Hall of Fame Inductees
Below is a list of all our inductees. You can narrow the list to a specific year by choosing one of the dropdown options below.
Daniel J. Romo
- 2014 -
Athlete - Horse Racing
To achieve 3500 victories in any professional sporting activity is a fantastic milestone, and that is what Hall of Fame inductee Danny Romo accomplished in June of 2012, with his 3500th harness-racing victory. The fact that this milestone occurred after 41 years of competition in this sport is further evidence of Danny’s credentials for admission to the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame.
Danny’s first driving victory came at Sackville Downs in 1971, when he was only 19 years old. Since then he has continued to compete at all levels of the sport, from local to provincial, from regional to international.
During this time he has reached several milestones. We can only highlight a few here, and we hope this does some justice to Danny’s career. In 1986, at the time of the closure of Sackville Downs, Danny was the leading race-winner, and he had also established a Maritime Track Record time of 2:05 2/5ths with 2-year old colt Aarons Blazer.
He had also driven Duke Bullet to a win at the Rainbow Haven Race, helping to raise $3000 for their charity.
Danny continued his driving in Truro, and has won numerous Atlantic Sire Stakes and Nova Scotia Sires Stakes. He is also a trainer, and has trained and driven champions like El Perfecto and Hornby Blaze, among many.
One achievement to be highlighted here is Danny’s success with Firms Phantom, with whom he tied a record owned by Cam Fella of 28 wins in a row. As of this writing Danny’s record stands at 3571 victories (his North American total), most of which were won right here in the Maritimes. He has also been the driver of 4 Maritime Horses of the Year.
We are pleased to welcome Daniel Romo into the athlete category of the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame.
Dr. Patricia (Benoit) Chafe
- 2014 -
Builder - Figure Skating
Patricia started figure skating the first year it was offered in Lower Sackville and went on to influence the sport worldwide. She is now Chief Sport Officer for Skate Canada where her main focus is to drive Skate Canada’s strategy across the full spectrum of athletes, coaches and officials.
When skating was rocked by the Olympic judging scandal in 2002 in Salt Lake City, because of Patricia’s involvement with figure skating and her background with a PhD in Mathematics, she was invited to help the group of scientists and sports officials from around the world who were given the task of analyzing and making changes to correct the problem. She was a significant contributor to the massive under taking of developing and implementation of a new judging system for the sport of Figure skating.
She went on to serve as a performance analyst for Skate Canada’s world and Olympic teams. She gave statistical and analytical support to the development and implementation of the Long-Term Athlete Development model for sport in Canada. Development and implementation of a group decision making tool for sport administration ranking for multisport organizations, worked with “Own The Podium” and True Sport Canada. She became part of the Canadian delegation at the Biennial Congress of The International Skating Union: In 2004 in Schevenigen, 2006 in Budapest, 2008 in Monaco, 2010 in Barcelona, 2012 Kuala Lumpur and 2014 Dublin.
She has been the performance and Statistical Figure Skating Analyst for CBC, CTV and NBC Sports.
She has attended three Olympic Games:
- 2006 in Torino with NBC Olympics and Skate Canada
- 2010 in Vancouver with NBC Olympics and Skate Canada
- 2014 Sochi with NBC Olympics and Skate Canada
Dalhousie University honoured Patricia with an award for Young Alumna of the Year recognizing her accomplishments and her contribution to the Sport of Figure Skating World Wide.
Patricia has made a great contribution as builder in her sport. A colleague said of her: “Because of her work on the development of a new scoring system for figure skating, the sport has been forever changed. Her passion for the project and in ensuring that the athletes and coaches were always at the forefront of every decision made in the development, have allowed the sport of figure skating to move toward a more objective mode of evaluation, essentially allowing for a level playing field. Patricia’s commitment to this project both internationally and domestically has provided today’s athletes, and the athletes of the future with the hope that they will be judged fairly based on the performance of the day… I know that creating a level playing field for athletes and coaches is something of utmost importance to Dr. (Benoit) Chafe and she has succeeded in taking this project from vision to reality.”
We are pleased to admit Patricia into the Builders category of the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame.
Donald J. Syms
- 2014 -
Builder - Basketball, Soccer, Softball, Hockey, Track and Field
There was a very good chance that if you were involved with sports in the Sackville area, the name of Donald Syms (Punch to his friends, from former Leafs coach Punch Imlach) was known to you.
Even though diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth, Donald developed, and never lost, a passion for all thing sports, whether playing a little first base himself, or more often coaching, managing, mentoring, or just being around the gyms, halls, rinks, and fields where people were competing.
As early as the 60s saw Donald involved as manager of the Sackville Heights Junior High Boys A Basketball team, and this enthusiasm continued on to his time at Sackville High, where he was actively involved as manager of soccer and basketball teams. Even afer school Donald coached both mens and womens teams in basketball and fastball, successfully winning many championships during these years. Many of his players have gone on to recognition in their respective sports, including athletes such as Wayne Grantham, Robert Upshaw, and Brian Williams.
One of Donald’s great passions was working with the Chebucto Track and Field Club, under Sackville Hall of Famer Doug Mitchell. Many hard-working but happy hours were spent working with these athletes.
Donald never backed down from a challenge, as any who visited the Tim Horton’s on Beaverbank Road could tell us. His brief battle with cancer this year proved to be an obstacle he was unable to overcome, and we lost Punch in March of this year. He will be greatly missed in the world of Sackville sports, and we are pleased to honour him with admission to the Builders category of the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame.
Sackville Acadians 1985-1986 Bantam
- 2014 -
Team - Baseball
The Bantam “D” Boys provincial baseball team was selected from players competing in the Sackville “house” league of the Sackville Minor Baseball Organization.
The team was selected and managed by Dave Edwards, with assistance in the coaching ranks from Laurie Peverill, Bob Anderson, and Dave Amero. All of their efforts were helped by Sackville Hall of Famer Les Mayo, a long-time staunch supporter of baseball in the Sackville area.
During the 1985 season, en route to the provincial title, the team compiled a near-perfect record of 14 and 1. This record was compiled while often competing against teams from the higher “B” and “C” levels of competition. This group of mostly 13-year olds were undaunted by these competitors, and proceeded to the provincial tournament in Port Hawkesbury.
In the provincial tournament, pitching proved to be a dominant factor. Darrell Joyce pitched a no-hi????er and Trevor MacEachern pitched two shutouts, including a no-hi????er against the host team from Port Hawkesbury.
It is quite amazing that in only its second year of completion this team of young teens was able to capture a provincial championship. We are pleased to welcome them into the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame.
- 2013 -
Builder - Hockey
Wherever Larry Marchand takes his Millwood Knights high school hockey team, success is almost guaranteed to follow.
It’s 16 years and counting since Marchand was named the Knights head coach during which his teams have won four provincial titles and have reached the Nova Scotia high school championship round 10 straight years. In the last two seasons the Knights have lost just four of 58 games.
