REMEMBERING HIM WITH HEART
By: Mrs M. Muise, wife of the late WO J.R. (John) Muise (1957-2001)
I have been asked to tell you a little bit about my husband, WO John Muise, the sports fanatic. I first met John in Gagetown while we were both in high school. He was considered a very good student, for in his grade 12 year he had only to write one exam and this was because he missed the exemption mark by a point four margin. But schooling was not for John as I soon found out. John was into Sports and in a big way! That year he was big into soccer but also played some lacrosse. After graduation, John joined the Army and also its sports world. He was in his element so to speak. During the two years he was posted to Gagetown, he played baseball and soccer for the Army, which really would not have been all that bad, but he grew up in Oromocto and also played ball and soccer with his civilian friends. So now he was a member of not two, but four sport teams and on weekends, his buddies would come knocking on our door to see if John could come out and play.
In Lahr, John tried out for the Svc Bn intersection hockey team. He played wing and what a riot! That first season he used the boards to stop, and if the bench door wasn’t open by the time he was coming off the ice, he would just fall over the boards and into the bench. The second year, he volunteered for goalie. He thought it would be easy. It was during those early hockey years where I learned that he wasn’t a quitter and would not give up.
When we came back to Gagetown, he was now an accomplished goalie (or so he thought) and did very well with the Base Maint team. But now, John had a problem with one teammate. WO Bill Moore. You see John and Bill grew up in Oromocto together, and with John doing so well as goalie and having many a shut out, Bill would purposely stand in front of the goal net to block John’s view. I guess he didn’t want John to get a swelled head and with John being so small in the net, all John would see was deflections. Many nights we would laugh over those games. It was here in Gagetown that John became interested in broomball.
As he grew older, he realized that his body was not twenty anymore and injuries were taking longer to heal. Ball season injuries took until soccer season to heal, then broomball and hockey season injuries would take until ball season, one vicious circle. But if a team needed him, he would play. He tried to coach sometimes but…
John believed you could play to win, follow the rules, but if you weren’t winning you could still have fun and display sportsmanship, even if it meant his lob ball team losing a run because of him knowing and applying the rules. He always felt that even if you weren’t the best player; if you showed up for the practices and the games, then you deserved to play because you were there for the team.
John would never say he was the high scorer, best shot, and fastest or longest runner. Many people would tell me different. John didn’t believe in tooting his own horn. His philosophy was to do your best whether in sports, at work or at home. He once told me that while studying on course, someone said why bother, it was pretty much just attend and you would pass. John’s reply to him was “you leave your job and family for six months and if you fail, you would just have to do it over again, so why do half a job of something. After all, you would only have to spend more time repeating something you had already done; and that would be a waste!”
Throughout John’s whole military career and his time with us, he always gave 110 percent to all he tackled and this was especially true in any sport he played or participated. Even when fishing, which became a valued leisure in his final few years, he displayed the same passion that I saw in all his endeavours. His last summer with us, he was still active and out and about. He loved life, especially sports and embraced them with his whole heart.
Hence “he gave with heart and he played with heart.”