Viewing entries tagged
2011

1966-1967 Berwick Shell Juniors

A decade after the 1956-1957 Berwick Apple Kings were crowned provincial and Maritime Junior champions, a Berwick Junior team once again rose to provincial prominence.

Much had changed in 10 years: the Apple Kings' era had ended, but a new era had emerged, spawned by the introduction of artificial ice.

Don Stewart, with the sponsorship of Sawlor Fuels, started a junior program. Stewart was also instrumental in the formation of the Metro-Valley Junior 'B' Hockey League, but Berwick opted not to join the league.

Dubbed the Shell Juniors, the team consisted primarily of local boys, with the addition of a few players from a bit further afield. Among those eager to play were Mike and Phil Kinsman, Rod Dorey, Bruce Redden, Barry Ling, Charlie Reeves, Dwight Bishop, Dale Lloyd, Richard Palmer and Bobby Wilson.

A few more talented players were needed to bolster their lineup, so Jim Cochrane, Brian 'Smiley' MacPherson, Carl Parks and Steve Rayworth came from Kentville, Gary Darling from Greenwood and goaltender Brian Murray from Centreville-Canning.

The group jelled instantly, and along with head coach Laurie Jordan of Kentville and assistant Gary Whittier of Berwick, they were ready for the season.

The Shell Juniors were a hit with the fans from the start, filling the Berwick Arena every Saturday night playing against other junior teams, some senior teams and Universite Sainte-Anne.

The juniors had a solid nucleus of performers, and called on local midget players to fill out the lineup when required. According to the Berwick Register, the squad “played an exciting brand of hockey, combining fast skating, lots of goals and a rough-and-tumble style of play.”

Berwick fans were treated to many entertaining matches, including an 8-2 win over Windsor Royals, 8-6 over South Shore All-Stars, 11-1 over the Wolfville Colonials Intermediate 'B' team, and 8-4 over the Halifax Colonels, the 'B' team of the Halifax Junior 'A' Canadiens.

As an independent team, Berwick had the opportunity to meet the winner of the newly-formed Metro-Valley Junior 'B' league for the Nova Scotia championship.

The series was finally set to begin Mar. 18-19 in Berwick and continue Mar. 22-23 at the Halifax Forum. The opposition would be the Halifax Colonels, who had the advantage of moving players up and down from the Junior 'A' ranks and were installed as heavy favorites.

In front of a record crowd at the Berwick Arena, the local boys sent game one into overtime with a goal midway through the third period, but Halifax scored six minutes into extra time to win 8-7. Game two was just as close, but Halifax was able to build a 4-2 lead and hold on for a 4-3 victory.

The series shifted to Halifax, and in what Jack Conrad of the Chronicle-Herald described as “a penalty-studded game” that the officials “had a busy time controlling,” Berwick jumped out to a lead in the second period and skated to a 7-4 win.

Game four, again at the Forum, was an ugly contest. Not only did Halifax win 9-2, Berwick's top scorer Rod Dorey suffered a nasty cut to the arm that required 38 stitches, sidelining him for the rest of the series.

Game five was a must-win for the locals at the Berwick Arena, and they did not disappoint their many fans, playing “brilliantly” in a 5-3 victory. With their back to the wall, they returned to Halifax for game six. After a seesaw first period, the game was tied 3-3. Halifax then scored three goals in three minutes in the second period and held on for a 6-3 win and the provincial title.

Despite really being a 'David and Goliath' match-up , it turned out to be an entertaining series that many observers felt might have been even closer had Berwick's big man Rod Dorey not been injured. The following year, Berwick joined the Metro-Valley league and continued to ice a competitive team.

The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct, in the team category, the Berwick Shell Juniors, worthy provincial runners-up in an outstanding 1966-1967 season.

Berwick Shell Juniors 1966-1967

Mike Kinsman
Phil Kinsman
Rod Dorey
Bruce Redden
Barry Ling
Charlie Reeves
Dwight Bishop
Dale Lloyd
Richard Palmer
Bobby Wilson
Brian Murray
Jim Cochrane
Brian MacPherson
Karl Parks
Steve Rayworth
Gary Darling

Head Coach: Laurie Jordan
Assistant Coach: Gary Whittier

Inducted June 2011

1979-1980 Berwick Lions Juveniles

The Berwick Lions juveniles were a team brought together in the spring of 1980 to compete for the regional and provincial Juvenile 'C' titles.

The players, mainly from the Berwick area, had played together at one time or another over the years, but this season, they would all play as one unit.

That 1980 season consisted of playing exhibition games as no juvenile league existed in the province at the time. The Lions won the bulk of those games, looking to peak at the provincial Juvenile 'C' playoffs.