Six years the school has been in the championship final game.
Larry started coaching in minor league hockey at the grass-roots level with five-year olds and worked his way through the rankings for 14 years, enjoying a modicum of successes, until being recruited by the Knights.
Millwood’s best season is also being celebrated this evening as the 2010-11 team is being inducted into the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame after a phenomenal year in which the Knights won the Metro high school standings, the Capital Region standings and Nova Scotia title.
Among their many successes that year was winning the Moncton High School Classic, the first team from outside New Brunswick to win that tournament in 18 years. All in all, the Knights—with Marchand guiding their progress—won six tournaments in 2010-11, most without suffering a loss.
- 2013 -
Builder - Boxing
One thing can be said of Hubert Earle in his lead up to induction into the Sackville Sports Heritage Foundation Hall of Fame: He doesn’t take a half-hearted approach to the way things are done.
Hubert, recognized worldwide in professional boxing circles, is one of those people who can say through his contribution to boxing in the province, nationally and internationally, and more recently through his connection to martial arts, is that he’s “been there, done that.”
Earle, a member of the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame, is recognized No. 1 globally by Pod Index—a worldwide group invested with the monitoring of professional boxing title bouts–as its most consistent judge.
Earle introduced the use of cat scans and infectious disease blood tests to the Canadian Professional Boxing Federation – now known as the Canadian Combat Sport Federation – and, as Nova Scotia’s first director of combat sports, continues to update rules and regulations for the provincial federation.
A lifelong resident of the Halifax and Sackville communities, Earle has been honoured by the Greater Moncton area for his contribution to boxing in that New Brunswick city.
Among his many achievements, he is an official for the World Boxing Association, International Boxing Federation, and New York State Athletic Commission. As referee-in-chief of the CCSF, he facilitates seminars for the national body at venues across the country.
As provincially appointed chairman and referee-in-chief of the Nova Scotia Boxing Authority, Earle’s experience in the ring is often sought out by medical staff and he continues to
assist in the development of officials in and outside the ring.
2011 – 2012 Millwood Knights
- 2013 -
Team - Hockey
Millwood has a long history of success in local and provincial high school hockey.
The 2011-12 team set itself apart from the others, however, by sweeping the Metro and Nova Scotia titles and six tournaments the team entered that year, including the prestigious Moncton High School Hockey Classic.
The Knights were the first non-New Brunswick team in 20 years to win the Classic.
It was a banner year for a Larry Marchand-coached team, many of which had enjoyed past successes.
The Knights, en route to their Hall-of-Fame 2011-12 season, won:
- The Metro High School Athletic Association championship
- Capital Region Division 1 championship
- The Nova Scotia Secondary School Athletic Federation Division 1 championship
- The Dr. J.H. Gillis Millennium Cup tournament
- The City of Lakes (Dartmouth) high school tournament
- The Moncton High School Classic Division 1 tournament
1992 – 1993 Sackville High School Kingfishers
- 2013 -
Team - Hockey
It’s been 20 years, but for those members of the Sackville Kingfishers high team that swept most of the secondary school hockey hardware in the province in 1992-93, it’s a moment in time.
The Kingfishers entered the campaign with a strong nucleus of 14 seniors and capped a successful season with the provincial championship played at Cole Harbour Place, a tournament that included two from the Valley and Cape Breton leagues and several from the Metro area.
Experience played a key role in the final, a 5-2 victory over West Kings, with veterans providing leadership roles on the specialty teams.
The title for the three-man coaching staff — Ken Strugnel, John Phillips and Gary Cuming – was Sackville’s only Provincial AAA championship.
Manager Tom Wood handled the administration side.
During the year, the Kingfishers enjoyed outstanding successes away from home, winning the West Kings and Acadia Invitational tournaments in addition to competing against prep schools in the Boston area.
Trevor Chambers and Trevor Elliott shared the goaltending that championship season while the blueline was anchored by Adam Brown, Jamie Brown, Scott MacDonald, Scott Sim and Blair Were.
The forward lines were made up of Rob Boutilier, Mike Burns, Thayer Doyle, Trevor Doyle, Dean Evong, Kris Marcotte, Ryan McKegney, Jason Mitchell, Trevor Saunders, Don Smith and Kevin Whynott.
Bernard (Bernie) Bishop
- 2012 -
Athlete - Hockey
Give him a stick, skates and show him some ice and Bernie Bishop was in his element.
Bernie’s induction into the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame was inevitable. It was always a matter of timing and always seemed to be tied into what he was involved with at the time. When it came to hockey, he wanted in on the ground floor right up until his untimely death in February 2011.
Whether it was recreational or competitive hockey, Bernie lusted for the game.
He put as much effort into all elements of the game as a player, coach and organizer. Bernie’s enthusiasm for the was unquestionable as a player, from the junior Halifax Kingfishers of the early 1960s to Halifax Schooners of the Maritime Senior league. He picked up a number of awards in the old Suburban League with Fairview Aces and Bedford Barons.
He was selected to the 1980 Metro Oldtimers team that played an exhibition against the Montreal Canadiens. In 1987 Bernie was a member of the Heritage Motors team that won a World Cup international tournament in the old Montreal Forum. He was also a member of the Twin Cities Oldtimers international team that competed in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1977.
Bernie wasn’t averse to helping out on occasion and was among several players from the region who helped the Michigan Sting threepeat at the U.S. national championships for the 60 and over elite and recreation division teams in 2007, ’08 and ’09.
He enjoyed giving back to a pursuit that was such a huge part of his life. He coached in minor programs (mainly bantam age) in both Kentville and Sackville and was in his fourth term as an instructor at the Newbridge Academy hockey program.
- 2012 -
Builder - Football
His given name is Reg, but family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances would be hard-pressed to know Bud Bremner by any other name.
Bud’s been coaching minor league football at the bantam and peewee levels in the Sackville-Bedford area since 1969 and through the years has become a legend of the game to those who know him best.
Bud himself combined his day-to-day work as a chef with his love for football to rack up a number of achievements both on and off the field. His young teams won 14 provincial titles between 1976 and 2009.
The Bremner Cup was established in the 1990s, pitting Bedford’s CP Allen against Sackville in an annual high school bowl game.
He was appointed Honourary Marshall by Football Canada when the Canada Cup was staged in Halifax in 1999. He was also the first season ticket holder for the fledgling Halifax Schooners in their failed 1980s bid to put a team in the Canadian Football League.
Respect for his knowledge and his abilities to communicate with those around him has earned him a permanent place in the community with a football field being renamed the Bud Bremner Field.
On the culinary side, Bud was name Chef of the Year in Canada in 1995 and in 2004 toured Africa as part of the World Cooks for Hunger.
- 2012 -
Builder - Special Olympics
As long as there’s been a Special Olympics group in the Sackville area, Ray Ivany has been an integral part of the organization.
