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2007 Inductees

Harold James Palmer “Young Palmer” (Special Recognition)

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Harold Palmer was born in Annapolis County in 1896 and moved to the Berwick area in the thirties. In the early 1900’s, however, he made his way to the New England States to make his fame and fortune. He settled in Waltham, Mass. – the watch city. Word spread quickly about his boxing ability. The local newspaper described him as “elusive as an eel and resembling a human kangaroo with his jumping style. He could ‘give it’ and ‘take it’ – strong assets for patted mitt gladiators.” Matchmaker John McCarthy Murphy brought Harold to a “smoke talk” at Casino A.C. to show his wares. Soon every manager in New England was after the Waltham welterweight; however, it was Larry Amann who emerged as “Young Palmer’s” manager.

Following some hard training, he fought Cannon Ball Red Ames for his first fight and disposed of him early in the first round. Next, in Lynn, Mass., he faced the Honolulu Kid. Some time later, it was Tom Sawyer in Portland, Maine and Pat Delucca at Jack Murphy’s Casino. They were the best of the welterweights and all went down to the defeat of Young Palmer. He met Jack Dempsey and befriended him.

Now Palmer had earned the right to square off against the champ – the hard hitting Mickey Donovan. The Wise Gazubs of the Hub made him the 10 – 2 favorite. Hundreds of the “Watch City Boy” supporters lined up to get their tickets at the Midget Cigar Store on Moody Street. What followed was the most sensational bout ever seen in the city. Palmer led the way early; then Donovan surged. It looked bad for Palmer in the 7th, but he survived and made an astounding spurt in the 8th. He dazed Donovan with two crashing left hooks and then a right hand knocked him out. Young Palmer was now the new ring sensation, a headliner, and the New England Middle-Weight Champion.

Over the years, many more fights were carded. Wins over Sailor Gardiner, Al Sears, former State Champion Soldier Frank, Harry Silva, Frank Tillo, and then a couple of losses. Young Palmer’s overall record stood at an amazing 60 wins and 4 losses.

All this fame would start to take its toll. It was time to consider a quieter life. He bought a farm in Burlington, north of Berwick. He still held an interest in boxing and fought on some cards. He helped in the training of some young fighters, one of whom was Earle Kinsman.

He became Berwick’s 3rd Police Chief in 1939 and resigned in 1942 to farm full time. Part of his duties was changing bulbs in light standards. He married Burpee Ray’s daughter, Hazel Marie.

Years ago, annual guides competitions were held at Lake Williams, Lunenburg County. Some of the champions were Eber Beck and Lawrence Toney; but there were big problems at the affair. Many of the able and strong woodsmen refused to pay admission fee. How to solve the problem? Young Palmer was contacted and agreed to help. The Berwick Register described the situation as follows. “We don’t need tickets” said the bull woodsman, weighing 250lbs, as he pushed by Palmer. A right to the jaw brought him down, but he was up immediately and really went after Palmer. But the bull’s jaw was unprotected and Palmer hit him with his “Sunday punch”. The bull had to be helped to a standing position. There was never any problem getting the loggers to pay again.

It is with pride that Harold Palmer gets a special recognition by the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.

Inducted June 2007

1995 Berwick White Sox Bantam Baseball Team

In 1995 the Berwick White Sox Bantam Baseball Team brought the Provincial "C" Championship title to Berwick.

The team was comprised of local fourteen and fifteen year-olds who had advanced through the Berwick Minor Baseball Association together. Their play together had taught each player exactly what each others’ skills and abilities were and they accepted and respected what each could bring to the team. Their coaches describe them as an exceptional group of gifted athletes who combined a spirit of co-operation with an uncanny ability to read the play during games. When the chips were down and it mattered most, someone always came through with the big hit or the great catch to bring them back into the game. They worked hard at developing their skills in practices and each player knew his or her role on the team and, as a result, the team exuded confidence. Team spirit was always boosted by their parents, who were their biggest fans. They cheered them on at games and supported them financially.

This team was coached on how to win, and win they did. They were undefeated in league play, with fifteen wins and no losses. They also won a Bantam tournament hosted by Kentville on Canada Day and placed second in a Bantam "B" tournament on Natal Day weekend, also in Kentville.

