 and, with former IRB representative Alan Sharp, was instrumental in bringing many of the early international test matches to Fletcher’s, including the Canada v Wales fixture in 1994 to open the new stand.
Monty is survived by his loving wife Una and their three children.