With the return of service personnel at the end of World War II and the promise of better economic times for the Annapolis Valley, 1946 was an exciting and optimistic time for Berwick. This year also marked the beginning of two long-time traditions in Berwick – winning softball and Berwick Gala Days – and the two had a close connection.

Three Berwick sports enthusiasts, Irving Bickerton, George Adams, and Marita Veno recruited a group of highly talented athletes from Berwick and the surrounding area and formed the first softball team in the town - the Berwick Foresters Women’s Softball team. With hard work, this group improved rapidly and soon became the top women’s team in the Annapolis Valley. They were often invited to play at special events such as the Annapolis Royal Natal Days, the Bear River Cherry Festival and as far as Truro and Halifax. In fact, a game involving the Foresters was the feature sports event during the very first Berwick Gala since there were no bleachers at the time. After passing the hat to collect donations, over $350 was realized. Imagine just how many people there must have been to account for that amount of money in 1946! The money of course was donated to the Gala Days fund.

The foresters were the Valley Champions from 1946 to 1948 and went through the 1947 regular season without a loss often beating their Valley foes by lop-sided scores. In August of 1947, after winning the local championship again, they faced the Halifax Arcades – the top team in the Maritimes – in the Nova Scotia play-downs. In the opening game of a best of three series, the local squad was defeated 14 – 2. Back in Berwick on a hot August 24th afternoon, and before a crowd estimated to be near a thousand, the Berwick team eked out a 7 – 6 victory in the second game making a third game necessary that evening. Unfortunately, in that third game the Halifax team pounded out hit after hit and with the visitors leading by a wide margin, the game ended on a bizarre note. In the sixth inning when, after chasing a foul fly ball, catcher Bonnie Corbin collided with third sacker Pauline Hutchinson and was unable to finish the game, the umpire awarded the game to the visitors.

After the 1948 season, the team name was changed to the Bruinettes and although the team continued for many years, the nucleus of the team moved on to educational and family pursuits.

1946 – 48 Berwick Foresters Ladies Softball Team

Manager: Major Irving Bickerton (46) Manager/Coach: George Adams (46-47)
Coaches: Gordon Daniels (47); Wilmot Newell (48)

Jean Fredericks (47)
Marita Veno (46-48)
Margerite Palmer (46)
Pauline Hutchinson (46-48)
Mildred Clark (46-48)
Audrey Huntley (48)
Jessy West (46-48)
Geraldine Jones (47)
Florence Nixon (48)
Rose Fancy (46-48)
Erma Forsythe (46-48)
Vesta Carey (48)
Doris Hutchinson (46-48)
Bonnie Corbin (47-48)
Betty Lutz (48)
June Herbert (46)
Myrna Bishop (46)
Margaret Bain (48)
Ann Baltzer (46)
Alta Kinsman (46)
Love Armstrong (48)

Inducted June 2000