After winning the League Championship in the Valley Baseball League, which included “B”, “C”, and “D” Division teams, this team defeated Hantsport in District Playoffs to advance to Regionals. In regionals, they won a best-of five series against Yarmouth, three games to one to represent Southwestern Nova Scotia in the Provincial Championship.

Labour Day weekend saw the Berwick White Sox of the Bantam "C" Division playing in a four team tournament in Bridgewater to determine the Provincial Champion. After all teams had played three games, three were tied with a record of two wins and one loss. Berwick advanced to the championship game against Bridgewater by having the fewest runs scored against them in their three games. The championship game was held on Sunday afternoon, with Berwick winning the game and gold medal by a score of six to five.

It is with pride that the 1995 Berwick White Sox Bantam Baseball Team is recognized by the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.

1995 Berwick White Sox Bantam Baseball Team

Front Row (L-R):
Bud Crocker (Coach)
Isaac Greenwood
Reg Stevens
Phil Redden

Back Row (L-R):
Robert Parks
Gordon FitzPatrick
Chuck Crocker
Mark Coldwell
Jennifer Keddy
Ryan Nichols
Sam Goulden
Neil Shannon Tupper
Chris Herbert
Ryan Harris
Bruce Redden (Trainer/Manager)
Steve Greenwood (Coach)
Missing From Photo: Matthew Gates

Inducted June 2007

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Rod Dorey

Rod Dorey was born in Berwick in 1946. His family moved to New Brunswick when he was two years old and he stayed there for the next ten years. His introduction to sports was playing pond hockey and baseball with his older brothers. When he signed up for Pee Wee baseball in Black’s Harbour, he was five foot ten inches tall and was sent home to get identification to prove he was only ten years old. He went on to become the league’s top hitter and pitcher. At age twelve, the family moved back to Nova Scotia, settling first in Waterville, where softball and hockey were very popular at the time. With the coming of artificial ice in Berwick, a Boy Scout Hockey League was formed and the Waterville Scouts, led by Rod, won the league championship. The softball league followed the next summer and the Waterville Scouts once again won the championship. Rod led in pitching and hitting.

The family then moved to Berwick where Rod joined the minor hockey program and, from Bantam through Juvenile hockey, was always among the top in scoring goals. He joined the Berwick town team at age seventeen and was leading the league in scoring when he broke his ankle and was out for the season. The following year he won the scoring championship. In one game he scored seven goals and six assists in the team’s 13 – 2 victory. He often scored multiple-goal games.

In 1966, the Berwick Shell Junior Hockey Team was formed. It quickly became Berwick’s most popular team, drawing huge crowds every night. Rod says “It was a highly talented team, which excelled in scoring and the rougher parts of the game.” The team won the Valley Championships and went on to finish second in the provincial championships, losing to Halifax in a six-game series. Rod’s height also added to the team’s scoring feats. His ability to score goals from any angle, even reaching from behind the net to knock in pucks always excited the crowds.

After junior hockey, he moved to Toronto where he played two years of very competitive senior hockey, playing in 1969 – 70 for East York and in 1970 – 71 for Scarborough, where he led the teams in goals both years.

From 1970 through 74, Rod played AA Fastball in Toronto, as pitcher and first baseman, converting to a catcher so he could play tournament ball with his brother Wade, who was a pitcher. Rod recalls Wade pitching a perfect game – 21 up and 21 down.

On his return to Berwick in 1975, he joined the powerful Berwick Easson’s Fastball Club, where he would continue to shine – winning several league championships. Rod was always in the top in the three major hitting categories: batting average, home runs and RBIs. He also pitched when called upon. He became player/coach from 1979 through 1982. One highlight was winning the Greenwood Invitational Fastball tournament over eleven other teams, pitching the championship game. Another hightlight was winning the Valley League and finishing second in the Provincial Championship, losing 1 – 0 to Halifax in fifteen innings.

Rod organized the Inaugural Terry Fox Slo Pitch / Softball Tournament in 1982 and the first Apple Blossom Fastball Tournament in 1979. Both tournaments ran for many years.

