Sometime during the mid 1940s Stuart E. Johnstone wrote about a ball game. He then took the story to John Scott, owner of the Berwick Register, and asked if he would print it. He did and a few days later he called Stuart and said, "Bring more." Mr. Scott's support launched Stuart's career as a sports reporter and the rest is history.
His play-by-play writing style was so descriptive that if you missed the game you could just pick up the Register and read Stuart's article to visualize exactly how the game had been played. As Dr. Ron Thorpe said, "Stuart, you use too many adjectives."
Stuart started out as a scorekeeper but, as his interest grew, he qualified and wrote his exams and became a registered umpire for the Nova Scotia Softball Association. He umpired many games throughout the province, including the final two games of the 1950 Intermediate "A" Championship between Springhill and the Greenwood Flyers. The Flyers were allowed to pick up two players, Carl Best and Carl McDow; they won a hard-fought 2-1 series. Stuart recalls "good times and bad" calling balls and strikes.
Stuart's real passion was writing. He garnered much space from Berwick Register owners John Scott and Murray Bezanson, both sports enthusiasts. Occasionally, the press was held up to wait for reports on an important series or provincial championship. Stuart's writing was so good, requiring so little editing, that his editor suggested that he write on yellow paper so that his reports could be recognized at a glance and could be sped past the usual editing process. Frank S. Bums, president of the Maritime Newspaper Association, wrote to Murray Bezanson, saying, "Congratulations to you and your writer S.E. Johnstone that is the sort of material that will keep your weekly newspaper alive."
Of course, his favourite team was the Mohawks from his beloved Waterville so many great players, so much to write about. Stuart was offered a job writing promotions for the Berwick Arena, but he had to decline as his painting contracting business was keeping him too busy.
For many years Stuart coached the Berwick Graves Oldtimers hockey team. In 2010 Stuart celebrates sixty years of service as a firefighter. He also serves as a village commissioner, church deacon, RCMP citizen patroller with well over five thousand hours of service, reporter for AVR and CHNS radio stations, and longtime member of Masonic and Eastern Star Lodges. Married to Murielle for fifty-eight years, with three children, Wayne, Elaine, and Bryce, and two grandchildren, Kristen and Adrian, Stuart continues to write for the Berwick Register.
The Berwick Sports hall of Fame is proud to induct Stuart E. Johnstone.
Inducted June 2010