Keith Morrison
Inducted 2010
After playing and coaching in his home town of Dunedin, New Zealand, and graduating from the University of Otago, Keith Morrison came to Victoria in 1973 to teach. In 1974, he joined the Vancouver Island Rugby Referees' Society (VIRRS) and for the next 17 years, he was active as a coach and referee taking charge of school, club, sub-union, interprovincial and international matches. Appointments for McKechnie and Rounsefell Cup matches, visiting team fixtures and high school
finals soon appeared on his resume. He took leadership roles with the VIRRS by serving as allocator, treasurer, secretary and president and with the BC Rugby Referees panel. After being appointed to the Canadian Rugby Union Referees panel, Morrison refereed at the Canadian Junior Championships in 1978 and 1979, the Eastern USA North vs. South fixture and the Monterey (USA) National Tournament where he did the final in 1980 and 1983.
Some of the key matches he did after 1984 and into the early 1990's included British Columbia against Wales B, Scotland A, England XV and New Zealand. He also refereed interprovincial championship matches in Eastern Canada (1984), Tier I (1988 and 1989) and Tier II (1990 and 1992).
While on exchange in England in 1980 he refereed Harlequins vs. Cardiff at Twickenham and Leicester vs. Romania. Morrison's first full international match was in 1982 when the USA played England in Hartford, Connecticut, and this was followed by Alberta vs. Italy. In 1985, he became the first Canadian referee to officiate at the Hong Kong 7's by doing the Plate Final. In 1989, Morrison handled the whistle during the Canada vs. Waikato CANZ series at Brockton Oval and two matches in the 1991 World Cup European qualifying round in Madrid. The pinnacle of his refereeing career was reached in 1991 when he became the first Canadian to officiate at the Rugby World Cup as one of the touch judges.
Morrison conducted IRB referee certification courses and worked with referees on exchange. He completed a number of IRB courses all aimed at improving referees both locally, nationally and internationally. Morrison was named a Life Member of the VIRRS in 2005.
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