Ray has devoted some 30 years to Special Olympic events, as an administrator, a coach, a fund raiser, a supporter.
When the Central Area Special Olympics organization that encompassed Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and Sackville decided to restructure, the Sackville-Bedford Special Olympics chapter was created with Ray as its founding co-ordinator.
“Without Ray taking the lead role, we would not have a Special Olympics group in our region,” says Donalda MacNeil, a colleague during negotiations with the Central Area during it restructuring in the late 1990s and early 2000. “He coached our athletes in every sport imaginable and continues to be a major influence in Special Olympics.”
Since Special Olympic bylaws limit holding certain executive positions to two years, his leadership in the community based group took on different roles throughout the years, primarily as a member at large.
“After we reorganized the Special Olympics in our region, we had about 50 athletes,’ says Ivany. ‘Now we have a core of about 125 and new faces are coming along all the time.”
Special Olympics seeks to attract people with special needs, both physical and mental.
Funding is hard to come by, especially when it comes to sending athletes to national and international contests. Ivany credits the Sackville Lions Club and Sackville Legion with keeping the local Special Olympics organization’s athletic programs.
- 2012 -
Team - Baseball
The measure of success of a minor league sports organization can be measured by it’s achievements over a period of time.
The Sackville Chiefs baseball team of the ’90s was just such a group, spawning so many perennial contenders at various levels of the sport it would be difficult not to see them as a team of destiny.
The Chiefs began making noises beyond the Sackville region before the ’90s, but it was the consistent performances of those halcyon years that finds them being honoured here this evening.
The organization was a provincial power, a perennial threat in the provincial playdowns, winning three consecutive midget crowns 1991, ’92 and ’93, and represented the Atlantic region at the national Midget A championships in Trois-Riveres, Que., (1992) and at Tignish, P.E.I. in 1993.
Many of those midget players made the leap to Junior A and won three provincial titles (’94-’96), a string of successes that included an Atlantic crown in ’94, before making their mark in senior ball where the Chiefs enjoyed a successful run from 1995 to 2007.
Two of the program’s alumnae – Jamie Vallis and Trevor Wamback – were major league draft picks, seven others attended U.S. junior college programs, three were named to the Nova Scotia Canada Games team and seven were chosen for the Nova Scotia midget select team.
- 2011 -
Athlete - Kayaking
One of Canada’s most decorated paddlers, Jillian D’Alessio continues to make her mark on the national and international stages.
The Middle Sackville resident enters the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 fresh off another multi-medal performance at the Canadian national championship where she won three gold and two bronze.
The high profile sprint kayaker has been representing the Sackville community for neatly two decades and has been a member of Canadian teams at Olympics, Pan American Games and World Cup events as well as the tough European Tour competitions.
Competing at distances between 200 and 1,000 metres in singles, tandem and quads, Jillian has amassed more than 30 medals against the world’s best paddlers while campaigning abroad and 50-plus medals at Canadian events alone, establishing her as one of the sport’s outstanding individual performers in Canada.
She’s been named Nova Scotia’s Athlete of the Month on several occasions and in 2009 was nominated as Nova Scotia’s Athlete of the Year and also to the Team of the Year.
In addition to her success on the water, Jillian uses her personal achievements to work within the community. Most recently she was invited to MC the RBC Amazing Chase held in Moncton, N.B., in support of SIDA/AIDS, a day-long six-team event in which competitors faced a series of challenges through Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview.
She has also competed in the Terry Fox Run, Dragon boat races in support of Cystic Fibrosis research.
George H. Matthews
- 2011 -
Builder - Track and Field, Baseball
When talk gets around about any of the major recreational projects and fund-raising programs that make the Sackville a must-see place to bring up their families, George H. Matthews’ name is right at the top of community giving.
Much of the building and recreational programs in the region were initiated by Matthews through the Lake District Recreation Association, a group that was established in 1971 to provide organization to the various groups working on assorted programs throughout the Sackville area.
As LDRA secretary for the first three years and a decade as president, Matthews guided the association through some crucial periods that included hiring the association’s first executive director (Carol Brasok), the building of the Sackville Community Arena and Metropolitan Field, arguably the finest track and field facility in the Atlantic Provinces.
These events were followed in the early 1980s by the opening of the Leisure Centre on the shores of First Lake next to the Arena, a bingo facility that continues to provide financing for Sackville’s recreation programs, among them such baseball fields as Eddie LeBlanc, off First Lake Drive; the Cobequid Field, equipped with lights (near Cobequid Road and Glendale Drive) and the Lions Park beside the Lions Den on Old Beaver Bank Road.
- 2011 -
Athlete - Archery
At the turn of the 15th century, Paul Sheppard might have enjoyed the celebrity of a Robin Hood.
From the time he took up archery at age 10, Paul always had visions of how high he could reach in a sport that consumed him for 20-25 years and earned him a horde of medals.
“Oh sure, that was always the general feeling when we were shooting at targets,” he says. “But at competitions reality would always set in. We were always hoping to go to the Olympics. I never reached that goal.”
But Paul enjoyed more than a modicum of success, including six gold medals – the last five in succession – at the prestige Canadian target FITA (Federation international target association) competitions between 1995 and 2001.
Among his other gold-medal performances were the 1997 Canadian 1200 target competition; at field tournaments in 1997, ’99 and 2000; and the 1998, ’99 and 2000 900 events.
He also took gold medals at the Nova Scotia provincial championships in 1996, ’97, ’98, ’99, 2000 and ’01.
But the competition he says most inspired him was when, UNHERALDED, he entered the 1989 Canada Games in Saskatoon, Sask., and led the competition throughout the event until the final day and wound up losing by a single point.
“My mother was pretty sick at the time, which probably affected my training and preparation for the event. Nobody really expected me to be a factor at the Games.”
- 2011 -
Team - Hockey
The Sackville Blazers hockey organization has long been the hallmark of amateur sports organizations in the community.
Formed in 1982 to offset the loss of the Bedford Rangers as a medium for local players to hone their skills at a higher level of competition, the relocation of the team to Sackville more than achieved that purpose.
But it wasn’t until the 2002-2003 the Junior B Blazers reach their pinnacle – the first league championship and the beginning of a three successive Nova Scotia and the Don Johnson Cup, emblematic of Atlantic regional championships.
Those who formed the initial group successful in establishing the Blazers in 1982 included Bill Chase, Ken Faulkner, Frank King, Ron King, Doug Lively, Harold Levangie, Bill MacDonald, Danny MacKinnon, Thomas Peters and Bill Repchull.
Carrying on the legacy of the founding group today are Dwight Dempster, Dianne Gray, John Gray, Shirley Morgan, Wayne Scott, Wendell Hume, Barry Barnet and Steve Blackmore.
