Moose always had his heart in making P.G. a better place

Glen (Moose) Scott wasn’t a born salesman but it would be hard to find someone in Prince George better able to sell sand to Saudi Arabia.

Whether it was selling a newspaper ad, radio jingle or a raffle ticket to raise money for lacrosse or some other charitable cause, he just had a way to make anybody feel guilty if they ever dared to refuse.

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He was a big man and he cast a large shadow but all that paled in comparison to the size of his heart. Generous, friendly and caring in everything he did, whether it was family, his workmates or his business contacts, the Moose had a personality as big as his nickname and for that he will forever be remembered. That heart of his took one last beat on Friday when he died of cancer at age 75.

For 52 of his years, Prince George was his home and in that time, whether it was sports, entertainment or politics, Moose found a way to get himself involved and become part of the talk of the town.

“He was a gregarious, fun-loving guy who tried to combine sport with work and his personal life and he did the best of it,” said Dave Jenkins, who faced Moose several times on the lacrosse floor as a goalie for the Molson Oldstylers.

Scott spent early years of his life in Vancouver. His mother died when he was an infant and his father raised him. He was 23 years old in 1969 when he accepted a transfer to the two-year-old Woodward’s store in Prince George to work in the food department. He then became a driver for Nechako Beverages and his liquor deliveries led to a job as a bartender/bouncer at The Barn, a country bar in the Coast Inn of the North, and that’s where he and Jenkins first crossed paths.

Scott, a former football lineman whose career at the University of Washington was cut short by a knee injury, was quite adept at dealing with unruly customers. That night, Jenkins watched Moose wrap his arms around the legs of customer who made a dumb decision to try to swing off a chandelier. They both fell on top of a bar table which broke under their weight, sending drink glasses crashing to floor as Scott wrestled the man out the door.

The Barn was in the basement of the Coast Inn of the North and it was a gathering place for local sports teams after their games and Scott would write down their scores and phone them in to his favourite radio station, CJCI AM 620, on the penthouse floor right above the bar. The station became known for its up-to-date sports reports and Scott was hired as the sports director, a broadcasting position he held for eight years. Moose traveled with the Oldstylers to Halifax in 1973 to watch them play in the President’s Cup Canadian senior B lacrosse championship, was there when they won it in New Westminster in 1974 and also covered the Canada Hotel team ‘s run for the 1975 Canadian final in Magog, Que.

“He was the radio guy and he had more fun than anybody on the whole trip,” said Jenkins. “Lacrosse was given more attention in those days. We probably got more attention than the top hockey club in town.”

Moose met his wife Patricia while working at the station, where she was a receptionist/traffic clerk. They got married in 1976 during Grey Cup weekend, a date Moose picked so he would never forget their wedding anniversary.

“He was just kind-hearted, he always thought of other people before he thought of himself,” said Patricia. “He had the gift of the gab and he loved to tell stories. If he had an audience you couldn’t get him to stop. He was never at a loss for words.

“Even when he was on city council, I don’t know how many phone calls we’d get at home and he’d never slough one aside or not answer it. He listened to what they had to say and he always was trying to help people out.”

Moose dabbled in softball and played second base with his bartender workmates on a team known as The Inn Crowd and he was a heavy hitter decked out in his bright orange jersey. He was better known as slo-pitch coach and was at the helm of some of the CJCI radio teams Patricia played for. He got involved in a charity event one summer and coached a men’s team that took on the jail guards in the exercise yard of the Prince George Correctional Centre. The guards showed no mercy and at the end of the game and handcuffed Scott to the backstop. 

Stock car racing was one of the most popular sports back in the ‘70s when Moose put his booming voice to work as the track announcer at the old Prince George Auto Racing Association track at the site now occupied by Real Canadian SuperStore. His oldest daughter Tammy had just been born and he and Patricia used to take her to the track in their Honda Civic and she’d sleep in the car until noise of the racing engines ended. Two more babies – Lisa and Christopher - arrived within a couple years of each other.

