The Grand Challenge Cup of the Nanaimo Football Association dates back to 1891.

Decision pending about historical Island soccer challenge

From the onset, even before the Friends of Harry Manson legally acquired and registered ownership of the Grand Challenge Cup of the Nanaimo Football Association – 1891, the group was unanimously resolved to having this historically significant artifact restored to its former glory, finding a home for the trophy where it would be accessible to the general public, and most importantly, to breathe some life back into the Cup by reviving its raison d’etre, and to once again have it competed for on an annual basis.

Last week, the Friends of Harry Manson’s proposal received two contrasting replies.

The Cumberland Empire Events Society’s reply reflected a community’s enthusiastic response by “wholeheartedly” accepting the proposal. The Nanaimo United Football Club’s reply intimated that this organization was not “very comfortable simply playing for the cup in the manner proposed,” and would prefer “that Nanaimo United Football Club be the official home of the Grand Challenge Cup and it be kept on display year-round at our clubhouse.”

Before reaching a final decision on the future of the Grand Challenge Cup, the Friends of Harry Manson request any feedback from the 69 recipients who have received blind carbon copied emails related to the proposal. These recipients include the Office of the Premier, two MLAs, two mayors and council, members of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, the RCMP, the media, the local soccer community, museum and sports hall of fame staff, and a score of friends who over time have shown their interest and support on an ongoing basis.

A number of recipients have emailed suggestions.

The final decision will be made Nov. 1.

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