- 2009 -
Builder - Hockey
Hockey has been a passion for Ken Faulkner most of his life and it continues to bring him much joy as he continues his love affair as a member of the notorious Corner Boys during Sackville junior Blazers home games.
Ken was a tireless behind-the-scenes worker, a past-president and former executive of the fledgling Sackville Minor Hockey Association who involved himself in the building of the Sackville Community Arena in the 1970s.
He continued to play a key role through the 1980s and into the 90s with the Sackville Blazer junior team, serving as president and treasurer for the club that long has been considered one of the top minor hockey organizations in the Atlantic region.
It was Ken’s knowledge of hockey and financial background and his years of commitment to the Blazers that helped establish the foundation on which the team was built, leading to a string of provincial and Atlantic championships.
In addition to his executive responsibilities, Ken co-ordinated for a number of years team enrollment and was responsible for arranging game referees at the suburban Community arena.
Lake District Recreation Association
- 2009 -
Builder - Hockey, Gymnastics
The LDRA was formed in 1971 for the purpose of providing recreation services, programs and facilities to the Sackville-Beaver Bank area.
Its goals: to enable residents easy access to leisure and recreation facilities in the community; construct, equip, operate and maintain these facilities; promote, organize, sponsor, encourage and support recreational activities; and develop, manage and maintain funding to support these activities.
In the ensuing 38 years, LDRA and its volunteer board of directors has more than fulfilled its pledges to the community, its most recent signature accomplishment being a multi-million dollar addition to the Sackville Sports Stadium in the early 2000s.
LDRA was unable to uphold a management agreement with Halifax Regional Municipality to make the Stadium 100 per cent cost recovery and HRM withdrew from the agreement in August 2003 and now operates the facility.
The association continues to operate the many projects it undertook from its inception, among them the Sackville Community Arena, Metropolitan Field and the Leisure Centre. The latter was built in 1988 as a business project by LDRA with the express purpose of enabling charitable groups in the community to conduct weekly bingo as a fund-raiser.
Over the years, the Sackville Bingo Centre has spawned numerous projects initiated by, among others, the Sackville Lions Club, Sackville Kiwanis Club, Citadel boxing club, Taiso gymnastics (which occupies the top floor of the Leisure building), Riverview Community Centre and the Sackville Legion (Calais Branch).
- 2009 -
Builder - Baseball, Tennis, Soccer
He’s been an integral part in the development of recreational programs and facilities in the Sackville region for some 45 years, so it’s not a coincidence that Hugh MacDonald’s induction into Sackville’s Sports Hall of Fame was a foregone conclusion.
In 1970, he spearheaded a movement leading to the construction of the Sackville Community Arena. Later the same year, he played a key role in organizing the first Lake District Recreation Association meeting and became that group’s first vice-president. He also served as treasurer of that body.
MacDonald’s subsequent fund-raising efforts through the years are legendary, starting when he arranged a $300,000 bank loan to raising another $130,000 in a door-to-door campaign that eventually led to the opening of the Community Arena in 1974.
At the same time, MacDonald was pursuing other interests which would benefit the Sackville region. As organizer of the Riverview Community Centre, he oversaw the drainage of swampland and landfill that formed the basis for two ball fields, tennis courts and a soccer field.
As president of the Riverview organization, MacDonald had a major role in establishing bingo operations at the Leisure Centre that would provide a continuing flow of revenue for sports groups, playgrounds and facilities in the Sackville region that raised some $10,000 in the first two months.
Barbara Ann Slaunwhite
- 2009 -
Builder - Figure Skating
Barb Slaunwhite needed little prodding when asked in 1995 to volunteer one day a week to the Sackville Skating Club for the CanSkate Program at Sackville Sport Stadium. The rest, as they say, is history.
The following week she began volunteering two days a week. The third week her volunteerism became a daily part of her life.
Her patience and understanding with children in the CanSkate program didn’t go unnoticed. So when Stadium management asked that Barb devote some of her volunteer time to the public skating program at the arena. She took on that assignment with the same zeal.
She would eventually moved into the administrative ranks of the figure skating club and subsequently, with the executive board, orchestrated during her 10-year tenure as president a turnaround in club fortunes that took it from near bankruptcy to being the largest fully-funded CanSkate program in Nova Scotia.
Barb is deserving of her induction as her volunteerism extends far beyond her local participation. She’s been Skate Canada’s nomination for Volunteer of the Year in Nova Scotia. Her involvement includes volunteering at Skate Canada competitions; at championships sponsored by the world governing body, the International Skating Union; the Challenge Cup of Nova Scotia and, for the last decade, at the NS junior figure skating championships.
Robert Eldon Bayard
- 2008 -
Builder - Baseball, Hockey
When it came to actually putting structure into the Sackville-Lucasville-Beaver Bank community, Robert Eldon Bayard had a knack for getting the most out of Sackville residents.
Bayard, the first president of Lake District Recreation Association and the architect of many of the long-standing sports facilities that dot the region, played a huge role in the development of Sackville recreation projects.
A constructor by trade, his machines were very often seen at sites where volunteers could be seen creating sports fields, baseball fields and often larger projects. Sometimes the machinery arrived “on loan” or at a cost fraction of what it would normally be.
Even as president of LDRA, Bayard would prefer thrusting others into the spotlight than take credit for much of the heavy work that may not have otherwise been affordable to the association.
Even before LDRA was formed, Bayard is credited with initiating many of the recreation projects that spouted throughout the community, whether it was leveling fields for minor league hockey and baseball teams like the Riverview Community Centre ball fields or more major undertakings such as Metropolitan Field which today hosts most of the major track and field programs in the province.
It was under his conscientious direction that LDRA undertook the construction of the Leisure Centre and the Sackville Community Arena and the subsequent building of the Sackville Sports Centre.
John (Jim) Collins
- 2008 -
Builder - Boxing
Jim Collins has been a part of the Halifax boxing scene for more than a half century.
You may not have seen his name on a marquee highlighting a fight card. Nor have you seen his name mentioned in the same breath as some of the great boxers who graced local rings.
The 80-year-old Lower Sackville resident, however, has been a keen observer of the fight game most of his life as a trainer, corner man and official, one of the sport’s most respected contributors at the provincial and national levels.
His long-time support of amateur boxing in the province earned Collins his 2008 induction into the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame.
In many amateur bouts over the last half century, Jim has either trained many of the boxers appearing on the cards or worked in the ring area as a judge, timekeeper or registrar. Many of the young fighters who have come to know and love Jim through the years have remained staunch supporters of the became because he cared.
Recently, owners of a Lower Sackville amateur boxing club renamed it the Jim’s Gym (Jim Collins Amateur Boxing Club) in recognition of his contributions to the sport over more than five decades.
A life member of Boxing Canada, Jim has participated in several pre-Olympic Trials and in his younger days trained with Richard (Kid) Howard, a Canadian and Commonwealth professional boxing champion in the 1950s and ’60s.
