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2006

1947 Berwick Junior High Hockey Team

It just seemed magical a team of grade nine and ten students, very few practices, and lots of fun. A players dream!

Their arrival at away-games was a sight to behold: the team was made up of eight forwards, two defencemen, a goalie, a coach, and a manager, and half of them would pile out of one vehicle, a big old Ford Coupe. Some of the players thought that the close travel quarters had a lot to do with their development as a tight team, known for its pin-point passing and its speed.

A highly successful season was followed by the Nova Scotia playdowns. The first series was against Kings College of Windsor. The first game of a two-game total-goal series was played in Berwick, with Berwick winning by one goal. The second game was played in Windsor. Berwick won 15-0 and advanced to the Provincial Mainland Championship against Kings County Academy of Kentville.

Game 1 was played in Kentville and an exciting game ended in a 3-3 tie. Game 2 was played in Berwick before a "packed-to-the-rafters" crowd. A thrilling see-saw battle came to a climax late in the game when Clyde Cotter caught sight of a high-flying John Boylan out of the corner of his eye and fed a beautiful pass to him as he broke in on the K.C.A. goalie and scored. It was the winning, and only, goal of the game. Bob Bickerton played a stellar game and recorded the shut-out.

The Provincial Championship was next. Berwick was pitted in a single game against Sydney Academy, a team ably coached by members of the Sydney Millionaires of the Cape Breton Senior Hockey League. Sydney employed a tactic the Berwick squad had not encountered before. They dumped the puck, instead of carrying it, into the offensive zone. As a result, Sydney got off to a fast start that Berwick could not overcome. The final score, 5-3, was Berwick's only loss all year.

Most of the opposition teams were from larger schools, which makes Berwick's achievements so special and deserving of recognition in Berwick's Sports Hall of Fame.

1947 Berwick Junior High Hockey Team Members

Ernest Robb (Coach), C.G. Sutherland (Manager), Bob Bickerton, Johnny Boylan, Lewis Chute, Clyde Cotter, Ronald Doane, Donnie Haley, Harold Hills, Earl Hiltz, Lawrence Kelly, Lorimer Lutz, Jack Pineo

Inducted June 2006

1960 Berwick Junior Legionnaires Softball Team

In 1960 Berwick had an Intermediate "A" Softball Team, known as the All-Stars. It was made up of local players and imports from Ontario and Quebec. The sport of softball was becoming popular and Berwick had several younger players who did not make the All Stars. Pat Hampsey, a top player in the area saw the potential in these players and decided to start his coaching career and formed a new team. Pat's father, Charlie and Earl Kinsman who were key members of the Berwick Legion secured the sponsorship of the team which became known as The Berwick Legionnaires.

At first it was thought that the team should enter as an Intermediate "C" team, but after considering all but a few of the players were between 15 and 21, Pat decided to register the team as Junior. The overage players "caught on" with local teams and Pat began his coaching career with these fine young junior players.

The year started off with the Berwick All Stars, Greenwood, Kingston, Aylesford, Cambridge and the Junior Legionnaires all in the Valley Softball League. The first part of the schedule was pretty bad for the Juniors. They were beaten badly every game with scores as lopsided as 17-4 and 20-0. In the second half of the schedule the Legionnaires became competitive. They started winning games, beating Kingston, Greenwood, and even the Berwick All Stars. In the last two games of the schedule, the Legionnaires beat Cambridge who went on to win the Nova Scotia Intermediate "C" Championship. For the provincial Junior Championship, it was decided Berwick would face the winner of the Trenton and Canso series, as these were the three teams registered Junior that year. Canso advanced to play Berwick in a two out of three series. The Canso Athletes travelled to Berwick Saturday, September 3rd and were soundly trounced by the locals 19-3 on a three hit performance by pitcher Gerry Murphy and home runs by Murphy and Greg Moreash. The Legionnaires traveled to Canso on Monday, September 5th and found themselves in a much tighter situation.

