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2004 Inductees

1970 West Kings High School Hockey Team

When Ed Morgan agreed to coach the "new" hockey team at West Kings in the fall of 1969, only his sweetest dreams could predict the outcome of the initial season.

Most of the boys played minor hockey outside of school, some with the Berwick Bruins Junior "B" Team. This would be the first season for the West Kings Kings in the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation playdowns. There was a huge interest in the team with a large number of players attending tryouts. West Kings played in the Valley League along with Horton, KCA, Acadia Junior Varsity and Central Kings. West Kings were league champs with 5 wins, 2 losses, and 3 ties. The Team also played 13 exhibition games going 6-6-1.

The NSSAF A Division playdowns began against Horton. West Kings won 3-1 against Horton and followed up with a 13-0 whitewash at home in Berwick. In their next series at Clare, West Kings managed a 3-3 tie. The friendly confines of the Berwick Arena were too much for Clare as West Kings easily handled them 6-2 to advance to the provincial finals in Antigonish.

In their first match the West Kings Kings were to meet New Glasgow High who listed nine of the New Glasgow Junior Bombers on its roster. The Bombers had just disposed of the Berwick Juniors in a 2 game series. The first period was scoreless with both teams having many opportunities. New Glasgow opened the scoring early in the second. West Kings replied with two of their own in the second and iced the victory with two more in the third. The win took the Team to the championship game to face St. Pat's High who had earlier defeated the host Antigonish High School 8-1. Prior to the final, six of the West Kings players had to write a Physics exam as a condition of missing school on Friday. The students were sequestered in a hotel room and the exam was written between games and all the students passed!

The championship game was full of excitement. St. Pat's scored first. The West Kings Kings responded with two to end the first period 2-1. Each team had a pair of goals in the second. St. Pat's rallied in the third to tie the score but with less then five minutes to play, Berwick's own Alden Huntley scored the winner for West Kings. Sangster had a hat trick and Steve Varner was stellar in the net.

The Cinderella season was complete as the West Kings Kings captured the NSSAF 'A' Division hockey championship in their first full season and to this day, the only Hockey Provincial Championship.

NSSAF "A" Division - Provincial Hockey Champions

Back Left to Right
Dale Clark (Manager)
Dave Lewis (Manager)
Gary Algee (Manager)
John Peck
Greg Justice

Middle Left to Right
Rick Bezanson
Dan Sangster
Jim Orman
Bill Best
Ken Sutherland
Kent Speiran
Henry MacArthur
Alden Huntley

Front Left to Right
Larry Deziel
Randy Speiran
Ed Morgan (Coach)
Greg Best
Mike Olsen (Captain)
Bob Book
Jon Carey (Assistant Coach)
Steve Varner
Fred Hayden

Inducted June 2004

M. Marlene Connell

It is a rare occasion when a person establishes a program and over 24 years later still displays the same commitment and dedication as the year she started. Marlene Connell has no limits to her ability. Her organizational skills, work ethic and endless effort to detail have been recognized by many in the sport of Ringette.

The story of Ringette in Berwick began when Marlene, looking for a sport or activity for girls, escorted her daughter to a demonstration clinic at the Berwick Arena. The following year she organized the first group of 13 year old Berwick girls to play in the Junior Belle division. In the early years, teams were organized in partnership with Kentville. With Marlene as President, the program grew to well over 100 players with as many as 7 different teams in any given year.

Marlene has been president for all but two years between 1982 and 2004. She has coached every year as well as refereed. The first two Berwick teams to win provincial championships were in 1989 in Petite C and Novice B. From 1987 to 2004, The Berwick & District Ringette Association has produced 23 provincial champions, as well as hosted many Provincials beginning in 1987. In addition to winning Provincial Championships, The Berwick & District Ringette Association has developed into one of the most consistent and well respected organizations in the Province.

Marlene has been recognized by Sport Nova Scotia as Ringette Volunteer of the Year in 1990, 1995 and 2001. In 1997, she received the Sport Nova Scotia Service Award which goes to an individual that has been involved with a group for at least 10 years. When asked what the game has given to her, she said, "friendships that last, character building type of sport, demands team play and is a family sport".

She coached the Belles Provincial Team in 1994 at Nationals in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and again in 2002 in Moncton, New Brunswick. She coached the provincial Junior team at Nationals in 1999 in Edmonton, Alberta and 2000 in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia.

She started Debs Ringette (Adult Women) in Wolfville in 1994 and won six provincial championships and joined her 3 daughters in winning the provincial Debs championship in 2004. The entire Connell family is heavily involved in Ringette. Husband Ron has held executive positions and refereed, daughter Rhonda coaches, daughter Melissa coaches and referees, and daughter Heather referees.