Coach John Charest recalls that Berwick had to beat Cornwallis, the Mid-Valley juveniles who played out of Lawrencetown, and West Pubnico in order to qualify for provincials.

After eliminating the first two opponents, Berwick took on West Pubnico in a best-of-three regional final. The third and deciding game was played Mar. 22, 1980 in front of a large crowd at the Berwick Arena.

The game went to overtime and was decided in Berwick's favour by a 6-5 score when Larry Morse found the net on a perfect drop pass from Dale Spicer. Craig Prall was outstanding in the Lions' net.

Berwick's next stop was Church Point, site of the Nova Scotia Juvenile 'C' championship. Despite their success to that point, the banged-up Lions looked to be far from favorites to win.

Charest recalls, “out of 13 players, one had a bruised ankle, several had upper bodies and arms that looked like tic-tac-toe boards that were bruised from hockey sticks, two suffered from Charley horses, one had badly bruised feet and one was hurt prior to the tournament and couldn't shoot the puck.”

The Lions started well, winning their opening game 5-4 in overtime over the host Clare Zeniths. Larry Morse netted the hat trick, including the overtime winner, and Dale Spicer added a pair of goals. The Saturday evening game, however, was a “disaster.” The Cape Breton Islanders from Sydney scored nine times, with Jim Kennie managing the lone Berwick marker.

The Lions entered their final round robin game Sunday morning against Sackville Acadiens looking to bounce back, and did so with a memorable performance that unfortunately ended in a 7-5 defeat.

Berwick “fought hard,” but ended up falling just short against a Sackville team that would end up winning the tournament and the provincial title.

Larry Morse again had two goals, and with Sackville up 6-5 and time running out, rang what would have been the tying goal off the post. Sackville scored the final goal in a 7-5 victory into an empty net.

All in all, it was a game effort by the Berwick boys, as reported in the Berwick Register which was all over the provincial tournament being played just a few hours' drive away in Digby County. “Had there been an award for the team with the most heart and guts,” it said, “Berwick had no competition for that one.”

Charest recalls the Lions, led by their captain Craig Newton, as “a great bunch of kids to coach, the easiest team I've had to coach in all the years I coached. They were all friends who got along very well,” and despite maybe not having the overall talent of some other teams, “they were a team to be reckoned with.”

Larry Morse, who had five goals at provincials and made the tournament all-star team, was an offensive-minded player who “was always one of the best players in the province,” and who would go on to set a record for assists in a season in the Nova Scotia Senior Hockey League.

The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct, in the Team category, the 1979-1980 Berwick Lions Juveniles, truly a 'little team that could'.

1979-1980 Berwick Lions Juveniles

Kevin Ogilvie
Jim Kennie
Robert Hiltz
Gregg Saunders
John Jones
Larry Morse
Matt Hardy
Tony Hooch-Antink
Craig Newton
Craig Prall
Wade Morton
Dale Spicer
Kevin Nelson

Coaches: John Charest, Stewart Spicer
Manager: Art Newton

Inducted June 2011

Robert Clark

In the late 1950s, there were few if any athletes in Kings County to rival Berwick's Robert Norman Clark, who excelled in track and field and was equally successful in both jumping and throwing events.

Robert's earliest memories of track and field are of a meet in 1950 held behind the old Berwick school, organized by Principal C.G. Sutherland and Vice-Principal Ian Robb. Some of the local competitors included Eddie Nichols, Paul Ward, Don Weir, Donnie Hall and Darrell Corbett.

Robert first became involved in track and field competition in the spring of 1953, while a student at Central Kings Rural High School. He competed in interscholastic meets in discus, shot put and javelin, and also counted the high jump, broad (long) jump and triple jump as part of his repertoire. Proper preparation was always a key to his success. “I trained hard during the summer, around my work program on the farm,” he says. “I trained alone, and I always wished I had someone to push me.”

Among the individuals Robert credits for helping him to excel in his athletic endeavours were Burton Bowlby, his first coach at Central Kings, Al Peppard of Middleton and Wally Barteaux of Kentville.

Robert's real heyday as an elite track and field athlete spanned the years 1956-1960. He competed at meets in Bridgetown, Halifax, Truro, Amherst, Antigonish and Summerside as well as at the Acadia Relays, a top-level annual meet held in Wolfville in which both high school and university athletes competed.

In 1956, he merited a Physical Education award for his prowess in basketball, volleyball and track and field at Central Kings. He won the discus and high jump at the Acadia Relays in 1956, and was the Maritime champion in the high jump, broad jump and discus in 1957.

