Vees owner talks on Wray

The minority owner of the Penticton Vees has spoken out about the loss of longtime Vernon Vipers owner Duncan Wray, who passed away in his sleep on Thursday — his 68th birthday. 

Neil Jamieson, who also is the president of Underwriters Insurance, said he met Wray in 1994 when he first became involved in the Vees' ownership group. 

"Duncan was a solid owner, and he was a guy dedicated to the Vipers and to junior A hockey in Vernon. He put a ton of his own money into making that organization tick. And Vernon was very fortunate to have Duncan as a long-term owner," Jamieson said.

"It's a sad day for junior hockey to lose a fellow member of the BCHL."

Few other teams, if any, among the junior A ranks in Canada have pushed the pace like the Vees and Vipers. 

In recent times, the Vees have won six straight division titles, and have faced the Vipers in the third round of the BCHL playoffs in three of the past four years, winning on two occasions. 

This season, Vernon sits atop the BCHL standings, narrowly ahead of the second-place Vees.

"Duncan was a very competitive person. He made sure that Vernon was always a very successful team... I know that he poured his heart and soul into it," Jamieson said.

Tributes poured in online on Thursday when Wray's passing had been learned of. 

West Kelowna Warriors owner Mark Cheyne also spoke to Castanet on Wray's death, noting "we had the same type of attitude and mentality towards the game... that's why we became pretty good friends away from the game."

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