In addition to all of her accomplishments, what is most important to Marlene is "keeping the Association going, seeing Berwick players do well, meeting people, travelling and having fun". There are only a few people outside of family that greatly impact one's life. Marlene is one of those people. It is no doubt why a generation of Ringette players owe their love of the game to Marlene Connell.

Inducted June 2004

Allison H Ward 1921-1978

Allison was born in Weston, Kings County, N.S. on May 27, 1921.

Raised on the family farm in Weston, Kings County, he perfected his great skating ability at a young age on the pond behind the farm that was known as the Weston Rink.

It has been said that perhaps no one individual has had more to do with the success of the Berwick Bruins Hockey Team over the years than Allison Ward.

Armed with one of the most feared wrist shots with deadly accuracy, heavy in its impact, it brought the sweat out of every goaltender that faced him. Time after time one could witness the "sagging of the twine" from one of Allison's shots. In fact, in one game, Allison scored from his own blue line with the opposing goalie in position.

Farm work and his employment in the winter with the Department of Highways kept him in top physical condition and farm life, family life, and the love of hockey were evident as his passions.

He joined the Berwick Bruins at the age of 15 and he was instrumental in leading the team to the Maritime Intermediate Hockey Championship in 1943-44, as well as winning three consecutive Nova Scotia Hockey titles between 1943-1946.

His quiet demeanor and ambitious determination, coupled with his great shot were key to all aspects of the Berwick Bruins winning the championships.

His accomplishments as a player are numerous. In February 1945 in one game against the Windsor Ramblers, he scored 12 goals and had 6 assists. He was the career scoring leader of the Berwick Bruins from 1939-1948. He accumulated numerous game MVP awards and as for determination he finished a game once in Windsor after sustaining a broken jaw.

Allison's career was regenerated after the artificial ice was put in and he continued to play into the 1960's.

Allison has also been previously inducted into the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame in June 2000 as a member of the 1943-44 Berwick Bruins and in June 2003 as a member of the 1944-45 Berwick Bruins. In the 1980's, the Berwick Bruins instituted the Allison Ward Memorial trophy to go to the most valuable player each season.

The smile that he constantly wore was contagious and those that knew him around the hockey circuit, in the community, and at home, truly believed he was indeed the "MOST VALUABLE PLAYER".

Inducted June 2004

Dave Kinsman

Growing up in Welsford, David and his Kinsman cousins were always looking for a piece of ice large enough to practice on. When a team from a neighboring community would come and play them, Dave's father, Cyril, and his brothers, Harry and Earle, would engage ice at the Berwick rink for a game. The boys won widespread favor and support in the town. Many fans could see the markings of a strong senior team that could put Berwick back on the provincial hockey scene-as in the days of the Three Stars and the Bruins.

Throughout his career, Dave earned many all-star selections and became one of the best defensemen in Berwick history. Dave had the amazing ability to anticipate plays and he possessed the skating agility to get the puck out of his end zone. Although small in stature, no player got past Dave on the boards. Relaxed amid the turbulence on the ice-Dave used his clear-headedness and ability to hand out the most crushing body checks.

Dave had a wonderful career in minor hockey. At the age of fifteen, Dave was invited to play junior hockey with the Bruins. The next year he started playing hockey with the Bruins, but chose to play with the Midget team (Western Valley Flyers) and was happy that he did. In 1966, they captured the Nova Scotia Midget Championship and then moved on to compete in the Centennial Cup (Canadian Championship) in Kingston, Ontario. They were named Maritime Champions as a result of their success at this tournament.

The next year, at age seventeen, Dave signed with the Berwick Jr. Bruins. The following year he helped the team to a second place provincial finish. In 1969, he was lured away to play Jr. A with the Cape Breton Metros. One of Dave's Cape Breton Metro teammates who went on to play for the Saint Mary's Huskies and had a tryout with the New York Rangers said that "pound for pound, Dave was the best defenseman he ever played with." Despite an injury-plagued season, he continued to impress. A year later, he signed with the Xavier Jr. College team where he earned the coach's award and another Nova Scotia Championship.

Dave had offers to play hockey at many Maritime universities but chose to play hockey in the Valley. He became the core defenseman for the Bridgetown Hawks and starred there for five years. An intermediate team was formed in Berwick in 1978 and Dave played there until he retired in 1983.

