(Originally Published in the 2005 Can-Am Program)

This year's veteran’s corner features Josef Dueh Sr., affectionately know as 'Senior'.  During his lifetime, Senior's travels took him from war torn Europe, here to the States and Montana where he tried his hand at being a cowboy, and eventually to the Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Saengerbund.  Joe joined the Lehigh Saengerbund organization in 1951 and immediately started playing for it's Sports Club.  He was a player/coach until the 1970's when he went into semi-retirement, often putting on the boots and stepping onto the pitch when the team needed players.  He remained as coach of the Allentown Sports Club until 1994.

During that time, many a weekend afternoon and evening were spent at the Lehigh Saengerbund.   From his wartime adventures to his recap of games played in the old Philadelphia leagues, Senior was never short on an opportunity to tell his stories.  Many involved with this tournament already know that.  Joe knew that the team that socialized and laughed together after the game became friends and ultimately had the true philosophy for winning.  His club's championships and records can attest to that.  But to Joe the true team success was beyond winning games.  The real success was in the many great friendships established long after the game-ending whistle, the same as those friendships fostered thru this tournament.  The tournament meant a lot to Joe.  He enjoyed each and every one as player, coach and spectator.  Long after deciding not to play, he would always make the trip North just to watch games and attend the social functions.

While Joe is no longer with us, the Canadian American Friendship tournament is the perfect embodiment of how he lived his life everyday.  Because of that, this tournament is the optimum occasion to celebrate his life.  Even in some of Joe's final words it's easy to see that camaraderie and togetherness are truly what made him happy.  "This is what I love.  Everyone together."

As this tournament heads into its 30th year, Joe is surely missed but not forgotten.  Beyond the games, beyond the trophies, it's the friendships that make this tournament successful.  Senior understood that oh so well.  God bless you Joe, and thank you.