He reached Level II judging standards but due to ill health in recent years has been unable to progress further in that area.
His health aside, Jim continues to play an active role at boxing cards throughout the Maritime by assisting at training camps staged by Boxing Nova Scotia as well as at fight competitions staged outside the province.
Lewis Kelly Jr.
- 2008 -
Athlete - Auto Racing
Whether it was Drag City, Atlantic Speedway, Truro, Antigonish or Scotia Speedworld, Lewis Kelly Jr. was as tough-as-nails competitor as you will find in Maritime auto racing annuls.
A regular at most of the area tracks, the former MASCAR champion was an accomplished driver whose talent and deeds are legendary at tracks throughout the Maritimes, particularly at Drag City (Middle Sackville), Atlantic Speedway (Hammonds Plains) and Riverside Speedway (Antigonish) where he honed those skills.
The 1985 MASCAR champion, honoured in June 2008 at Riverside as one of 10 champion Maritime drivers, retired in 1993 to manage son Scott’s meteoric rise among drivers that peaked in 1996 with a third-place showing in the Oxford 250 in Oxford, Maine. Young Scott also won the International Pro Stock Challenge in 1998.
Lewis remains one of the most respected of Maritime auto racing drivers and during his competitive days, as he remains today, a beacon to many younger drivers who sought his advice on how best to proceed at a particular time in their careers.
The newest member of the Kelly family inducted into the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame–he joins his late son, Scott–is a long-time associate sponsor of the Sportsman Division at Scotia Speedworld.
- 2008 -
Builder - Baseball, Gymnastics, Track and Field, Hockey, Curling
Glen Slauenwhite was a big, big man; not just his physical presence but also by the indelible mark he left on the Sackville community. What he lacked in athletic ability (he’d be the first to tell you that) he made up for in his dedication to ensuring both the youth and adult sports facilities in the area were first class.
Glen was an outstanding organizer and dedicated volunteer who had the unique ability to call on others with more expertise in many and assorted trades to help Sackville build athletic facilities envied by many larger surrounding communities.
Slauenwhite, who died in 2003, is a 2008 Sackville Sports Hall of Fame inductee in the Builders category.
As a county councillor, he used his position to leverage funds from higher powers to build ball fields. He was there, he said, only to support other great builders, such as Hall of Famer Les Mayo.
As president of the Sackville Chamber of Commerce, Glen encouraged local businessmen like Bill Chase, the Hefler and the Barrett families, to participate in the building of athletic facilities that would allow our youth to be able to achieve their best.
It was as president of the Lake District Recreation Association that Glen made his greatest contributions to the growth of Sackville. Under his tutorship, LDRA oversaw the construction of the original Sackville Arena and Metropolitan Field.
Under his stewardship, LDRA built the leisure centre that houses the Taiso gymnastic centre and bingo hall and then undertook the construction of the Sackville Sports Stadium and the subsequent multi-million-dollar addition that included a six-sheet curling club.
Glen’s name has been linked with numerous other Sackville projects that provide not only facilities for our youth to get a competitive edge but enable our residents to participate in less stressful recreational activities such as the First Lake walking trail.
In his nomination of Glen to the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame, Robert Cormier says, “His greatest pleasure was providing an environment for others to reach their goals.”
- 2007 -
Athlete - Taekwon-Do
Sarah Bray may have sparred her way out of local competitions through lack of competitions, but she has a brilliant future at international Taekwon-Do meets.
The holder of Second Degree black belt, Bray has become an international star in the martial arts competitions since winning the 2004 World Junior championship in sparring. She is one of six female national team members and has represented Canada as both an individual performer and team competitor.
At the 2004 World’s, Bray was one of six members of the Canadian female team that won three bronze medals (sparring, team pattern and team special technique or board breaking), helping the national team to finish in second place overall.
Sarah, 21, was named to the national senior team in 2005 but had to decline because of previous commitments. She was unable to join the senior squad again this year due to injuries.
At the International General Choi’s Cup in 2002 and 2003, she won two gold medals in sparring, a bronze and a gold in patterns. At North American championships, she’s won two gold medals in sparring and one gold for patterns.
In national competition, the Lower Sackville native has had an eclectic career. She’s the defending champion in sparring, an event she’s won gold three times (to go along with a silver medal) in the last five years. She was a gold medalist in sparing at the 2005 Can-Am competition and won two golds in sparring and gold in patterns at the 2006 Master of the Arts tournament.
If competing wasn’t enough, Sarah coached the Dave Hiltz team at the 2005 nationals in Edmonton.
- 2007 -
Athlete - Water Skiing
In the long-ago days, long before Sackville was touted as Canada’s fastest-growing community, water skiing was making inroads as one of the region’s more popular sporting activities at family outings.
And forefront in the Maritime water-skiing community of the 1950s and ’60s was the queen of water skiing, Sackville’s Eileen Burke.
Eileen honed her skills at Comeau’s Beach on First Lake, near the family cottage, through the late ’40s and became an early advocate for women ready to juice up their recreational water-skiing skills to another level of competition.
She was recognized throughout the Maritimes as the sport’s most renowned female water skier of her time. Her fame spread south to the water-skiing capital of the world, Florida, where, in a letter dated March 30, 1957, she was invited to join the famous Tommy Bartlett Florida Water Ski & Jumping Boat Thrill Show. She would have demonstrated her skills in three shows daily between June 21 and Sept. 2.
But she never got an opportunity for the rest of the world to enjoy her performances, Eileen was forced to decline the invitation, as much because she had her family here as for the fact she was in the late stages of giving birth to a son, Paul, who arrived on April 3.
While she was in actual competition only eight years, 1953-1960, Eileen dominated the winner’s place at the top of the podium with eight consecutive Nova Scotia championships. She was also a headliner at water-skiing events throughout the province for nearly a decade, especially while accompanying Nova Scotia Power Boat Association competitions where her husband, Jock, was a fixture.
Power boat regattas were also popular and fodder for Eileen’s trophy case, among them the Beeler Collins Trophy presented by the Halifax Outboard Motor Club (1953-54-55); the Avon Boat Club (1955); the Mira Boat Club (1955, 1959); the Dartmouth Power Boat Club (1957, ’58 and ’60).
1983 Sackville Acadian Girls Softball
- 2007 -
Team - Softball
The Sackville Acadians girls’ softball team, first organized in 1983, was destined from the start for the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame.
That 1983 pee wee team that is being inducted tonight by the Sackville Sports Heritage Foundations is being honoured as the cornerstone to what was to become a Sackville sporting dynasty.
That first-year squad, put together by co-coaches Wally Cleveland and Bill Bonn, swept the regional and provincial pee wee titles en route to the Eastern Canadian playoff final.
It was to be a familiar story over the next four years where the Cleveland/Bonn – coached clubs – including two teams in 1985 where the organization evolved into the bantam-aged Sackville Flames – blazed their way to regional, provincial and Eastern Canadian titles.