Fueled by a boisterous hometown crowd estimated at 3,000 - 4,000, which had to be moved back off the foul lines numerous times by the umpire, Canso jumped to a 5-3 lead after six innings. Berwick rallied for three runs in the 7th and added pairs in the 8th and 9th to win the game 11-7. After the game, the Bault Trophy was presented to Captain John Parker to the first Berwick Softball Team to win a Provincial Title. Coach Pat Hampsey remarked that "this accomplishment was not about what the players did, but what they did for each other."

This remarkable group put Berwick on the Nova Scotia and Maritime Softball map with most of the players staying together for several years winning a N.S. Intermediate "C" championship, a Maritime Senior "B" championship title and finishing runner - up in the Intermediate "A" Provincial final.

The achievements of the 1960 Berwick Legionnaires Softball Team makes these players deserving of recognition into the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.

1960 Berwick Junior Legionnaires Softball Team Members

John Parker (Captain)
Ted Parker
Max Keddy
Clark Nichols
Brian Bethune
Gary Whittier
Greg Moreash
Jim Hampsey
Bruce Petrie
Paul Bethune
Gerry Murphy
Bob Haines
Allan Durno
John Petrie
Orlay Veno
John Strong (Bat Boy)
Darrell Corbett (Assistant Manager)
Wes Keddy (Manager)
Pat Hampsey (Coach)

Inducted June 2006

1977-78 Central Kings Rural High School Boys Hockey Team

The 1977-1978 Central Kings Rural High School Boys Hockey team capped off what was a phenomenal year by winning the first provincial "B" hockey title in the twenty-six year history of the school. Early on in the team's season, no one could have predicted the effect that new coach Peter Goucher, and a total emphasis on creating a team, would have on this special group of young men.

The tone for the year was set during the very first practice. It was a well organized and disciplined practice which left many players, both new and old, feeling ill. The message was clear. If you wanted to play for Coach Goucher, and you wanted to be successful, you needed to give 100% effort and face the task or challenge at hand as a team.

In December the team enjoyed success in two local tournaments competing against mostly "A" teams. The team won the annual Dickie Moore Jr. Memorial Tournament with victories over K.C.A and Kings Regional Vocational School. The team also won the consolation championship of the Acadia University High School Tournament by defeating Bridgetown and Liverpool Regional High School.

In late January the team was entered in the Silver Stick Tournament held in Lunenburg. The team played very well and earned a spot in the championship game against Colonel Gray High School, the top "A" team from P.E.I. The team, given little chance, played extremely well and defeated Colonel Gray 3 - 2 on the strength of Captain Bobby MacPhail's hat trick and stellar goaltending by Darrell McDow. This tournament crown and particularly the win against Colonel Gray set the wheels in motion for an unbelievable ride to the Provincial "B" High School Hockey Crown.

The playoffs started with C.K. defeating local valley teams, Cornwallis District and Bridgetown Regional to qualify for the third round against Barrington Consolidated in a two-game total-goal series. The result of the first game played in Shelburne was so lopsided, the South Shore team refused to return to Berwick for the second game. The team then advanced to the Mainland Federation "B" Championship against Hants West, which Central Kings won by scores of 5 - 0 and 9 - 2 for a two-game total-goal series win 14 - 2.

The team advanced to the provincial finals versus Sydney Regional Vocational School, the Northumberland-Cape Breton series winners. The Central Kings "Green Machine" team was not to be denied. They soundly defeated Sydney 16 - 2 in a two-game total-goal series. The first game in the series was played on a Saturday in Sydney where the Central Kings team displayed superior skill in every aspect of the game, winning 11 - 0. Although the Sydney team was much bigger physically, they were no match for the determined Central Kings team. On Sunday the teams returned to Berwick where Central Kings won the championship on home ice by defeating Sydney 5 - 2.

The Provincial title capped an unbelievable twelve-game undefeated playoff streak. The teams' overall record for the year was 25 wins 8 losses and 2 ties. Their success was attributed to a group of unselfish, character players who understood their roles, played with great heart and enthusiasm, and who looked out for one another.

The 1977-78 Central Kings Rural High School Hockey Team is inducted into the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of its outstanding season.

