Ron Hunt

Known for his sculpture, woodcarving, and design skills, Ron Hunt’s talent and leadership extend beyond to include team building and sports organization. In 1973, Ron was instrumental in creating the Midland Bulls Rugby Football Club.

At age fifteen, Ron began playing rugby in the small Grey County town of Durham and continued to play when he went abroad to Malaysia before returning to Canada and settling in Midland. With the support of local high school teacher Ray Holt, Ron recruited players for what would become the Midland Bulls RFC. Fellow Bull, Doug Cole, recalled, “Ron went out of his way to make sure the Bulls included players from diverse backgrounds and occupations. Early team members included players with English, French, Indigenous, and Metis backgrounds as well as new Canadian immigrants.” The team played in plain white tees in their first-ever tournament, losing the first two games and their shirts. The third game, played in borrowed jerseys, saw the fledglings claim victory, sparking their desire for more.

As team captain and club executive, Ron led the team in practices, set up exhibition games and match locations, organized the game roster, continued advertising and recruiting, and shared game details and action photos for press coverage. Described as ‘the ultimate gentleman,’ Ron made everyone feel welcomed and encouraged good sportsmanship at post-game parties with song and laughter.

In 1974, thanks to the quality of play and club organization, Midland entered the Toronto Rugby Union “D” division. In the late ‘70s, the Bulls transferred to the Mid Ontario Rugby Union. Throughout this time, Ron fostered great camaraderie, humour, and love of the game. There were social gatherings, banquets, and even a tour to play in England.

After the Bulls ceased playing in the late ‘80s, Ron continued to assist in developing male and female rugby teams at Midland Secondary School by providing assistant coaching support.

But Ron’s contributions as a builder don’t stop here. In the early 1990s, Ron was likewise a key builder of the Huronia chapter of the Hash House Harriers, an international, mixed-gender, non-competitive running and social group. Members meet regularly to run and walk along a trail laid out by the designated ‘Hare’ and gather at the end for social time. While Hash House Harrier clubs are common in larger urban centres, it was through Ron’s efforts and enthusiasm that this group came into being here in North Simcoe. Starting with half a dozen participants in 1990, by March of 2020, over 300 people had been named as members.

In addition to the Bulls and the Harriers, Ron has also assisted with area Triathlons and cycling events. He has also been involved since 1992 in the Midland Terry Fox annual runs, serving as the local organizer for eight of those years. The community has been strengthened through Ron’s leadership and commitment to sport in Midland.