Robert recalls the Highland Games in Antigonish as “the meet where I first began reaching a peak in my throwing. Sandy Patterson had been coming to Antigonish from Boston every year to win the discus, but I spoiled his fun.” In 1956, Robert earned trophies at both the Highland Games (where he competed with the Navy team from Cornwallis) and the Maritime Championship held during the Summerside Lobster Carnival.

During those years, the Royal Canadian Legion sponsored a training program known as the Canadian Olympic Training Plan. Robert was a member of the COTP team for two successive years, training at the University of Toronto and having the opportunity to train under the best coaches in Canada.

Robert and Peter Simmonds, a student-athlete at Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax who would go on to star in basketball and track and field at Acadia, topped the list in physical fitness testing by a Military Training Team.

Robert competed for a berth on the Canadian Olympic track and field team, and while he fell short of his goal of qualifying, he competed with and against many athletes who did make it to the Olympics.

After graduating from high school, Robert attended the Nova Scotia Agricultural College from 1957-1959, then moved on to the University of Guelph to study for a degree in Poultry Science.

At Guelph, he was a member of the school's track and field team. Competing in Ontario/Quebec intercollegiate meets, he captured both gold and silver medals. In 1961, his final year of competition at the university level, he placed first in the discus at the Ontario Intercollegiate meet.

Robert originally intended to enter the Air Force, but his father convinced him to return to the farm. His fascination with flying led to flight training at Greenwood, and eventually to his own pilot's license. He has been flying for more than 50 years; he and his wife Ruth once flew across Canada in a vintage biplane.

The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct, in the athlete category, Robert Norman Clark, one of the finest athletes of his generation and a credit to the area in which he grew up and still resides.

Inducted June 2011

Wilfred Hoare

A long and eventful life began for Wilfred Robert Hoare Aug. 21, 1916 in Manchester, England a life that would see him accomplish many things, make many friends and influence countless young lives.

An athlete in his youth, Wilf participated in football (soccer), cricket and track. In 1940, he was short-listed for the British Olympic 4 X 440-yard relay team, only to see the Games cancelled due to World War II.

In 1946, he ran the final 400 metres for the RAF to win the mile race at the European Forces championship in Germany. Still competing into his 70s, he captured bronze in the 400 metres and silver in the 800 at the Masters Olympic Games held in Denmark in 1989.

During World War II, Wilf was a member of the Royal Air Force, serving as a Physical Training instructor. In 1952, he joined the RCAF, spending time in Germany, Newfoundland and at CFB Greenwood.

Retiring in 1966, he returned to England where he earned a Bachelor's degree from the London University Institute of Education. He taught in his hometown of Manchester for four years, and was involved with the Recreation Department as well as writing for the local newspaper.

Wilf returned to Greenwood as Director of Community Services and Programs, which included the job of village administrator and recreation director, until 1982. In 1973, Wilf and his wife Renee moved to Berwick, which would remain his home until his death on Mar. 15, 2001.

Wilf's most enduring contributions to sport were as a coach. While in Newfoundland, he coached the ice hockey team in Labrador to championships in 1961 and 1966. During his years in Greenwood, he coached the Greenwood Rangers soccer team to a remarkable 25 championships, including two national titles.

In 1973, the year he came to Berwick to live, Wilf was appointed head coach of the provincial women's field hockey team. One of his first players, Judi Rice, remembers Wilf's comments after final selections for the team were made. He stated in his strong British accent, “we have some work to do here, but in three years, I guarantee you we will be national champions.” Rice recalls, “we looked at him and each other and thought, 'who is this guy, he must be out of his mind'.” Wilf travelled to Halifax for practices on the Halifax Commons every Saturday and Sunday. At the time, he was one of only two coaches coaching women at the provincial level. As a coach, he was ahead of his time, combining rugby and soccer drills into field hockey drills.

A task master second to none, he didn't back down from anyone or anything, and he was always promoting his adopted province of Nova Scotia and Town of Berwick.

In Wilf's second year coaching, his team made the top three in the country, upsetting a heavily favoured Ontario squad.In the third year, the girls did exactly as Wilf had predicted, winning the national championship, defeating a favored B.C. team in the semifinals and Alberta in the final. They remain to this day the only team east of Ontario to win the national title.

Ten years later, in 1985, Nova Scotia won the Canadian Masters field hockey championship with many of the same players from the 1975 team and, of course, Wilf as their coach.

The 1975 team, along with Wilf as coach, was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in 1995. Today, 36 years after that first national title, the players still refer to themselves as 'Wilf's women'.

Even later in life, education continued to play an important part in Wilf's life. He was the first senior citizen in Canada to earn a Masters degree in recreation, which he received from Acadia in 1985 at age 68.

