For seven years I had the good fortune to work closely with Jimmy Martin while I was the sports editor at the North Shore News and Jim was coordinator of athletics for the North Shore Secondary Schools Athletics Association. In that capacity, Jim oversaw athletics programs in a variety of sports for thousands of athletes at 14 schools across North and West Vancouver.
We worked together to shine a wider spotlight on North Shore athletes both in high school and after they graduated, and to that end, Jim shouldered half my burden, constantly feeding me story leads, encouraging me when I was faint of heart and giving me a good shake when I was resting on my laurels.
He adhered to the strictest definition of an “open-door policy” — whether he was billeting someone or letting them sleep one off in his guest bedroom. He was unfailingly patient, a great motivator and a true ambassador for all North Shore sports. It made my job that much easier knowing Jim was only a phone call away if I needed schedules, scores or statistics — or just a beer on a Friday afternoon.
Whether it was as a coach, teacher, mentor, father or friend, Jim’s reach constantly exceeded his grasp.
He didn’t just lead — he did it off the cuff and without fanfare, and in turn, inspired others to do the same.
He wasn’t just a father to Nick, Connor and Lucas — he was a father figure to generations of North Shore students and athletes.
He was loyal, selfless, lighthearted and a bit salty, but he wasn’t just one of a kind; he was irreplaceable.
After his death I couldn’t shake a sick, guilty feeling; that I had perhaps taken Jimmy more than a little for granted — simply assuming that I’d always see him down at the Capilano Rugby Football Club on game-day Saturdays with that glorious moustache, a knowing grin and that wicked old gleam in his eye.
Jimmy, you are missed.
— Jan-Christian Sorensen