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2005

Lynnette (Surrette) Young

Higher, farther, faster

Lynnette is one of Berwick's most versatile athletes. At an early age she established herself as a force in the local and provincial athletic communities in an impressive variety of sports.

Lynnette made her earliest mark in figure skating. She started skating at the Berwick Figure Skating Club at the age of 8 and later at the Greenwood Figure Skating Club. By age 15, she was working on her 4th figure, 3rd and final Junior Silver Dances, and Senior Bronze Free Skate while helping to coach at the Berwick club. She also skated the leading roles in many productions at both clubs.

She was also active in a gymnastics program in Wolfville from ages eleven to thirteen and she participated in various gymnastics demonstrations throughout the Valley.

She was a member of the 1979 Kings County Champions Berwick School Junior Girls Volleyball team.

In 1980, Lynnette was the lead runner for the Nova Scotia team in the 14-and-under Mile Medley Race at the Legion National Track and Field Championships in Saskatoon where they won the Gold Medal. She also placed 4th in the High Jump and 5th in the Girls 100 m. Sprint.

In 1981, Lynnette simply overwhelmed the competition. At the Kings County Track and Field Meet she set a new Junior High Jump record of 1.50 m. In the Western Regionals she set a new Junior High Jump record of 1.53 metres, a record that still stands today. At the Provincial Track and Field Meet at Beazley Field in Dartmouth she set a new Junior High Jump record. She also held the Kings County record in the 100 m. Sprint and the 100 m. Hurdles. In the Canada Games Selection Meet she won the 100 m. Hurdles but was not eligible to go to the Games because she was too young. She was also a member of the Berwick School Junior Girls Volleyball team when they again won the Kings County Championship.

The next year brought much success as well. Lynnette won the 100 m. Sprint and 100 m. Hurdles and came second in the High Jump and Long Jump at the Provincial Track and Field Meet. At the Volleyball Nova Scotia Skills Camp she was named the No. 1 Ranked Player. She was the MVP in basketball and was also named the 1981-82 Female Athlete of the Year at Berwick School.

In 1983, Lynnette set a new Western Regional Intermediate Girls High Jump record at 1.59 metres, a record that stands unbroken. She was also the Rookie of the Year in West Kings High School Basketball and MVP in West Kings Volleyball.

Throughout Junior and Senior High and beyond, Lynnette extended her outstanding athletic abilities and competitiveness to other sports as well, including ball hockey and softball. In 1992, she was MVP in the Berwick Ladies Ball Hockey League and, in 1993, she was named All-Star Forward in Berwick Ladies Ball Hockey. She still plays softball.

As Jack Spindler, her long-time coach and teacher, said, "Lynnette succeeded at very high levels in every sport in which she participated." He also said, "Opposing coaches would ask, 'Where did you get that player?'" Well, she came from Berwick.

Jim Hampsey

Jim is undoubtedly one of the best all-round athletes ever produced in the Berwick area. Encouraged by a sports-minded family, he excelled at high levels of competition and was always a team leader.

In softball, Jim combined good hitting, fielding, and speed. He was a perennial All-Star and a lifetime .300 power hitter. He helped the Berwick Legionnaires win many league titles. In 1960, he helped the Berwick Juniors defeat the Canso Athletics for the Bault Trophy and the Nova Scotia Junior Softball Championship. In 1961, he helped the Legionnaires win the Maritime Intermediate C Softball Championship.

All along, Jim was a much sought-after baseball pitcher - the best teenaged right-hander in the province, with pin-point control and a signature pitch that was a wicked curveball which no one could hit effectively. Jim pitched several outstanding games that helped the Kentville Braves win the Eastern League Championship in 1962. He helped pitch the Hantsport Shamrocks to a pennant in 1963. In 1964, he pitched for the Sydney Mines Ramblers as they lost in seven games in the Nova Scotia semi-finals. In the seventh game of this championship, Jim was locked in one of the greatest pitching classics in Nova Scotia baseball history against a rival named Foley. He went the distance, throwing a seven-hitter and striking out a record 19 hitters. His strikeout ratio still ranks as one of the highest in Nova Scotia baseball history.

Jim also played forward on several local hockey teams and in the highly competitive Kings County League. He was a fine skater and an intelligent player who was always a tremendous playmaker and a league-leading scorer. You could always find him in the Top 10 scorers. Jim made a habit of multiple-goal games.

Jim was also a superlative golfer. Dedication to the rules, structured practice, and proper golf etiquette resulted in several worthy accomplishments. In 1969 Jim overcame a strong field to win the Club Championship at Paragon Golf and Country Club. In 1971 all of that practice also paid off with a blistering 66 to set the course record - a record that stood for nine years until it was broken by Nova Scotia Hall of Famer Gerry MacMillan. In that same year, he also had a hole-in-one on No. 7 at Paragon. He also has a Nova Scotia Legion title to his credit.