The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct, posthumously, as an Athlete and Builder, Wilfred Robert Hoare, athlete, coach, mentor, friend and inspiration to generations of athletes of all ages.

Inducted June 2011

Cyril Kinsman

Born in Welsford, N.S. Jan. 20, 1921, Cyril Ellsworth Kinsman was the youngest son of a very large family. With his wife Ruth, he lived his life (and they raised four children) in Welsford, where Cyril farmed and also served as an apple inspector for the Department of Agriculture.

Cyril's family, known for their boxing prowess, also took a keen interest in other sports as well. In 1960, Cyril found his way to the Berwick Arena along with his son Davey, a talented young hockey player.

Not long after that, Cyril became manager of the Berwick Arena, which had just installed artificial ice. In order to qualify for the job, he had to write a Stationary Engineer's exam, which he did and passed.

Ensuring that the arena operated to its full capacity was a big objective, and one Cyril took very seriously. He helped coach minor hockey, organized the local Junior High School Hockey League and the 'Apple Knocker' League, helped with the local Scout league and worked tirelessly to help the figure skating club.

Cyril, along with other prominent citizens, was instrumental in bringing Grand Prix Wrestling to Berwick and operating it at the arena for many years. This turned out to be an excellent vehicle for raising funds for the operation of the rink. Cyril “didn't just run the arena, he 'was' the arena.” He appreciated the many children who frequented the rink, and was a great teacher, especially in teaching the young people valuable life lessons.

In the early 1960s, you could go skating at the arena every day after school. It cost a dime, but a dime was a lot of money in those days, so many youngsters would sneak into the arena to go skating. The story goes that Cyril would come by and say to a youngster, “I'll need some help scraping the ice when skating is done today.” He always seemed to know, and it was important to him that all kids were able to participate.

Cyril single-handedly ran a bantam hockey program that in its heyday included 48 boys aged 12 to 14. He organized four teams of 11 or 12 players; each team had a first and second line, two sets of defensemen and a goalie. The top lines on each team played against one another, then he would blow the whistle and the second lines would take to the ice, in order to keep the competition as even as possible. If a player didn't show up on a given day, he could be replaced, but only on the line on which the missing boy was playing. Everyone played at his own level, and Cyril had a little book in which he kept track. One former player, recalling this league, remarks that it was “the most fun I ever had playing hockey.”

Cyril was also an innovator. He was the first arena manager to fence off the visitors' bench and the penalty box, which became affectionately known as 'Joe Clark's Chicken Coop' after a regular occupant.

After seeing a young Berwick hockey player break his leg falling into the goalpost, Cyril devised rubber tube inserts to hold the posts in place while at the same time, allowing enough give that the net would come off, thus cutting down on injuries. He was also one of the first to use a sprayer to repair the goal areas and other sections of the ice surface.

Cyril, who passed away in Berwick Oct. 16, 1992, managed the Berwick Arena for almost 25 years. His dedication to all facets of his job, his ingenuity, his sense of caring and fair play all served him well.

The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct, posthumously, in the Builder's category, a most special of builders, the late Cyril Kinsman.

Inducted June 2011

Jim Keddy

In 1964, Jim Keddy, his wife Elizabeth (Libby) and their three children, Robert, Pamela and Kimberley, moved from Nictaux to Berwick, where Jim had just been appointed Postmaster.

Having a young family and possessing an outgoing nature, Jim often found himself at the Berwick Arena with his children. When the Shell Junior hockey club, also among our Inductees this evening, was formed in the fall of 1966, Jim was there to do all he could to help.

Almost immediately, he volunteered to be the team's official scorer and timekeeper, as well as the public address announcer for the Junior games that were played every Saturday night that winter at the Berwick Arena. It wasn't long before Jim's distinctive voice could be heard announcing goals, assists and penalties and many other things connected to the Junior games.

Jim also helped provide transportation for the players when the team travelled out of town. As the team was not part of a league, it played exhibition games whenever, and wherever, they could be arranged, all the way from Yarmouth to Antigonish.

During the 1967-1968 season, Jim took over as manager of the Berwick Juniors. He also continued to fulfil the duties of PA announcer, timekeeper and official scorer. By this time, Berwick played in the Metro-Valley Junior 'B' League, which meant a considerable amount of extra duties for the manager.

Throughout this time, Jim, with the able assistance of his wife Libby, would also fundraise for the team, which involved organizing suppers, barbecues, walkathons, raffles, 50/50 draws and many other fundraising events.