One of Moose’s favourite radio promotions were the ski charters he arranged to resorts all over the B.C. and Alberta and a couple times to Lake Tahoe. He convinced his bosses at the station to pay his way, knowing the sold-out trips were profitable for them. He also discovered that was a way to combine work with pleasure and include his family.

“He would take us out to the ski hills for his ski report and we were skiing all the time in the winter,” said Lisa Scott. “We were at Tabor for the aerials and moguls competitions, we got to ski with people from the Canadian ski team, your life was touched with all these organizations. Everything he did, we were part of it.”

When they got old enough, Tammy and Lisa were going to lacrosse games regularly to help their mom with timekeeping or scorekeeping, while Christopher was playing in goal and Moose was in the stands mingling with the fans. It just one of those things the Scott family did together and it made them a tight-knit group.

“He always included us in all these adventures and you try to follow in those footsteps you know you’ll never fill,” said Lisa, who heads the Quesnel Lacrosse Association. “I just hope when my time comes that I’ve affected lives like he did for all these people. He was my go-to for everything, he taught me so much.  He always knew the right thing to say and we all knew we were loved.”

As a top salesman for Pitney Bowes, selling office equipment, the free trips continued for Moose. He also sold RSPs and mutual funds for Investors Financial Group before he got into newspaper ad sales for Prince George This Week, the Prince George Buy and Sell and the Citizen.

“He was silky smooth underneath that hulking exterior of his, only good things could be said about Moose,” said Dave Jenkins. “Some people didn’t like the decisions he made for lacrosse but he was advancing it all the time. Whether it suited some person or club’s interest or not, Moose was a driving force for lacrosse, and he made sure it didn’t die.”

Former Oldstyler Tony Ciolfitto bought hundreds of raffle tickets over the years from Moose.

“He made you feel like someone when he called you,” said Ciolfitto. “He knew how to work you for sure, and it was always for a good cause. You’d say, I’ll do it this time but I’m not going to do it the next time, and before you knew it he had you sucked in again. He could sell. We’re going to miss the old guy.”

Moose once took Patricia to a guest ranch but he was no fan of horses and refused his chance to ride one. But that’s not say he never climbed into a saddle. Johanna Jenkins was there to witness it that day when the heavyweight radio announcer volunteered to take part in a horse show celebrity event.

“Moose actually rode my beautiful Arab gelding and at one point I said, ‘Moose, if you don’t get off he’s going to dump you,’” laughed Jenkins. “My horse was ready to get this guy off his back. He was no shrinking violet then but he did listen and he got off, but he wasn’t happy about it because he was out to win the race. We always had great laughs about that event. What were we thinking?”

Moose was never a rodeo rider but he teamed up with his wife Patricia, Ron and Brenda Edgar and Patti Gerhardi to form the Wild West Five Rodeo Group to attract the highest-calibre rodeo the city has ever seen when they organized the West of the Rockies pro rodeo at the Multiplex in the fall of 2006, 2007 and 2008.

It wasn’t his playing ability but his skills as a promoter that led to Moose becoming known as Mr. Lacrosse. Growing up in Vancouver, Moose had friends who played lacrosse for the Burrards but he didn’t play the game until he moved to Prince George and joined the North Central Lacrosse Association playing for Canada Hotel. Lacrosse back then was a much more violent game and Scott relished his role as the team enforcer in the 1970’s. In eight seasons he racked up nine goals 17 assists and 792 penalty minutes.

In 1991, Scott spearheaded the revival of senior lacrosse in the city as the founding commissioner of the Prince George Senior Lacrosse Association, a position he held until 2018. That all started in 1988 when the Prince George Masters organized the B.C. Masters Lacrosse Championship and they brought in teams from Vernon, Vancouver and Coquitlam to play the Prince George Labbatt’s Blues. Vernon made a pitch for the provincial senior B title a couple years later and played Prince George in a four-game series and that led to the formation of the four-team senior C PGSLA, which has been part of the city’s sports scene ever since. In 1999, organized the first Alcan Cup (now Treasure Cove Casino) Canadian Senior Invitational Lacrosse Tournament, which is played annually in various B.C. cities.  

