City strikes gold with community champion

By CURTIS J. PHILLIPS, Connect Weekly

Compton Vigilance (far right, back row) has more than 30 years dedicated to local sport as coach and official. He is currently assistant coach with Keyano Huskies women’s basketball team. PHOTO: Sean Mclennan, Keyano College.

Compton Vigilance (far right, back row) has more than 30 years dedicated to local sport as coach and official. He is currently assistant coach with Keyano Huskies women’s basketball team. PHOTO: Sean Mclennan, Keyano College.

Gold and sugar are two of the main exports of Guyana.

In 1969 a young man in his 20s, by the name of Compton Vigilance, left this South American country, then known as British Guyana, to move to Canada.

Ten years later, he relocated to Fort McMurray, Alberta and ever since then, there have been countless golden moments as this sweet man has unlocked the age of enthusiasm in countless children through his dedication to coaching, officiating and volunteering within our community.

At age 69, there is no slowing down this diminutive dynamo of a man; even after being diagnosed and cured of prostate cancer a few years back could not slow him down.

“During (cancer treatment) I had a lot of support from many, many people. They rallied around me and also through my faith, mainly through my faith. I was able to bounce back,” said Vigilance, who along with his wife of 45 years Carrolle, are members of the All Saints Anglican Church, active in the soup kitchen and visiting sick people at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre.

“The surgeon was totally surprised that within two or three months I was completely healed and doing the things I love again… he could not phantom it,” said Vigilance.

“The surgeon was totally surprised that within two or three months I was completely healed and doing the things I love again… he could not phantom it,” said Vigilance, who while growing up in Guyana was a high calibre basketball and soccer player and despite his 5-foot-6 stature, a champion long jumper, high jumper and triple jumper. “I had a strong heart physically and spiritually.”

Vigilance who continues to officiate basketball and soccer at high school and senior adult levels, while also assistant coaching Keyano College Huskies women’s basketball team in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference, stayed competitive in sports until his 50s.

Of his faith, Vigilance, who has two grown sons with Dwayne and Colin, says: “We are not on this earth by ourselves. We are on this earth for each other and to help out no matter whom you are…rich, poor, black, white. We have to depend on each other to make sure we are not alone in this world.”

What enjoyment does he get from volunteering?

“The main thing I get out of volunteering is seeing the young kids or old kids, by that I mean senior kids in high school, improving. When you have a kid coming onto your soccer team that cannot kick the ball with their left foot at the start of the season and then you go to provincials at the end of the season and he scores the winning goal with a left foot kick to the corner… that gives you the joy to say you have accomplished something with that kid.”

With three decades of coaching at Fort McMurray Composite High School. Vigilance, who worked at Syncrude Canada, has a Miner Pride award named in his honour for volunteerism. He has guided youth to major Winter and Summers Games events. He is like a father to many,

Vigilance says he is slowly cutting back on his volunteering and that is why he will only be volunteering every day at these 2015 Western Canada Summer Games, where you have seen him at the opening ceremonies, as well as, at the basketball courts and soccer pitch as a marshall, ticket taker, usher, scorekeeper and the list goes on. He will be at the closing ceremonies on August 16, 2015.

Somethings never change.

Catch you on the rebound.

– Connect Weekly –