Jim and Libby's home, at that time located on the corner of Maple Avenue and Union Street, was also a gathering point for many of the young local players, who would relax, shoot a game of pool, have a meal and, on many occasions when games were scheduled for Saturday evening at home and then Sunday afternoon on the road, even stay the night.

The duties of a manager included arranging games, interacting with other teams and league officials, making sure the team had sticks and other gear, transportation to and from games, advertising of the team's home games as well as just being there when something was needed.

At the end of the 1967-1968 season, a season-end wrap-up story in the Berwick Register included the following:

“We hope, too, that coach Art Newton and manager Jim Keddy will see fit to carry on for another year. These two have put in a lot of time for the club. Mr. Newton has been good to the boys and deserves a lot of credit. “Manager Jim Keddy, who is the Postmaster at Berwick, should be congratulated for his tremendous effort in arranging games for the club all during the season. The long list of phone calls and the waiting period for many of them tells the story.

“Citizens of Berwick and area should be thankful to their local postmaster for helping the young fellows through the season and taking so much of his time when otherwise he could have joined the rest of us and spend the weekends driving around.” According to players from that era, Jim “was a truly great manager” who would “always be there for the players, regardless of their needs.”

Jim was also very active at this time helping raise funds for the Western Kings Memorial Hospital Fund and the Berwick and District Fire Department. His distinctive voice was again put to good use calling the Giant Bingos held to raise funds for these two very deserving entities. In all, more than $40,000 was raised for the services.

The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct, in the Builder category, Jim Keddy, in his day an announcer, statistician, timekeeper and the epitome of what a successful team manager should be.

Inducted June 2011

Dunachton Gale (Special Recognition)

Dunachton Gale, a three-time winner as Atlantic Canada Horse of the Year, has a special place in the hearts of owner Dave Fillmore of West Berwick and Phil Pinkney, the legendary Nova Scotia trainer and driver who drove him in all but one of his victorious races in an outstanding six-year career.

The Truro Driving Park record-holder with a 1:53.2 mile, run on July 29, 2006, and a Gold Cup and Saucer Trial winner on P.E.I., the magnificent stallion amassed over $200,000 in career earnings.

Woodbine's Joey Shea described Dunachton Gale in his prime as “a nice horse to be around a good feeling horse. He is a well-mannered animal off the track and a true professional on it.”

The first of Dunachton Gale's three Atlantic Canada Horse of the Year awards came in 2004, when, as a three-year-old, the bay simply dominated the region, building on the success of a freshman campaign in which he triumphed in nine of 10 starts. As a three-year-old, Dunachton Gale won 14 of his 16 starts and was second in the other two races. His purse earnings for that season settled at $66,277 the highest total of his six-year career.

After solid campaigns as a four- and five-year-old, he really affirmed his dominant status in 2007 as a six-year-old. Coming off a 2006 season in which he was named Atlantic Canada Horse of the Year for a second time, Dunachton Gale took no prisoners in 2007, winning 11 of 14 starts and never finishing off the board.

He captured a heat of the Gold Cup and Saucer at the Charlottetown Driving Park in a lifetime best 1:53.1, but his season was cut short after he suffered a chipped coffin bone while winning the Joe and Jennie Chippin Memorial at Fredericton Raceway in 1:55.1, just a tick off the track record. When award time rolled around, Dunachton Gale easily earned his third Atlantic Canada Horse of the Year award for his stellar 2007 campaign.

Other career accomplishments include qualifying for the final of the Gold Cup and Saucer during Charlottetown's Old Home Week celebrations, and winning the Governor's Cup in Summerside. Dunachton Gale also won the Walter Dale in Fredericton, the oldest feature race in the Maritimes and driver Phil Pinkney's only time winning that race in his long and successful career.

Dunachton Gale was retired to stud in 2009 and now resides at Pictonian Farms in Pictou County where he is enjoying life at stud and has already produced offspring which will hopefully follow in his 'hoof steps'. Dunachton Gale's eldest foals are two-year-olds in 2011. Phil Pinkney has had a Hall of Fame career in his own right as a driver. Now in his early 70s, his legendary career began at the age of 15 and still continues today, almost 60 years later.

He is not only one of the most prolific and successful Maritime drivers, but is also considered one of the top trainers and developers of harness racing horses in the region. On Jan. 31, 2009, he was presented with the prestigious O'Brien Award for Horsemanship, for which he had also been nominated two years earlier.

The Fillmore family have always been, and remain, extremely proud of “Gale” and his accomplishments.

Please join the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame as we break slightly with tradition and induct, in the Special Recognition category, Dunachton Gale, an elite athlete of the four-legged variety and at age 10, our youngest-ever inductee.

Inducted June 2011