Moose and Edgar were involved as directors with the B.C. Lacrosse Association from 1997-2004 and they would bat around ideas while on their trips to Whistler for the BCLA annual meetings with Brenda Edgar in the car with them taking notes. That’s where they came up with a plan to bring senior A lacrosse to Prince George. They arranged to have the Western Lacrosse Association play a league game in the building formerly known as the Prince George Multiplex and a crowd of 2,649 showed up to watch the New Westminster Salmonbellies beat the Maple Ridge Burrards 11-10. Scott and Edgar put a business plan together and got the financial backing to try to convince the WLA to approve a move of the Maple Ridge team to Prince George for the 2001 season, but in November 2000 their proposal was voted down by WLA governors in a 3-3 deadlock which needed a majority to decide.

That didn’t stop them from bringing pro lacrosse to the city and Scott and Edgar did that three times, in in 2001, 2003, 2004, when they the Vancouver Ravens came in for preseason games against National Lacrosse League opponents.

“He knew how to get things started and that’s why we worked so well together,” said Ron Edgar. “He had big ideas but it was the details he couldn’t figure out and that’s what I worked on. Glen was a wizard in getting people to open up their wallets.

“After (the WLA bid) fell through we wanted to prove to them that they made a mistake and Prince George could support a team and the fans for it. In the late 80’s, before senior lacrosse happened we had three years where the Western League teams came up here and played. Sohen Gill was really big in helping us get the contacts (for the NLL games) and it just went from there.”

Moose cared about the community so much, he decided to try his hand at swaying people in politics and served two consecutive terms on city council from 2002-2008. He started out as Edgar’s campaign manager in the 2002 municipal election but decided that fall to run for office himself and as one of four new councilors he ended up fifth in the polls with 5,403 votes.

“The voters have spoken very loud tonight,” said Scott, in a Citizen story. “I don’t think a lot of the (past council) delivered. I think they used a lot of three-dollar words. They put themselves on committees, they studied, they studied - they didn’t decide to move ahead. We need a clear vision of what we want to do and we’ve got to work towards it.”

Edgar had a nickname for him during that time – Counselor Flip-Flop.

“He’d have an opinion on something and he would stick with it until someone came up with a reasonable excuse or better reason for it not being the way to go and he would change,” said Edgar. “So he was flexible, which is something you don’t see much I politicians these days. He was willing to admit if there was a better way, he would change.”

Moose was part of city hall for Colin Kinsley’s third and fourth terms as mayor and both left politics at the same time. They knew each other from their stock car racing days and Kinsley said it didn’t matter what sport came up in the discussions with council, he would always pushing for better facilities or in favour of the city spending money to bring in sporting events. Scott was also behind the push to build the Prince George Mausoleum.

“He was a big promoter of the city of Prince George, he loved all his sports and promoted them and he was the kind of guy who never took no for an answer,” said Kinsley.

Later in his life, after he retired from his job at the Citizen in 2013, Moose got into promoting music event at the Treasure Cove Casino and that fed his craving for old-time rock’n’roll  and Elvis Presley, whenever Elvis impersonator Steve Elliott came to town.

“He amazed me, he’d never forget people’s names, he was a good-hearted person,” said Treasure Cove Casino owner John Major. “I can’t think when he wasn’t selling something. Moose could sell anybody anything and make him feel happy about it. He was always reasonable in his requests.

“He put on a lot of good shows and got good entertainment in at the casino. He was a good guy and a lot of fun. We’re going to miss him.”

Moose was inducted into the Prince George Sports Hall of Fame in the builder category in 2014.

His health has been failing him the past five years. Scott was hospitalized for 10 months with a life-threatening blood infection that stemmed from a fall on the ice on his back and spread to his vital organs. He was diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago with melanoma, a cancer that started on his leg and spread to his lungs. Even though he was sick and confined to a wheelchair he was still active right up until his death trying to make this a better city and was working with his son Chris on a project to renovate the Carney Street lacrosse box.

 

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