John Hancock wouldn’t have traded his friendship with Ted Colbourne for all the money in the world, so it’s understandable that he’s reeling over the loss of the Corner Brook native.
Ted Colbourne, an accomplished bowler, a solid baseball player and Hancock’s fishing buddy, died Monday after a lengthy battle with cancer. Mr. Colbourne was 71.
“For a buddy, I couldn’t get any better,” Hancock said Wednesday. “We had many a time in the woods and I was hoping he was going to hang on a little while. Last year he was really bad too, he couldn’t even get down to the pond. He was bad when he couldn’t get down to the pond.”
In the spring of the year, for the past 40 years, Hancock would anticipate a call from his buddy to talk fishing and no doubt the call came in. They would spent a lot of years trying their luck in ponds throughout western Newfoundland, but Grindstone Pond near Hancock’s cabin in Bonne Bay was one of their favourite jaunts.
He wishes his buddy would have had a better fate, but he’s hoping he’s right in believing his friend is in a better place free from suffering and pain.
“Poor bugger suffered so many years ... in my mind he’s better off because he suffered so much,” he said.
He wants to remember Mr. Colbourne as a guy who loved to have fun and knew how to be a loyal friend.
Fishing just won’t be the same for Hancock with a big void in his life. But, he knows Mr. Colbourne is at peace so he will take solace in that during a tough time for so many who knew him.
The loss of Mr. Colbourne is certainly being felt in the sporting community, particularly with city bowlers and baseball players mourning the loss of a man known for a great sense of humour.
Rob Myrden played a number of seasons with Mr. Colbourne with the Aces in local senior baseball circles. Myrden said his former teammate had solid hands as an infielder on the diamond and could handle a bat, but it was his competitive nature and flair for fun that really impressed him.
“As a teammate he would grumble a little like the rest of the Colbournes when he got out, but he was always cheering for you and he would keep things loose and he was real good at it,” Myrden said. “In the room after he was very funny win, lose or draw. He was funny during the game and, I mean, that’s what you almost remember the most.”
Funeral service for Mr. Colbourne will take place today 11 a.m. at the Evangelist Anglican Cathedral on Main Street in Corner Brook.