THE Vancouver Police Soccer and Service Club this week held the 31st anniversary of the Paul Sanghera High School Indoor Soccer Tournament that honours a fallen member who tragically lost his life in a fatal car crash on January 8, 1982.
Windermere Secondary School hosted eight Vancouver high school soccer teams that played in a two-day, indoor soccer tournament where top players were rewarded with $3,500 in scholarships for their post-secondary education. The club is supported by the Vancouver Police Foundation and Masonic Lodges of the Lower Mainland.
Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School were the winners, with David Thompson Secondary School the runners-up.
ON January 8, 1982, Constable Paul Sanghera and his partner were working together on patrol in the area of East Vancouver known as District Three. It had snowed that night and a blanket of snow covered the roads, making them slippery and treacherous to drive.
At 1 a.m. they stopped to investigate an abandoned car at the side of the road at East 57th and Argyle Street. They both got out of their marked police car to examine the abandoned vehicle and to look for the registration papers in the glove box. They stood beside the abandoned vehicle and decided that the other constable would return to their police vehicle and call for a tow truck. As the other constable radioed in requesting a tow truck Sanghera remained beside the abandoned vehicle. Without any warning, a pickup truck suddenly came around the corner and also lost control on the icy street. The truck struck the abandoned vehicle and Sanghera. He died at the scene.
The driver was found not at fault, there were no charges and the accident was blamed on the weather conditions.
Sanghera grew up in Richmond and went to Richmond High School. He was remembered as a tenacious and keen athlete who enjoyed soccer and played on the Vancouver Police soccer team.
His death is commemorated every year at the Paul Sanghera Soccer Tournament in April.