A GoFundMe page has been set up for ‘61 World Champion Smoke Eater Harold Jones and his wife Goldie.
Harold was born and raised in Trail and had a long and successful career playing and coaching the game he loved.
He played several years of junior and professional hockey in the 1950s, before splitting time in the 60s between the Trail Smoke Eaters and Rossland Warriors, when he won a World Championship and an Allan Cup title.
But at 88 years old, he and Goldie have fallen on difficult times, both financially and in their physical well being.
Both were recently hospitalized, yet, have since been released. Harold suffers from Parkinson’s disease and Goldie has cirrhosis, is on oxygen, and largely confined to her bed.
“They can’t live on their own anymore,” said their daughter Judy. “They need too much assistance. He does have a walker but he needs help getting up and down and so they’ve moved in with me.”
Judy is currently off work and lives alone at her Greater Vancouver home, and while she enjoys her parents company, caring for them does take its toll.
“Right now, it is a lot of work, but I love my parents and I wouldn’t have them separated or put in a home where they couldn’t be together,” she said.
It is also hard on her parents. Harold has been a proud and independent man his whole life, so asking for support is all the more humbling.
“They are two of the most amazing people,” said Judy. “My dad is well known from there (Trail), and his pride gets hurt a little bit, but he is happy that people are willing to help.”
Judy reviews all the GoFundMe donations with Harold, and he is thrilled to hear from old friends and new in the comments left on the page.
The family also watched the recent Trophy Town documentary on the ‘61 Smoke Eaters that brought back many fond memories and a chance to revisit his hometown and the team’s incredible journey.
When the Times asked Harold what he would like to say to people in Greater Trail, he became very emotional.
“I’m having a tough time,” he said, his voice wavering. “I was born and raised in Trail and it will always be home for me. It will always be a place where my heart is.”
The Jones’ are on the waiting list for care homes but the list is very long for couples, and, as Judy said, separating them is not an option.
To lend support to the Jones family, visit gofundme.com to donate and share.