Montreal-West Garbage Bowl Montréal-Ouest

The Gazette Jan 2 1991

Getting their kicks
Players join in Garbage Bowl for fun, charity
There may be a little more paunch with the raunch, but Montreal West’s annual football classic, the Garbage Bowl, is still going strong after 42 years.
Before a standing-room-only crowd of several hundred spectators (the field is not equipped with bleachers) and playing on a snowy surface with the gridiron marked out in topsoil, the Southern Bombers outscored the Northern Combines 17-7 yesterday.
It was the Northern squad’s eighth successive defeat, but organizer Marnie Dickson-Telfer described the event as one of the key community social events of the year.
The game also raised thousands of dollars for the Mackay Centre, which over the years has been the major beneficiary of a gaggle of fundraising activities — a dance, distribution of programs,
sale of buttons, T-shirts and other souvenirs — that accompany the football classic.
Dickson-Telfer expects that this year’s take will prove to have been higher than the $20,000 the event has
generated in recent years.
The original game in 1950 pitted two groups of friends from Montreal West High School against one another - boys from the south of the Canadian Pacific tracks in green pyjamas and boys from the north in red longjohns.
Today’s teams still maintain a good deal of that tradition, said Dickson- Telfer, a member of the organizing committee. But most of the combatants are over 30, and some are approaching 40.
But it was clear the players -  whose green or red (or, in one or two cases, pink) longjohns are worn over full football pads -  have not forgotten how to tackle hard, hit the frozen ground even harder and express deep concern over missed catches and the absence of blockers in places where they would have been appreciated.
‘This is a,” said Dickson-Telfer, whose husband, Colin Telfer, was playing in his 17th Garbage Bowl game. Telfer is also president of the organizing committee.
There’s less young blood coming into the teams these days since Montreal West High -  Royal West Academy, as it calls itself these days -  no longer has a football team.
But the school still has a football queen, of sorts.
The ball was kicked off by Valerie Palumbo, 16, the Royal West Academy student chosen this year’s Miss Leftovers by the traditional method.
 The names.of women members of the school’s graduating class are drawn from a hat and discarded until only three names remain; the owners of the next two names become Miss South (Karen Wiersma, 16, this year) and Miss North (Fondy Tam, 16). Then, there is only one name left over. Get it?
“You get a lot of kidding but it’s for a good cause,” Palumbo said, adding that she has friends among the deaf and other handicapped children who study at the Mackay Centre.


VaIerie Palumbo kicks off Garbage Bowl game at Royal West Academy yesterday.

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