The Prince Rupert hockey community has lost an integral pillar of knowledge and support with the passing away of Jules Robinson head trainer and equipment manager of the Rupert Rampage on Feb. 15.
Ron German, Rupert Rampage Manager said it is going to be difficult to find anyone with the same passion and dedication to the game.
“There is going to be a massive void,” German told The Northern View.
German first met Robinson in hockey circles more than 30 years ago he said, and throughout the years has known him in various roles.
In the 1970s and 80s Robinson was a trainer with the Halibut Kings senior men’s hockey team. When the league folded, he went on to teach the tiny tots program instructing children how to skate, including German’s kids and many of the players in today’s league.
The Rampage manager said when the senior men’s league started up again as the Rupert Rampage, Robinson was there not even needing an invitation to assist.
“Straightaway he was going to be that guy again. He was a trainer for us,” German said.
Robinson’s dedication was unmatched with him attending the arena on game days as early as 2:30 the afternoon to prep the changerooms and make sure the boys could just walk in and sit at their spot underneath their readily hanging jerseys.
“I don’t think he missed a game in town,” German said. “He always made the players all feel pretty special in the way that he would have the change rooms ready for them and have everything all the players needed. He had it all like they were in the big show.”
German said he will not forget that Robinson insisted on certain traditions and rituals prior to the games. Even when travelling on the road certain customs were not to be forgotten or precluded as Robinson would just not permit it. Like the double blast at the ‘half-hour tower’.
German said back in the days of the Halibut Kings, the road to Terrace would run under the hydroelectric tower. It is located about half an hour out of Prince Rupert. Back in the day when the Kings would drive underneath it, the horn on the bus would be blasted two times for good luck. When the Rampage started to take the same road, now bypassing the tower which is currently in the middle of the river, Robsinson insisted on the same two blasts of the bus horn.
German said even in the past couple of years when Robinson couldn’t make out-of-town trips, the custom was still respected and never overlooked.
“He truly was great to all the players that have been with us. A lot of players that would come from other places were just in awe of the way he would have things set up for us.”
Described by many as kind-hearted and selfless, memories and condolences on social media are flooding in for the long time local hockey trainer and supporter with tributes such as:
“We can only imagine the big smile on his face and the nonstop chatting with his old King’s buddies along with Reggie and Coach Pyde. Jules will remain in our hearts and we will continue to salute him on the road trip tradition he passed on from the Halibut Kings to the Rupert Rampage. A double honk at the half-hour tower.” – Rupert Ramage
“Rest in peace Jules, you were one class act my friend. I met you when I was around 11 at the kings game and you invited me to stand by the bench so I could watch the game like a player. We became buddies that day and have remained so all these many years. I am truly saddened by your passing, but you will always have a special place in my heart buddy. Till we meet again in the spirit world rest in peace my friend.” – Arny Nagy
“Prince Rupert hockey community lost a beauty today…. Jules Robinson… if you had the privilege to know this kind man you’re better off for it! He took care of the Kings in the earlier days and transitioned to the Rampage after that… he truly loved each of us and would give the shirt off his back in a second… so many great memories and I’m glad I got to be a part of his life.. R.I.P. Jules.” – Brett Stava
“Jules was always there!…he was the heart and soul of PR Kings back in the 70’s and 80’s and continued to this day with the Rampage. He coached tiny tots hockey…and was admired for the huge effort he put in. He was my friend..and brother….and I am truly honoured to have known him…he will be missed.” – Gary Coons