Today people in Canberra are getting together to celebrate the life of Vaughan Solomon. We’re meeting at 1pm for a service and then some time to hear stories.

I met Vaughan through underwater hockey here in Canberra. He was always incredibly kind with advice and demonstrations. I’ll be happy if I can one day get a puck moving like he did.

James Harris wrote a short piece for the Australian Nationals that were played last week. I reproduce it here as it best says what many would be thinking.

“ Vaughan died while walking the Puffer Track in the lower Tararuas Nth of Wellington, NZ, an area he knew well and loved. He had returned with his family to his childhood
home in Whitby, NZ for Christmas. He is survived by his fiancée Susan, Heather 4 and Ryan 2.

Vaughan represented NZ in UWH at an elite level, the ACT and NSW in Masters and was hoping to represent Oz in Masters at the next worlds (despite being a Kiwi at heart).

Vaughan was a very active member in NZ UWH and more recently in Canberra with a strong dedication to developing new (and old) players. He was heavily involved in the NZ schools program. Fitness and Underwater Hockey were strong focuses, competing annually in the Lake Taupo 160Km bike race, and was active in Softball both in NZ and ACT.

He had been training for the upcoming Perth UWH Nationals with a short term goal of being “Super Fit” for the Wollongong 4’s.

His legacy and memories will remain, from cracking an underwater window at the Huia Pool in NZ (closing the pool), to losing yet more points while having fun driving, to the love he had for his family and children.

We will all miss him enormously in Canberra, not least his great smile, sage advice, enormous flicks, bristly shaved body and stupid split fins. Vaughan’s enthusiasm was infectious and his personal drive inspiring, always thinking of others first.

In memorial of his dedication to assisting and encouraging new and developing players, the ACT Club will establish a memorial award for improved and budding hockey players.
He was a great friend of mine and it’s hard to believe he is not there anymore.

I still look for his car in the car park at the pool and think about things we were going to do in the future.”

– James Harris

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