It was such a closely knit organization that only 28 girls in total played for Acadians-Flames teams during their four-year championship run, reaping five provincial titles and four Eastern Canadian championships, including both age classes at the 1985 provincial and Atlantic tournaments.
Their overall won-lost record in provincial playoffs was 19-1 while they were 19-5 in Eastern Canadian action.
The Acadians-Flames teams were probably the most dominant softball team ever to perform in Sackville colours on the provincial stage and in the eyes of many supporters were the most successful team to represent the region in any sport.
In 1985, as the team underwent a change of personnel due to age restrictions, the girls played together through the season in the Sackville and District Women’s League before breaking up into two squads in order to qualify for provincial playoffs in two age categories.
The 1986 team tuned up for the provincial playdowns by competing during the season in the tough Nova Scotia Senior Women’s League that included the defending Eastern Canadian champions and the junior and senior teams that represented the province in national playoffs. They won four tournaments that year.
Gladie (Mosher) Turple
- 2007 -
Athlete - Ringette
Whatever sport Gladie (Mosher) Turple put her mind to, it usually resulted in a capital C for Champion.
Turple was an exceptional athlete in many sports, but it was in Ringette where she received her greatest accolades while campaigning as the only Nova Scotian with the 1998 Canadian National Ringette squad that toured Europe.
It marked the first time Canada had sent a truly national team to an international tournament, with representation from every part of the country.
She was on the Nova Scotia Ringette team at eight national championships, twice being named to the first-team all-star squad. Nova Scotia twice during that span reached the medal podium, in 1982 (silver) and again in 1989 (bronze).
In addition, Turple was twice a member of the Nova Scotia team at the national fastball championships, was a member of three provincial hockey championship teams and attended the national women’s soccer championship on two occasions wearing Nova Scotia colours.
Her remarkable talents came to light early. Twice she was named Female Athlete of the Year at Sackville Heights Junior High (1981-82) and two more times at Sackville High (1985-85) where she led school teams to several league championships.
Her soccer talents were elevated to another level in the early 1980s when her Sackville under-16 girls team went undefeated in league play, the provincial playoffs and the Atlantic championship tournament, outscoring opponents 48-0.
Gladie’s former Ringette coach, Paul Puma, probably described her talents best in a nomination form for outstanding female athlete in Nova Scotia, calling her “the most intelligent athlete I have ever coached” and “the ultimate team player, a natural leader and role model for the sport of Ringette.”
Herman H. Wills
- 2007 -
Builder - Ringette
A chance encounter with a game of ringette during a 1972 business trip to Montreal sparked enough interest for Herman W. Wills to introduce the sport to Nova Scotians.
He saw the sport’s potential as an option for girls who wanted to play hockey. But it took a rear-guard action to move his dreams into the public domain and eventually lead to the sport establishing a national image.
Until that fateful trip, Wills believed the sport was pretty much limited to Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. However, the response from the local community representatives to his presentations and subsequently his talent at involving area politicians and media began to pay dividends.
It was almost a year, with support from the likes of Glen Kerr (Bedford); Sharon Clancy (Bedford teacher), and Sackville’s Pauline Stanyck and Shirley McGovern, before the sport took flight.
Wills founded and was the first President of Ringette Nova Scotia, establishing an agenda formed principally from constitutions and by-laws in Ontario along with film provided by the Ontario group to illustrate Ringette to communities around the province.
He was nominated for Sport Nova Scotia’s Executive of the Year in 1973. Although he finished runner-up in voting for the, Wills says he used that event to help further the growing popularity of Ringette throughout the province.
Through Wills, the first Ringette Canada annual general meeting was staged in Halifax during what was appropriately called, The International Year of the Woman. Not bad for one so intent on making a female sport such an attractive option to girls’ hockey when he had no daughters of his own.
- 2006 -
Athlete - Figure Skating
James Blood may be hard-pressed to explain his meteoric rise on the international figure skating stage, but the super kid of the 2005 Special Olympics in Nagano, Japan, is among us tonight as Sackville’s most recent, perhaps the first-ever, double Olympic gold medalist.
The Lower Sackville teenager achieved his two Olympic podiums after just two years of competitive skating, an “unbelievable” feat in itself but accomplished with great personal strength.
If ever a sporting event was captured by mind over matter, James was a virtuoso of the ice in Nagano. The favoured Russian skater had just left the ice to a standing ovation when James put on the solo performance of a lifetime to snatch the gold.
He faced even more mental adversity in the pairs event where his more experienced partner, Julie Lynne Stanhope, who had skated successfully at several international competitions, was coming back from a broken ankle. Again, James took matters into his own hands and with true grit the two skated away with the gold medal.
“When he skated in the solo competition, he was pretty confident in a humble way,” said his coach, Mary Ann Crowley. “When they skated out for their pairs competition, he had to be scared. If he was, he didn’t let it show to the judges.”
James, 6-1, loved hockey. But because of visual problems had to give up playing competitively. That’s when he approached Crowley three years ago and surprised even his staunchest supporters by winning gold at the Canada Winter Games Special Olympic program the year before his stunning Olympic performance.
And now, at the age of 16, James Blood is the youngest yet to be inducted into the Sackville Sports Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame.
- 2006 -
Athlete - Track and Field
Her grandfather was a sprinter. Her father was a sprinter. It was only natural that Nicole Gillis would be a sprinter.
Considered an enormous all-round athlete during her years at Leslie Thomas Junior High and Sackville High, Nicole emerged as a world-class sprinter at Chebucto Track and Field club in the mid-1980s under the tutelage of veteran coach Darrell Dempster.
The knowledge she gained and the experiences she encountered with Chebucto would, over the next years, benefit her many times over at the national and international levels of the sport.
Her sprints, at the 100 and 200-metre distances in the 1980s, would become great moral boosters for the training and development of Sackville area track and field talents, initially at the local level but eventually garner attention at the provincial and national meets as Chebucto’s programs began to attract attention.
“She had a great natural talent,” admits her father, Archie, a former president of the Chebucto organization. “But it required hard training and a work ethic to achieve that success. The Chebucto club encouraged a lot of young people in the sport to compete at a higher level.”
Nicole’s early successes at the provincial championships, including becoming the first Nova Scotia 16-year-old female to crack the 12-second barrier breaking the age standard established by former Olympian Celia Branch, would be forerunners of a bright future.
She went on to establish sprint marks throughout provincial and Atlantic meets in various age categories, placing at or near the top in numerous national competitions and capping a junior career that saw her bring home the 100-metre gold from the 1988 Canadian track and field championships in Edmonton.
Nicole enjoyed many successes through the years, many of them as a member of the National Junior track team for several years and as a member of the Canadian team at the World Junior Championships in 1988.