He also started in 1975, and continues to run, the South Berwick Invitational Charity Golf Tournament.

Rod is also an excellent golfer. He won the South Berwick Invitational in 1978 and has finished as runner-up five times. In 2006, he and Rick Perry won their Division in the NS Senior four-ball Championship. To date he has had five holes-in-one. He plays to a seven handicap.

It is with pride that Rod is recognized by the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.

Inducted June 2007

Brian MacAskill

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Brian was born in Cowansville, Quebec in 1960. He was introduced to sports at an early age by his Acadia Hockey Hall of Fame father, John. In Quebec Minor Hockey, he represented the Town of Waterloo, Quebec at the prestigious Quebec International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament, finishing as silver medalist in his final year.

The family moved to Berwick when Dad accepted a position at West Kings High School. Brian entered the Berwick Minor Hockey Program. It was not long before he became a high scoring mainstay on Berwick’s Bantam and Midget hockey teams. Then it was on to West Kings where he starred as a high-scoring forward on the high school team.

During high school, he was noticed and recruited by the Valley Wildcats Junior A Hockey Team. He was among the team’s top scorers and made the all-star team as a left winger. He then played in the Northumberland Junior B league with Stellarton where he was once again among the league’s leading scorers. In 1983 – 84. Brian joined the Windsor Schooners Senior A Hockey Team, combining with fellow Berwick resident Larry Morse to form one of the most potent duos in senior hockey. In seventeen games in the regular season Brian scored sixteen goals and had six assists while being named playoff MVP. The player next to him in scoring had only six goals.

In 1984 – 85, Brian was third in league scoring with sixty-seven points on twenty-nine goals and thirty-eight assists while winning league MVP honours, at one point running off a twenty-eight point streak of fourteen goals and fourteen assists. Brian played a leading role in Windsor winning the provincial Senior A championship in an exciting seven-game series over Dartmouth Metro Mounties. Coach Brian Redden summed up Brian’s senior career by saying, “He is a coach’s dream, always up for games, never complaining, never missing practice – a real inspiration to his team mates”. After playing senior hockey, Brian played for the tournament team Baltzer’s Selects, winning many tournaments and being named tournament MVP many times.

Winding down his hockey career, he played into his forties, winning the National Corrections Championship in 2005 with the Nova Scotia Youth Facility Team. Also, at age forty-five he scored two goals in his final of over twenty appearances in the annual alumni game against West Kings High School Wolverines.

In tennis, Brian won the Berwick Men’s Singles Club Championship at age eighteen and paired with Robert Woodworth to win the Doubles Championship. Also, teaming with Robert Woodworth, he added two provincial B Doubles Championships.

Brian has now taken up golf and plays with the same enthusiasm and competitiveness that he displayed at hockey and tennis. Brian lives in Berwick with Donna, his son Ben and daughter Lauren and enjoys watching Ben and Lauren compete in local sports.

It is with pride that Brian MacAskill is recognized by the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.

Inducted June 2007

Larry R. Morse

In the mid 1980’s senior hockey in Nova Scotia had returned to the level of play and popularity not seen since the 1960’s. The Windsor Schooners were one of the top teams in the league and Berwick’s Larry Morse was one of their top players.

Larry started playing hockey in the Berwick minor system at the age of four. He developed an effortless skating style with deceptive speed. Larry is considered “strong on the puck with an uncanny ability to find the back of the net”. He was always called on to score the goals. In the Juvenile regional finals against West Pubnico, Larry scored all five Berwick goals including the winner in overtime to advance the locals to the Provincial Final Four. In that championship he was the tournament top scorer and was named first team all-star.

After his minor hockey days, Larry moved on to play at Kingstec where he was top scorer two years in a row. After Kingstec, he joined the Valley Wildcats of the Maritime Junior A league. Larry was a steady performer with the Wildcats registering a four goal game. In his final season he was awarded a trophy from then Wildcats’ Corner Gang for his scoring and entertaining ability over his junior career.

Larry’s rugged style and ability to score goals made him an obvious recruit for the senior team in Windsor. His five seasons with Windsor were followed by one highlight after another.

