The road to a Tug-of-War championship really began early in 1947, on a Saturday morning when Jim Patterson drove down to P.L Morse's. Interested in strength and conditioning, Jim thought he would like to apply these characteristics to the art of pulling tug-of-war. Morse gave his commitment and what followed was a rigorous schedule of training, practicing twice a week, maintaining jobs, raising families, and participating in a tug-of-war league that would follow the Fall exhibitions of Nova Scotia. Patterson was described as a man who "wanted what he wanted" - things done his way, very dedicated, always the first to practice and a man who practiced what he preached!
The technique of pulling tug-of-war consists, in essence, of reaching the threshold of unconsciousness just at the instance of pulling the opposition over the line. Only a few people were involved in introducing tug-of-war to the Berwick area but, since that introduction, many a man has pulled. Few events in sport offer so ultimate a test of strength, conditioning, teamwork, endurance, and heart-stirring, throat tightening spectacles. Tug-of-war would become a very popular sport. It became the last big event of an Exhibition evening - a huge drawing card that would keep people later and make exhibitions highly successful.
In 1962, all the practicing of pulling barrels of rock and sand on block-and-tackle and of pulling cars uphill paid off in a different way. Provincial exhibitions were just starting, and so were winning pulls for the Berwick team. Four pulls in one week – all victories – one teammate lost 15 pounds that week. With any complaint of a sore back, Patterson would say pulling was good for it.
This team had proven to be a hard line-up of strong men to pull against – seven wins against outstanding teams – one more in Port Williams, two battles in Halifax County, two in Colchester, and finally in Truro where the Berwick team defeated a highly touted Brule team in a tough, tough battle to win the 1962 Provincial Championship.
1962 Berwick Tug-of-War Team
Nova Scotia Provincial Champions
Coach: James Patterson
Inducted June 2001