Since then Dave has continued to play Oldtimer hockey and has spent the last thirty years coaching minor and high school hockey. He served ten years on the Minor Hockey Executive. In 1989, he helped coach the Berwick Atom Bruins to a provincial championship and in 2004, the Central Kings High School team to a provincial second place finish.

Dave summed it all up this way, "I just went out and played hockey and had a good time." Former coach Bill Franklin says that "Dave was a dream to coach; he improved about 500% and became the heart and soul of the team. There was nothing he couldn't do and he became one of the best defensemen in the Valley".

Dave continues to be a wonderful ambassador and promoter of the sport and was one of the best players this area has ever seen.

Inducted June 2004

George Adams

Always athletic, George has been very competitive throughout his years. He pitched softball and played a lot of hockey on some great Berwick teams. George is also a noted curler but his particular success came in golf.

In 1941, George joined the Air Force. He helped form a seven team intersquad softball league and served as a player and coach. Upon his retirement from the military in 1945, he returned home. Being "really keen" and with a "strong interest in sports", he and Major Bickerton formed a Ladies Ball team and groomed them to become provincial contenders.

All along curling would catch his attention. George was one of "fifteen or so" men from the Berwick Curling Club who curled out of Middleton until the new Berwick curling rink was open in the early 60's. Many competitive bonspiels followed, including a Nova Scotia Legion Championship in 1962. In that year, he joined his teammates Jim Barrett, Reg Stevens and Rod Bethune to capture this title. In 1962, George and his teammates joined the 8 Enders Club.

The lure of Florida winters would interrupt his curling career. George played a little golf over the years, that and wife Betty's "interest" in the sport would lead to a storied career. Perhaps the most accomplished player from the Berwick area, George's impact on golf has a beginning, middle, and absolutely no end.

George has won numerous Club Play Honours at various courses. He has won four South Berwick Invitationals in 1979, 1980, 1984, and 1985. He represented Nova Scotia in 1985 on Vancouver Island and in 1986 at Winnipeg in the R.C.G.A. Senior Championships.

In 1990, he teamed up with Russ Riguse in Clare to capture the Nova Scotia Senior Two-Ball Championship.

In 2003, at age 84, he shot a score of 77. A month later he had his first hole in one at #11 at Berwick Heights.

He not only played the game but promoted it as well. George was on the Board of Directors at Paragon Golf and Country Club for five years. He is a former President of the highly successful Valley Seniors Golf.

George has given a lot back to sport and his community, opening doors for both men's and women's softball. He has been president of The Berwick Curling Club and a charter member of both the Berwick Lions Club and Berwick Gala Days.

George Adams is truly a deserving inductee in the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.

Inducted June 2004

Wallace Lloyd Wilson (Special Recognition) 1921-1995

Wally Wilson was born May 25, 1921 in Berwick, Nova Scotia. His father, Lloyd, was a Royal Air Force pilot and his mother, Irene, was born in England. They were married in Halifax after the First World War and later settled in Berwick. In the mid-1920's they moved to Oshawa, Ontario where Wally's passion for sports grew. As a member of the Oshawa Generals (1939-1941) of the Ontario Hockey Association, Wilson was a two-time OHA Champion and a Memorial Cup Champion with the Generals in 1940.

Following one season with the Hershey Bears (1941-1942) of the American Hockey League, Wilson joined the Toronto RCAF of the Senior Ontario Hockey Association where he led them to an appearance in the 1942 Allan Cup.

The 1942-43 season saw Wilson share his time with the RCAF, Camp Borden RCAF, and Brantford RCAF of the National Defense Hockey League before joining the Quebec Aces of the Quebec Senior Hockey League the 1944-45 season.

After another Allan Cup appearance with the Quebec Aces in 1945, Wilson was claimed by the Toronto Maple Leafs from the Hershey Bears in the Inter-League Draft in the summer of 1945.

Wally returned to the AHL for the 1945-45 and 1946-47 seasons with the Pittsburgh Hornets. After leading the Hornets in scoring during the 1945-46 season and leading them to the finals in 1947, he was traded to the Boston Bruins from Toronto for cash in the summer of 1947.

Although he never played a single game with the Maple Leafs, Wilson appeared in 53 regular season games and one playoff game with the Bruins in the 1947-48 season, recording 11 goals and 8 assists for 19 points.

Wally didn't remember much about the four or five years he spent in Berwick but the ties run deep. During his pro career, he didn't hesitate to tell journalists he was a "bluenoser". As for his status as the only Berwick born player to play in the NHL, "He thought it was great" said daughter Bonnie Welsh.

The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame pays special recognition to Wally Wilson as the "first" Berwick born player in the NHL.

Inducted June 2004