She subsequently pursued studies in kinetics, first at Dalhousie then on a scholarship program that took her to Simon Fraser University and West Coast College in B.C.
- 2006 -
Builder - Baseball, Hockey
A search of the memorabilia and mementos at the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame this past year turned up a glaring miscarriage of information for Ken Barrett.
Les Mayo’s name was nowhere to be found on the plaque honouring sports heroes from the Sackville area.
Barrett, who grew up in Waverley and knew Les primarily as an opposing coach of minor teams, felt it a gross injustice that one who had given so much to Sackville’s sporting heritage through the years could be overlooked in this manner.
“I was amazed when I walked through the Hall of Fame at the Stadium and discovered Les hadn’t yet been inducted,” Barrett said of his decision to nominate a man he’d only known through his connection in minor sports. “I just kept thinking, ‘Something is wrong here.'”
Les Mayo, who died in 1988, was truly a sports legend in the community. His mark was left on many who played with him and around him. As a coach and manager, he was highly regarded as a mentor for youth in the area, especially in hockey and baseball where he was involved at many levels of sport.
“I know he would be very humbled about this event,” said his namesake nephew, Les Mayo of Halifax. “But I also know he’d be very proud of the friends and kids he was so involved with through the years.”
He was a founder of Sackville Bantam baseball and for years coached and managed youth programs in the community as well as Sackville Acadians of the old Halifax Suburban Hockey League. He also coached and managed Sackville baseball teams at the junior and senior levels.
“Les was very highly regarded in both sports, especially by those of us who were aware of his untiring work,” says Barrett.
- 2006 -
Athlete - Horse Racing
Stanbdardbred racing and Sackville were at one time synonymous in Maritime sporting annals, One rarely mentioned without the other.
The same was said of David Pinkney, the Yarmouth-born driver/trainer who was inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2001. Sackville Downs and Dave Pinkney were nearly always mentioned in the same breath.
Pinkney’s induction into the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame was inevitable considering the esteem in which he’s held by the Canadian standardbred industry and the records he established in a glittering career that spanned some five decades.
While he was credited with 3,243 “official” wins at his 2001 Canadian Hall of Fame induction, it was noted that he racked up numerous other wins in the days prior to computerized statistics being made available.
Dave was described by those in the industry as the “complete horseman.” He took up driving full time in 1959. His career as a trainer/driver took off in the 1960s when given the opportunity to operate the stable of prominent horse owner Eric Whebby. The owner-trainer combination enjoy many successful campaigns, especially with a horse named Waveore.
Waveore established track marks at numerous Maritime race centres, including the 1985 $50,000 Monctonian over the 5/8th-mile Champlain Raceway oval where Pinkney and Waveore paced a 1:54.2 time, the first sub 1:55 mile run in the Atlantic Provinces. The two also established a 1:56 track record at the Charlottetown Driving Park.
Pinkney’s career winnings of more than $2.4 million is modest by today’s standard but considered impressive for the era and in the venues where he raced.
In addition to his horse-racing accomplishments, Pinkney also served four years as a director of the United States Trotting Association.
Among the highlights of his racing career includes establishing records at 10 Maritime tracks; earning seven Maritime driving championships including five at Sackville Downs; the first driver to win more than $1 million on Maritime tracks.
While continuing to race a reduced schedule, Pinkney still enjoys reining winners. A recent string of seven victories in eight races included a visit to the winner’s circle following a race against other reinsmen from Sackville Downs.
1977 Sackville Junior C Blazers
- 2006 -
Team - Hockey
The second of two successive Nova Scotia Junior C championships for the Sackville Blazers hockey team was something special.
“Most of the 1977 team was made up of local players,” recalls Tom MacDonald, who played for both clubs. “That and the fact it was the last time we were together as a team made it sort of special.”
The Blazers definitely had a local flavour with 12 members from the Sackville, Bedford, Waverley areas.
It was also the launching point of a junior program that was to become one of the most successful hockey operations in the Maritimes and the foundation for today’s highly regarded Junior B championship organization.
From the top down – with the likes of Bill Chase, Pat Currie, Rod Gillis, Bob MacDonald, Bernie Bishop, Fred Grace and Hugh MacDonald working behind the scenes at the start – it’s become almost an annual obsession over nearly three decades for Sackville Blazers to go far in the playoffs.
The 1977 team dominated provincial junior C competition, winning the league championship and the playoffs and capping the season with the Nova Scotia title with coach/general manager Scott Lee of Timberlea behind the bench. Two of Lee’s sons, defencemen Randy and Rick, were among the six imports on the squad.
Shawn Delaney (Sackville) and Tim Rand (Bedford) shared the goaltending. Mike Fredericks (Sackville), Ron Mayhew (Sackville) and Steve Risseeuw (Bedford) tended to defensive assignments while among the forward lines were Mike Charlton, Darrell Jessome, Tom MacDonald, Larry Woodland and Chuck Woods, Bobby Grace and Brian Lillington, all of Sackville; Steve Bouchie and Burt Pendergast, both of Waverley.
- 2006 -
Athlete - Track and Field
It wasn’t until she was in junior high school that Kim vanderHoek saw the writing on the wall, and it was all uphill from there.
“She was always a determined young lady,” says her track coach, Doug Mitchell. “She participated in all sports until near the end of Grade 9 when she saw the opportunities ahead of her.”
From the time she participated in her first national competition, the Canada Games in 1989, Kim was plugged into a track and field career that would take her into a world most young athletes can only dream about.
Kim’s all-round athleticism at Leslie Thomas and Sackville High – where she earned Athlete of the Year Awards – gave her a leg-up on competition when she took up the heptathlon, a two-day event taking in seven competitions and requiring both durability and diversity.
She has represented Canada at the World Junior Track and Field Championships (1988), the World Student Games (Manchester, England; Japan; Buffalo, N.Y.); the Francophone Games (Paris, Madagascar, Ottawa-Hull); the Pan-American Games in Winnipeg and the 1996 Commonwealth Games.
Kim enjoyed an amazing junior career, established provincial standards in both the heptathlon and javelin, and was Canadian junior champion in heptathlon – a sport in which she was ranked among the world’s top 10.
- 2005 -
Builder - Hockey, Ringette, Baseball, Lacrosse
Some people go through life giving of themselves to support their hometowns without thought of recognition. Ken Barrett has been just such a benefactor on the Sackville sports scene.
Ken’s name won’t be in the record books, but look closely at those who function so well in the background and you’ll see Ken. In the scheme of things he wouldn’t have it any other way.
But the life-long resident of Sackville-Beaver Bank has been an essential partner of the growth of the Sackville region’s sports programs and has given generously, both financially and his time, to several building campaigns promoting facilities such as the original Sackville Arena and the more recent Sports Stadium complex.
But Ken will probably be remembered most for his never-ending support of minor league programs, particularly hockey and ringette, along with gentlemen’s and old timer’s hockey teams.
