The award was presented by Bernard Butler, Assistant Deputy Minister, Veterans’ Affairs Canada; Tracy Porteous, Executive Director of the Ending Violence Association of BC; and Jackie Gaudaur, daughter of the late Jack Gaudaur, as part of the Shaw CFL Awards in Edmonton.
Rolly Lumbala, this year’s recipient, played 17 games this season at fullback, working hard and applying his strength and work ethic to a physical game while taking the time to mentor his younger teammates. The 11-year CFL veteran, who has spent his entire career with the BC Lions spends many days working at Husky House, a local foster home for at-risk youth. He’s been a pillar in the Lions’ Be More Than A Bystander anti-violence against women initiative and a key figure in the Lions’ Read, Write & Roar program, Lions Pride, and Lions in the House, among other initiatives.
This year was a difficult one for Rolly, who served as his father Eugene’s primary caregiver during his father’s battle with cancer. Sadly, Eugene passed away on September 5th; Rolly has demonstrated immense perseverance and selflessness in continuing to dedicate his time and passion to his teammates and community.
“Congratulations to Rolly Lumbala on winning the Jake Gaudaur Veterans’ Award. Just like Canada’s Veterans, you’ve demonstrated great strength, perseverance and comradeship and have made an outstanding commitment to British Columbia, making you a deserving recipient of this award.”
Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence
“We are very proud to celebrate Rolly and the remarkable work he does to improve the lives of others. His quiet leadership, selflessness, and commitment to his team and his community are truly commendable. Our league is made stronger by the courage and heart of people like Rolly, and we are honoured to salute the service of our veterans as we recognize Rolly.”
Randy Ambrosie, Commissioner, Canadian Football League
Named after Jake Gaudaur, the CFL’s longest serving commissioner and distinguished Second World War Veteran, this award is presented annually to a Canadian CFL player who best demonstrates the attributes of Canadian Veterans in times of war, military conflict, and peace. A Canadian fighter pilot instructor during the Second World War, Gaudaur won Grey Cups as both a player and an executive before serving as commissioner of the CFL from 1968 to 1984.
The CFL is committed to honouring the contributions and selfless service of Canada’s veterans, to celebrating still-serving members, and remembering those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.