Chief Petty Officer Mike Mehlmann will march with the colours at B.C. Place Stadium on Sunday.

Sidney serviceman is Grey Cup-bound

Longtime B.C. Lions fan selected for prestigious pre-game honour

Sidney resident Mike Mehlmann remembers watching former B.C. Lions stars like Joe Paopao, Roy Dewalt and Mervyn “Swervin” Fernandez bring excitement to the old Empire Stadium.

And he thrilled to the exploits of such Lions stars as Doug Flutie, Lui Passaglia and Ray Alexander on the turf at B.C. Place Stadium.

Now a combat systems engineering chief petty officer on HMCS Regina, Mehlmann, 43, will be living the dream when he joins other service men and women in carrying the colours onto the refurbished B.C. Place field for Sunday’s 99th Grey Cup championship game between the hometown Lions and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

“I was born and raised in Surrey and I have been a B.C. Lions fan since I can remember,” he wrote via email on a break from his sea duties on Regina, which is out of port on manoeuvres this week.

The 23-year navy man said he’ll feel a sense of honour and pride performing the ceremonial duties, which he’s never done before, on a big stage in front of an estimated 50,000 fans.

“I have been a part of the Canadian Forces for a long time and look forward to representing the naval uniform,” he said.

Crew members aboard Regina found out a couple weeks ago that the ship was asked to provide a colour party for this Saturday’s Vanier Cup, Canada’s university championship game, in Vancouver. Mehlmann volunteered immediately, figuring it would be a great honour to represent the ship and the navy. He later found out the “fantastic” news that the small group would also march out the colours and perform a general salute during the national anthem at the Grey Cup. “I’m excited to be part of it,” he said.

His family; wife Aileen, daughter Jenna, 18, and son Christopher, 13, — they’ll watch on TV at home — are also very excited and proud, Mehlmann wrote. “I know several of my civilian friends think it’s amazing.”

A resident of Sidney for 17 years, Mehlmann has kept close watch on the Lions this season, seeing the team rebound from a poor start to take the league by storm and battle its way to a Grey Cup berth on home field.

His prediction for the game?

“B.C. Lions win 37-24 and (quarterback) Travis Lulay is the most valuable player.”

While his job will be to salute the flag and his country, the longtime Leos fan will indirectly be saluting his favourite team and, with any luck, sending them to victory.



Just Posted

Updated: Council offers new information on Sandown plan

Council to make final decisions in fall

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

Saanich could become the new home of the world’s largest gnome

Galey Farms could find out Tuesday whether it will host the eight-metre-tall structure

Cowichan man sells smashed Jeep

Calling it a ‘niche market’

82 new rental units available in Colwood

Aimed at housing families, seniors and people living with disabilities

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Most Read