1977-78 Central Kings "Green Machine" Team Members

Peter Goucher (Coach), John Prall (Manager), Ivan Armstrong, Carmen Best, Wade Dunham, Ward Dunham, Mike Fredericks, John Graves, Pieter Jacobs, Tim Lamb, Bob MacPhail, Darrell McDow, Aaron Millett, Kevin Redden, Ken Rhodenizer, Randy Rockwell, Peter Sawler, Scott Thompson, Mike Turner, and Waldo Walsh

Inducted June 2006

Danny Weir

Being born in a sports-minded town to sports-minded parents and blessed with natural talent, Dan took to virtually every sport he played and excelled in them all. He was introduced to tennis at a young age and at 12 years of age he won the Berwick Men's Club Championship (repeated 5 times), eliminating some very accomplished players along the way. Later, during that same year of 1968, he teamed with Bruce Thompson of Halifax to record a huge upset win in the 14 and under Eastern Canadian Doubles Championship. In 1969, he teamed with Thompson again to win the Nova Scotia Provincial 14 and under Doubles. In 1972, he and Peter Wardrope won the 18 and under Provincial Doubles title and, in 1973, Dan won again, this time teaming with Brian Appleby. They went on to win the Maritime 18 and under Doubles Championship. In all, six Provincial and Maritime titles by the age of eighteen.

In fastball, Dan starred with Berwick Eassons in the powerful Valley League where he played shortstop and center field. A leadoff hitter, he also was a home run hitter. After moving to Halifax, he went on to play with Sackville Carlsbergs, leading them to the Intermediate "A" Provincial finals. Following that tournament, he was picked up by the champion, Enfield Legion, and joined them in winning the Maritime Championship.

In hockey, Dan starred and led each team in scoring through Berwick's Minor Hockey program. He went on to star for West Kings High School where he was leading scorer on some very talented West Kings Teams. Dan still holds the West Kings record for points per game set in the 1970s. In his senior high year, 1972-1973, he played for Windsor Royals and starred in both high school and junior hockey. From West Kings, he was recruited by St. Lawrence University in New York where he attended on an academic scholarship. At St. Lawrence, he was Rookie of the Year and was a leading scorer in his four years there. The following year, he attended Dalhousie University to pursue a law degree. Because of the four-year eligibility rule for Maritime university hockey in place at that time, he played in 1977-1978 for the Chester Merchants, where he was the leading goal scorer in the Intermediate "A" League.

In 1978-1979, the eligibility rule changed and Dan was promptly recruited by Dalhousie to play his fifth and final year of university hockey. That talented squad, coached by Pierre Page, shocked everyone by upsetting powerhouse St. Mary's in a memorable three game series at the Metro Centre to win the Atlantic University Athletic Association Crown, the first in fifty years for Dalhousie. They advanced to the National Finals losing out to Alberta Golden Bears (featuring future Edmonton Oiler, Randy Gregg) in the nationally televised gold medal game.

Post-university, Dan played the 1979-1980 season with the Windsor Merchants who won the Nova Scotia Intermediate "A" Championship.

In golf, as in other sports, Dan plays the game well, finishing second in the South Berwick Open, as he would say, too many times.

Dan has his own law practice in Halifax and still frequently visits the town where he grew up and where his mother and sister still reside.

Dan now proudly joins his father, Don Weir, in the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.

Inducted June 2006

Craig P. Prall

It started at the age of three, tagging along with dad, the school physical education teacher, to the school gymnasium and the arena. From jumping on the gym mats and rolling around the basketballs, Craig came to become an accomplished hockey and fastball player. His minor hockey career began as a forward, but when he discovered he could play on two teams, if he joined the other team as the goaltender, the love of tending the nets began. For a number of years Craig continued to alternate between goaltending and forward. His goaltending career blossomed in high school backstopping the West King team to the provincial semifinals in 1979/80.

In 1980/81 he began his junior hockey career with the Kentville Wildcats leading the league in minutes played by a goaltender in that year and the following one. In 1982/83 he joined the Halifax Junior Lions. The Junior Lions had a great year winning the league and provincial titles and winning the Callaghan Cup as Atlantic Champions.

The Callaghan Cup gave the Lions the opportunity to play for the Centennial Cup. The Lions lost a hard fought battle to the North York Rangers who went on to claim the Centennial Cup and National Championship.

