“Fun, fitness, and friendship”. These words were the message that Jim Mason brought to the squash community his entire life as he spread the joy of the game of squash to Ontario, Canada and the world during his lifetime.
To watch Jim Mason spend a weekend in any squash club in Ontario during a junior squash tournament was to receive a lesson in life skills. Jim would appear in his trademark Fedora hat, blue blazer, slacks, and compassionate smile and he made his way to the squash courts. Exchanging greetings with children, parents, and coaches every step of the way, seeming to know each person’s name and something special about their life. As Jim would begin watching a match, he inevitably would engage a child in conversation and you would see his eyes making direct contact with the youngster as they shook hands. Inevitably, a squash ball would come out of Jim’s pocket and he would be showing another youngster the importance of the grip.There would be laughter and penetrating eye contact as Jim would literally will his messages from his brain to the young people. When the tournament ended on Sunday and many felt their work was done, Jim Mason’s labours of love had just begun. He would return to Meaford and compose letters to countless numbers of young players, parents, and coaches encouraging them on their endeavours and giving them reason to press forward with their squash and their lives.
Although Jim was the recipient of all of Ontario’s major awards, it speaks to the character of Jim Mason that he was not defined by a singular recognition. His essence was for human caring, one person at a time. Jim Mason made a difference during his lifetime and will continue to make a difference through the people he touched and there were hundreds, and hundreds.