Jim also excelled in bowling. He maintained a seasonal high average of 105, with a personal best game of 160. Jim was always a threat individually, as was any team that he played on.

It is said of Jim that he brought a natural talent to every sport that he played.

Inducted June 2005

Carl Best

Carl began playing ball at Waterville School and it was obvious from the beginning that he had a special talent for pitching.

After the Second World War, softball developed in popularity. A league began in Waterville and eventually spread to include the whole Valley. The Waterville teams played an exciting brand of ball, with talent at every position. There were often over a thousand fans in attendance to enjoy the excitement.

Carl helped to organize his first team, the Waterville Farmers, in 1946. When Carl pitched twenty-seven innings in twenty-four hours for the Waterville Farmers against the Greenwood Flyers, in 1950, the newspaper account of the day referred to him as the best softball pitcher "ever" in the Valley.

The Farmers evolved into the Waterville 7-Ups and later the Waterville Mohawks. In 1956 the Mohawks played against Sydney for the Nova Scotia Championship. Carl, with his famous riseball, threw a brilliant two-hitter in the deciding game, but he saved his best for the Nova Scotia - Prince Edward Island Championship against RCAF Prince Edward Island. Carl threw a no-hitter and also scored the winning run, in effect winning his own game.

In 1958 the Mohawks kept their name but moved to Aylesford. Carl continued to star. In a series against Westville, he was the winning pitcher in both games and, again, he shone at the plate as well, hitting three times in the championship game. The paper of the day described his being carried off the field in glorified fashion by team mates and fans.

Carl moved to the Cambridge Red & Whites in 1964 and won another Nova Scotia Championship. He was once again brilliant as he put Sydney away with a four-hit performance in the championship game.

On the rare occasions when Carl's team was beaten out, he was held in such high respect that he was always picked up by the winning team to help them continue in their quest for the title. In 1963, he was recruited by the Berwick Allstars in their victorious campaign against his old team, the Aylesford Mohawks.

Carl is a very humble man who gives a lot of the credit for his successes to the teammates that he felt privileged to play with over the years.

After his playing career, he went on to manage with longtime friend and coach Dr. Ron Thorpe.

At age fifty-three, Carl returned to the Waterville Mohawks to experience the thrill of playing one game with his two sons.

Carl Best is a great competitor and gentleman who was respected by his opponents and loved by his teammates and fans.

Inducted June 2005

Bill Best

The Bests were a sports-minded family and their father, Allison would take the kids to the rink nearly every day, so it was inevitable that Bill would develop as a hockey player. It quickly became apparent that Bill had unusual talent. In his very first year in hockey, 1963-64, he was awarded the Most Valuable Squirt Trophy.

In 1967-68, as a PeeWee player, he won the Sportsmanship Trophy.

In his first year in Bantam, he played on the Berwick Combines. In his second year, he left Berwick hockey to play for two teams: the West Kings District High School team and the Kentville Wildcats. The West Kings team went on to win the 1969-70 Nova Scotia Provincial Men's High School Hockey Championship (the only year that West Kings has ever won the title) and the Kentville Wildcats went on to win the 1969-70 Maritime Bantam Championship. Bill was also named West Kings Male Intermediate Athlete of the Year. His speed earned him the nickname "The Roadrunner".

Bill played for the Maritime Junior "A" Halifax Atlantics in 1970-71. His talent became well known. He was drafted to play in 1971-72 with the Ontario Major Junior "A" St. Catharines Blackhawks. He won the Trophy for the Most Underrated Player on the St. Catharines team.

In 1972-73, he played for the Laurentian University Voyagers. In 1972, while with the Voyagers, Bill also had the privilege of playing against Russia's Moscow Selects.

He returned to the Ontario Major Junior "A" League with the Sudbury Wolves in 1973-74. He was described in a newspaper account as "an aggressive left-winger who is fast, has a good shot and is not adverse to going into the corners for the puck". Throughout his hockey career, Bill was known as a strong penalty-killer and a player who was "not afraid to drop the gloves".

During 4 years of university and junior hockey, Bill earned a B.Sc. with high distinction. As he told a newspaper reporter, "I'd like to be a veterinarian some day. First I want to play pro hockey but when I get to a level that I know I won't be able to succeed, then I will quit."

In 1974, Bill was drafted in the 6th round of the NHL Draft by the Boston Bruins. He attended the Boston Bruins' training camp in 1974. The coach was Don Cherry and fellow players included Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Wayne Cashman, Johnny Bucyk, Carol Vadnais, and Terry O'Riley. In 1974-75, he played for two of the farm teams of the Boston Bruins, the Dayton Gems of the IHL and the Rochester Americans of the AHL. While with the Dayton Gems, they made it to the IHL Semi Finals.

Bill had a lot of success in hockey and, after it was over, he also achieved his longtime ambition to become a veterinarian.

