Water Polo Victoria (WPV) was sad to learn of the news that Life Member John Mason had passed away last week after a battle with prostate cancer. A great loss to family, friends and the water polo community throughout Victoria as seen from the outpouring of social media comments during the last couple of days.
John was a passionate servant of the sport of Water Polo at all levels. His encouragement to players, referees, and officials over a lifetime of involvement has had a positive and lasting influence. His dedicated involvement will leave an enormous hole in the water polo community that will be difficult to fill.
Despite his failing health, John continued to give his time encouraging and coaching NYP Dragon teams up to days before entering hospital for the last time on Monday last week. This was recognised with a minute silence being observed at the Water Polo Victoria Sub-Junior competition yesterday.
John commenced his love of water polo as player while a teenager in Wodonga before moving to Melbourne and becoming a much-loved legend at NYPD. He went on to become a club life member, president, player, coach, referee & friend to many - he was seen as the backbone, heart and driving force of the club.
John coached numerous club and State teams and officiated as a referee at National Championships and National League. Water Polo Victoria Executive Officer commented “Many people from Melbourne and regional areas have expressed to me over the last couple of days the contribution that John had on their water polo and the inspiration he was to them”.
Fellow Life Member and long time WPV competitions manager said that “What people admired most about John’s coaching was the way he communicated encouragement to his players particularly those just starting in the sport. He will be sadly missed by friends and recalled fondly by all those players – past and present - who came under his wing. Truly a sad time for Sue and all John’s family - our thoughts and prayers are with them. NYPD and the wider WPV community have lost a great bloke.”
A Memorial Service will be held for John this Thursday March 5th 2020 at the Wattle Park Chalet, 1012 Riversdale Rd (enter Monsbourgh Dr and go to the end), Surrey Hills commencing at 2:30pm with supper to follow. Members of the water polo community who were close to John are also invited to join family and friends from 5:00pm onwards to continue a celebration of his life with venue to be shared on the day.
Donations in memory of John can be made to the Prostate Cancer Foundation or support of the Team Mason’s Mob in the Relay for Life.