The City of Trail and the Italian bocce community thanked Guiseppe (Bepi) Bertuzzi for his tireless work over 45 years in making the sport of bocce a popular past time in Greater Trail
Trail Mayor Mike Martin and Colombo Lodge president Pat Zanier honoured Bertuzzi with a bronze-caste replica of the Trail Family Monument during the Trail Senior Men’s Bocce Tournament at the Trail Bocce Facility on Sunday.
Bertuzzi has been a constant presence in the bocce community since he and a group of Italians established the bocce pits on vacant land near Trail Creek over four decades ago.
“He and a couple of Italico’s looked after the old lanes in the 1970s and 80s and spearheaded cleanup of the bocce lanes after the Trail Creek flooded,” said Italicos’ sports coordinator Sergio Freschi.
Bertuzzi was a major force in the construction of the kitchenette and washrooms at the bocce lanes in the Gulch, working with contractors to donate their time, and bringing the construction in under the City of Trail’s projected budget. His multiple trips to the Northport limestone quarry for fine limestone to surface the lanes produced three of the best bocce lanes in B.C., added Freschi.
He organized and ran two annual tournaments, preparing the lanes every evening before the first boccini was tossed and keeping the players from Nelson and Cranbrook appraised of the weather, as well as setting up luncheons and draws. His contributions continue to this day, as Bertuzzi also helped organize and prepare Sunday’s Senior Men’s Bocce Tournament.
And when asked why he donated so much time and so many years to the Trail Bocce Facility, Bertuzzi’s answer was simple, “For the love of the game.”