Inducted June 2005

Lorimer Daniels

Where would Berwick Gala Days be without Horse and Ox Pulls? And where would Horse and Ox Pulls be without the contribution and legacy of Lorimer Daniels? Lorimer participated in Gala Days first Horse Pull in 1947 and began a career as the most popular annual performer and promoter of the event.

He and his wife, Mary, raised ten boys on their farm in Viewmont, on the North Mountain. As one of Lorimer's grandsons put it, "He could do anything with horses. He could heal them, pull them, show them, ride them, race them, and - above all - he could work them."

Lorimer once said to a newspaper reporter that, in the beginning, "Horse pulling was a way to pick up a few extra dollars" but that, later on, "with the price of fuel and the expense of keeping the horses, you're lucky if you break even. There's not much money in pulling, but it's the sport of it that keeps us interested".

As Lorimer said about a horse-pull or ox-pull event, "It is a time of competition but at the same time it is the opportunity to see old friends and renew acquaintances". Not that the renewed acquaintance was without some apprehension on the part of those old friends. Lorimer was, in the words of one of his sons, "the most dreaded competitor and the most respected at the same time. The teamsters all knew when we pulled in to unload that they were going to have to make every move count if they planned to win because that was the only thing on father's mind that day. Yet he always had some good advice for teamsters willing to listen and pay attention, for he had perfected horse-pulling, and ox-pulling, too, to a science, a science that very few have ever - or ever will - match, for he lived for pulling competitions."

A reporter who joined him one day at the South Shore Exhibition noted that "Mr. Daniels knows horses and what makes a good one as well as a good pair. He said sometimes you can get two great horses who are strong and willing to pull but they can't work together. This can sometimes be changed if a person has the time to work with them and if they get to know exactly what their handler wants." She observed that, while watching his fellow-competitors, "He never took his eyes off the ring. As each team entered the ring at the elimination pull, Mr. Daniels was quick to point out their good points as well as their bad. He explained the way in which the driver tries to get his team to haul the weight the required distance and just how smart these animals are by watching their actions in the ring."

Lorimer created a dynasty as his and Mary's boys, and later their grandchildren, became competitive. If, as occasionally occurred, Lorimer did not win an event, another member of the family would. Lorimer, for example, was the first Nova Scotian to ever participate in the International Horse Pulls and, although he never won this event, two of his sons have. The family is also responsible for the creation of an annual Horse Pull which has raised thousands of dollars in support of the Nova Scotia Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Keeping himself and his teams "looking good" and in "great shape" garnered Lorimer - and "King", "Prince", "Dick", "Bob", and a host of other horses and oxen - hundreds of trophies and awards at competitions, including Nova Scotia, Maritime, and Atlantic titles and, in 1963, the World Ox Pull Championship.

As Mary has said, when asked why Lorimer competed year after year, "He loved it."

Inducted June 2005

Darrell Corbett

In the early 1950s, the new Berwick School athletic program was limited in scope. Little did anyone know, a giant surge was about to hit it. Darrell Corbett was interested in getting involved. What a force! A young track star who had a keen interest in all sports and in young people. A humble man, he probably didn't realize how much he had to offer.

He would often drop by the school to lend a hand. His ability to teach, organize, and implement programs would open the floodgates for athletes in the greater Berwick area. He soon became known as "Coach" Corbett and, shortly thereafter, he became Berwick School's first physical education teacher. His programs were second to none in the often-heard opinions of former students.

Darrell's involvement in hockey and, especially, fastball took the sports to a whole new level. Serving variously as manager, assistant, coach, scorekeeper, and vocal supporter, he led many Berwick teams to provincial titles and maritime championships throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including the Nova Scotia Junior Maritime Intermediate C Fastball Championship in 1961 and the Senior B Championship in 1963.

Also, he was very active, with longtime friend Paul Bethune, in organizing and promoting a highly-successful community swimming program.

Darrell continued his support of youth and athletics as a long-standing member of the Berwick Lions Club. He served on the Recreation Committee for over 30 years and was the driving force behind the Leo's Club, which is the youth branch of the organization and which works tirelessly to raise funds for the disadvantaged. It would be hard to imagine Berwick Gala Days without Darrell in the Lions "Crown 'n' Anchor" booth, where thousands of dollars have been raised for recreation. He led the Lions as president in 1983-84. Lions International is well aware of Darrell's contributions and accomplishments. In 2003, he was awarded the Lions' most prestigious award, the Melvin Jones Fellow, for dedicated humanitarian service.

Darrell is well known as the consummate fan - interested in both amateur and professional sport. He loves his Boston Red Sox and Montreal Canadiens. His amazing memory for facts and details makes him unbeatable in sports trivia. Many a sports argument has been settled by a simple phone call to Darrell.

When a committee was formed in 1999 to start the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame, Darrell was an obvious choice as a member. His knowledge of the local sports scene became instrumental in the success of the Hall of Fame. Darrell retired from the committee in 2004 and is the first founding member inducted as a builder.

Inducted June 2005