Trumpy: The Canadian Connection – A Tale of Friendship, Rugby, and Bonding

I first noticed Trumpy (a brick on legs) at my first training session with Bayside and it wasn’t until a few days later after another training session that we actually met at Boston Pizza where, due to my somewhat crass and annoying North Queensland accent and persona, he corrected me on what swear words to use and not use whilst in Canada. After several more beers and other antics including the infamous ‘Loopy’ we began our mate-ship.

Living in Charles Browns rental through Mike Pajics negotiations. Lee, Mitch, Myself and Trumpy (unofficially) created somewhat controlled havoc on Upper Roper.

Trumpy taught us to snowboard, was our tour guide, Canadian wingman, liaison officer (especially when police once or twice got involved), but most importantly was our teammate.

Regardless of your skill set, race, religion, orientation etc. being part of a team solidifies a persons place in a family outside of their own or in some cases their team is their only family.

Whilst in Canada, there were multiple people who contributed to welcoming myself, Lee and Mitch into the Bayside Rugby family. Pajic, Charles, Bunny and Loopy etc. Trumpy though was just about at our place every night and became our little bro.

Our friendship through rugby extended out from Canada until Ben’s passing (though I believe he still has input in all our lives from somewhere). I could go o n and on about the adventures and debauchery but understand this is ‘family friendly’. So, to finish, all I can say is that without rugby there would’ve been no Trumpy in my life and many, many others.

Miss you mate.

Evan Japp,
JCU Mariners (James Cook University)
Queensland, Australia


ELIJAH MAIRS - Scholarship Recipient 2017

IAN SMITH - Scholarship Recipient 2021

ELLIE FROST & BRADY REELEDER - Scholarship Recipient 2023

Ashley Drody

Ashley is an international travel and lifestyle photographer who spends her summers documenting love and lifestyle in her home of British Columbia, and winters abroad photographing tourism and wellness retreats.

Ashley grew up with Bens younger sister, Meghan, and was always inspired by both of their adventures through Thailand. In 2016 she had the opportunity to visit Bens School alongside Meghan for the first time, and got to experience and photograph some very special moments in Pa Dang Luang Village for the Live Like Ben foundation.

Ashley hopes to visit Bens School again to document all of the beauty of the area and be involved in the positive progress the foundation is making in these small villages in Northern Thailand.

Bens adventurous spirit will continue to be a beautiful reminder to Ashley to live life to the fullest every day.