Memorial toast served up for Vernon tennis staple

Joe Fabi celebrated at Marshall Field Saturday

In memory of long-time member Joe Fabi, the Vernon Tennis Association is hosting an informal dedication to his memory at Marshall Field on Saturday, July 24, at 4 p.m. All tennis players, family, friends and acquaintances of Joe are invited to attend. (Vernon Tennis Association photo)

In memory of long-time member Joe Fabi, the Vernon Tennis Association is hosting an informal dedication to his memory at Marshall Field on Saturday, July 24, at 4 p.m. All tennis players, family, friends and acquaintances of Joe are invited to attend. (Vernon Tennis Association photo)

The Vernon tennis community is coming together to toast a main player in the local game.

Joe Fabi died at the age of 86 on July 4. His life will be celebrated at Marshall Field on Saturday, July 24, at 4 p.m., in a memorial toast to him and his wife who predeceased him.

“Everyone in the tennis community knew Joe but certainly not all knew what he did,” Vernon Tennis Association president Graham Cooper said.

The self-appointed caretaker of Vernon and Coldstream’s tennis courts, Fabi would repair nets, replace centre straps and serve up multiple solutions to issues as they arose.

“When Joe saw a problem with puddles on the courts he fixed up carpets that could be pulled across the courts to spread the water. When they disappeared he would make more,” said Cooper. “Why people would take filthy carpets beats me but Joe never complained.”

When the windscreens at the Marshall courts would come apart after a heavy wind, Fabi would be down there with a friend to reattach them.

“I can go on but I think you possibly see how Joe was valued by the community,” Cooper said.

Along with his dedication in organizing and supporting tennis, Fabi was well-known as an accomplished player. “Nothing was ever too much trouble for him. He did not look for personal recognition but over the 20 years he was involved in tennis many of the extras seen on courts in Vernon and Coldstream were and are a result of his ingenuity, hard work.”

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