In 1983/84 he scored two goals in 16 seconds and was 12th in league scoring. Larry was developing a reputation as the ultimate power forward. He could score goals, he could set up goals and he wasn’t afraid to mix it up. In the 1984/85 season, the Windsor Schooners won the Nova Scotia Senior A Provincial Championship. Larry led the league in assists with 48 in 32 games and 4th in league scoring. The 1985/86 season brought another Senior A title to Windsor and Larry won the league scoring championship leading both goals and assists categories. He was also named first team all-star. Joel Jacobson of the Chronicle Herald stated “Larry Morse could set an example for any athlete in any sport. He’s a worker and he is proving that hard work pays off”. Coach Brian Redden spoke highly of Larry, saying “He’s very good in the corners, has a positive attitude, is easy to coach and would be called a team man. His anticipation from center ice in makes him a great scorer”. Larry partnered with fellow Berwick resident Brian MacAskill to create the highest scoring pair in the league and the area’s two most exciting and talented hockey players.

After completion of his fifth season in 1986/87, Larry was second in all-time scoring behind Dartmouth’s Danny Flynn and second all-time in league penalty minutes. No doubt he had more Gordie Howe hat tricks – one goal, one assist and one fight per game than any other player in the league.

In the summer during those years Larry ruled the ball hockey leagues as well. He was the top scorer in the Berwick Ball Hockey League four years in a row and top scorer in the Kentville League. Larry also covered the outfield for the Waterville Juniors and Berwick Eassons coveting a Valley Fastball League all-star award while with the Juniors.

Larry has been quick to give back to sports as a coach in minor hockey, high school hockey and minor baseball as well as President of Berwick Minor Hockey.

The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is proud to recognize Larry Morse as an inductee in 2007.

Paul L. Ward

Paul was born in Weston into a sports-minded family. One sport they especially enjoyed was hockey. In those days everybody joined including family, farm workers, and warehouse people. They were all eager to play on an outdoor rink or a frozen meadow. Paul’s family had a store in Weston with an attached room. In between customers, Paul would scoot in and shoot a rubber ball at a paint can cover that was nailed at the other end of the room. The result was a very hard and accurate shot.

Track and field was dominated by the Weston school team. They won many competitions – including the 1947 Berwick School and the 1948 West Kings Track Meets. The events included racing, the high jump, the hop-step-and-jump, and the shot-put. Paul was always a total-points leader in school track and field meets. In racing, Paul only lost once – in a sprint for the provincial championship held at Acadia.

In 1950, as there were no local high schools – Central Kings and West Kings had not yet been built – Paul moved to Middleton, where he boarded with an aunt. He starred in rugby and was the leading scorer on the 1950 – 51 high school hockey team. He also continued to be successful in track and field, especially in shot-put, running, broad-jump, and the 440-yard relay.

As successful as Paul was in other sports, it was in baseball that he was most proficient. He played third base and right field for the Middleton Cardinals in the Western Valley League and led in RBI’s and home runs – some noted for their length. An American import, Steve Howe, said Paul had the most potential he had seen. In 1951, Paul starred for the Middleton Cardinals as they beat Londonderry for the Provincial Intermediate Championship and defeated Holman’s of P.E.I for the Maritime title.

The South Shore had a very successful baseball league and they could recruit four imports. Paul of course, caught their eye. However, his work would take him to Thunder Bay and later to St. Catharines. He loved these areas as they were great sports towns – and even had batting machines.

In 1961, Paul returned to the area. He played hockey and became the president of the highly competitive Berwick and District Hockey League and manager of his team. In order to encourage even more hockey players, Paul also organized six more teams into what became known as the Paul Ward League.

A decade later, Paul began playing slo-pitch in the Berwick and District League for the Graves team and the Berwick Building Supplies Old Timers team; both of which won League Championships. Paul recalls the fun he had playing – and yes, he could still hit them out of the park.

Paul also served his community in many capacities as fifth president and a twenty plus year member of the Berwick and District Lions Club.

It is with pride that Paul is recognized by the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.

Inducted June 2007