Prall was instrumental in the Lion's run winning the team MVP award and the top goaltender of the Metro Valley Junior League that year. "He's turned this club around," said Coach Jim Bottomley. "He's getting stronger as time goes on and has been one of the main reasons for our big success."

Craig's hockey career did not stop at Junior. In 1983/84 he played with the Dalhousie Tigers Varsity Team. After graduation he moved to Yarmouth where he won a Provincial Senior "C" Hockey Championship in 1985 while being named the MVP of the playoffs.

In 1979, his fastball accomplishments began as a teenager when he earned a spot on the Berwick Eassons finishing second in batting with a .396 average and being named Rookie of the Year. In 1980, he played for the West Kings High School Fastball Team where he was named MVP of the team.

In 1982 he was still a junior and joined the newly formed Waterville Juniors. He captured the league batting title with an impressive .433 in the highly competitive Valley Fastball League.

He moved to senior ball the next two seasons with the ACA Raiders out of Kentville. In 1983 he won the league batting title with a .361 average. He was selected to the all-star team for two seasons in a row.

Craig continued to play fastball in Yarmouth, Dartmouth, and Bermuda. In 1995 he rejoined the Eassons for one final season of competitive ball.

As had his father before him, Craig next turned his attention to coaching both hockey and baseball. Craig now joins his father, John Prall, in the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.

Inducted June 2006

M. Spencer Horsburgh

As the Kentville Advertiser reported on the occasion of his death in 1967, "When he was a young man, M.S. Horsburgh may have heard the advice of Horace Greeley, but he certainly did not heed it. Born and brought up in Saskatchewan, he went east rather than west, a decision which can only be regarded as fortunate for the district in which he made his home and lived his life."

Spencer, born in 1904, worked as a farmer and lumber retailer and graduated from Teachers' College before he and his wife, Helen, and their two children, Margaret Elaine and Robert Laurie, moved to Berwick during the Great Depression. Two more children, Herbert Spencer and John Richard, were born later in Berwick.

He quickly became active in business. He was first employed on two farms. He became manager for the Berwick Fruit Company from 1933 to 1946. From 1947 until his death, he was manager of United Woodville Ltd. He was also a director and vice-president of Scotian Gold Cooperative Ltd. He served, too, as president of The Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association, vice-president of Maritime Cooperative Services Ltd., and president of the Nova Scotia Beekeepers Association.

He also contributed his leadership to community affairs. Among other contributions, he was mayor of Berwick for fifteen years, president of the Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival for seventeen years, and chair of the Board of Commissioners for Kings County Vocational High School.

He was also athletic. In Saskatchewan, he was a starting pitcher for a championship team called the Saskatchewan Sod Busters and, in his forties, he pitched for Berwick in the Halifax District League. He was an active curler throughout his years in Berwick. His son, Robert, remembers the big blue Macintosh coat he used to wear to the rink and he still has his curling hat with the many club pins on it. He also loved fishing, particularly for rainbow and lake trout as well as the brook trout around Berwick. He loved horses, too, having grown up with them. He had a thorough understanding of them and he gained a reputation for expert advice. One athletic activity he did give up soon after moving to Nova Scotia was swimming: having had all of his previous experience in the warm sun-drenched sloughs of Saskatchewan, one dive off the wharf into the water at Harbourville was enough to last him the rest of his life.

Spencer is already a three-time inductee into the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame: he was the manager/coach of the 1936-37 Berwick Bruins Senior Provincial Hockey Champions, the 1943-44 Berwick Bruins Intermediate Maritime Hockey Champions, and the 1944-45 Berwick Bruins Intermediate Provincial Hockey Champions.

He managed/coached many other Berwick Bruins hockey teams between 1934 and 1949, including the 1937-38 Senior Eastern League Champions and the 1945-46 Intermediate Provincial Champions.

He was also an active member of the Berwick Gala Days Committee from 1940 to 1960 as chair and judge of the Horse and Ox Pulling Competitions.

The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame honours M. Spencer Horsburgh for his longstanding dedication to sports in Berwick.

Inducted June 2006