His logo, Nova Automotive, has been synonymous with junior, intermediate and senior organizations in Sackville. He was a major sponsor for many years of the Sackville Blazers hockey team, of various lacrosse teams and the Sackville Chiefs baseball organization.
Ken Barrett, indeed, has left his mark on Sackville’s sporting community and is a worthy 2005 inductee into the Sackville Sports Heritage Foundation’s Hall of Fame.
Wayne E. Gordon
- 2005 -
Athlete - Boxing
To say boxing has been a lifetime experience for Wayne Gordon would be an understatement. He literally teethed on boxing, grew up in the four-cornered ring, and tasted his first competition at the age of six.
Wayne’s career literally peaked when he was chosen by his peers to captain the 1984 Canadian Olympic boxing team in Los Angeles and later shared those memories with his Hall of Famer father/coach Taylor Gordon at the closing ceremonies.
Among highlights of his amateur career was his knockdown of soon-to-become world champion Mark Breland at those same 1984 Olympics and his knockout of another world champion, Torstan Schmidt, in Germany.
While he boxed professionally for several years and enjoyed some success – winning 12 of 16 fights with seven knockouts – it was his amateur calling that earned Wayne’s induction into the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame.
He won Nova Scotia provincial titles 13 times, was named Nova Scotia’s Boxer of the Year seven times and was a member of the Canadian national team, 1981 to 1985. He was national titleholder in his weight class in 1979, 1980, 1983 and 1984 and a silver medalist in 1978, 1981, 1982 and 1985.
He lost only 29 of 130 bouts that saw him represent Canada internationally in the U.S., Bermuda, Australia, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Venezuela (1983 Pan-Am Games) and throughout the British Isles.
Wayne is the third member of the Gordon family to be inducted into the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame following the footsteps of his father, Taylor (2002), and his mother, Marina (2003).
Jeri (Sharkey) Hennigar
- 2005 -
Athlete - Field Hockey, Volleyball, Broomball, Softball
Jeri (Sharkey) Hennigar was an outstanding all-round athlete growing up in Sackville, but more than that she was a role model for younger female athletes that followed.
Her track mentor, Doug Mitchell, recalls Jeri taking the lead throughout her many faceted career in bringing attention to female athletics in the community through her enthusiasm and passion to compete at a high level in whatever sport she played.
This desire to challenge was never more evident than at Sackville High in 1973 – the year the school opened – where, restricted by school policy to three sports for the year, two at any one time, the freshman made every school team she tried out for. After the field hockey squad’s season ended, Jeri joined the school’s volleyball team, which had advanced in the provincial playoff rounds.
Jeri earned MVP honours for the school’s broomball team three times and in 1976 (her graduating year) was named Sackville High’s Female Athlete of the Year and was awarded the Silver S, which recognized her contribution to the school’s athletic programs.
She represented Nova Scotia in field hockey twice at the national level – the 1977 Canada Summer Games team that took silver after losing the final to Ontario 1-0, and at the senior championships.
Softball became Jeri’s sport of choice in the 1980s and her Halifax Carlsburg team won the 1984 Eastern Canadian women’s fastball championship.
- 2005 -
Builder - Track and Field
Whatever the Sackville Chebucto Athletics track organization has become since the club’s founding in 1976, Doug Mitchell has shared the ups and downs. Mitchell – athlete, coach, teacher and builder of track and field at the regional, provincial, national and international levels of the sport – is an institution in the community.
Doug has been spearheading Chebucto Athletics’ programs for 35 years, through good times and bad, and influenced many of his proteges with career decisions above and beyond their sporting endeavours.
Initially, Doug saw the organization serving Sackville teenagers during the summer months but soon came to realize there was growing interest in expanding the training sessions (at Sackville Downs race track and area soccer fields) to include all seasons for training and competitions.
Through his ingenuity and foresight, Chebucto Athletics became one of the first groups to fund-raise through Atlantic Lotto in 1978 and has operated a booth at Bedford Place Mall continuously since that time.
Recognized as one of the outstanding track and field administrators in the country, Doug has seen many of his charges distinguish themselves at provincial, national and international championships. Doug, himself, has been named to Canada’s track teams for the Commonwealth Games, World junior and Pan-Am junior competitions.
Doug has been to every Canada Summer Games since Halifax was host to the first in 1969. Chebucto Athletics organization enjoyed a banner 2001 when Doug, along with two staff members and 22 of 55 Nova Scotia track and field competitors, were named to the provincial squad.
Despite the organization’s successes, Doug Mitchell still espouses the virtues of track and field at the ground-roots level, visiting many of the elementary schools in the Sackville area and exposing youngsters to the benefits of track. His initiatives have also produced a facility – Metropolitan Field – that is one of the most successful in the country and annually hosts provincial and Atlantic regional championship.
Lisa (Carberry) Rowe
- 2005 -
Athlete - Softball, Hockey, Soccer, Broomball
The path Lisa (Carberry) Rowe chose to take in life is what many young girls aspire to. But few have the resolve to follow those dreams.
Lisa’s athleticism in all facets of sport earned her early recognition, first in the Caudle Park neighbourhood of Sackville where she grew up, and later at Sackville High where she was a member of the Atlantic regional soccer champions, established provincial records in track and field and was named Female Athlete of the Year by the Nova Scotia Track and Field Association and Sackville High.
Some 20 years in the future – Oct. 16, 2004, to be more exact – she would be inducted into the Canadian Armed Forces Sports Honour Roll, a success story that carries with it the mark of a true champion..
Lisa’s passion for sports covered a broad spectrum of events, including four years in Germany where she and her husband were posted in 1985 and where she re-invented her enthusiasm for competitive sports while playing softball and hockey with Canadian women’s forces teams.
On their return to Canada in 1989, Lisa enlisted full time in the Canadian Reserve Force and launched a sports career that would net her numerous rewards, including 20 Canadian Forces national team competitions that resulted in seven gold medals and eight silvers in softball, hockey, soccer and broomball.
Her list of individual national honours is equally remarkable; three MVP awards in softball, seven all-star selections (three as a broomball defender), and four times as an all-star pitcher. Twenty regional team competitions earned her another 10 gold and eight silver medals.
Ross Raymond Sampson
- 2005 -
Athlete - Wheelchair Sports
For Ross Raymond Sampson, the 1980s was a whirlwind of wheeling around the world and becoming one of Canada’s best-known wheelchair track and field athletes.
Following a near fatal car crash in 1980 that left him paralyzed from the waist down, Ross made a significant inroads to wheelchair sports that over the next few years would see him competing all over the world and peak for the 1984 World Wheelchair Games in Stoke-Mandeville, England.
Ross had a chance meeting with Rick Hansen during the Man In Motion’s trip through Nova Scotia in 1982 and attended a Pan-Am Games training camp in Halifax, both of which encouraged him to realize he could participate at a world-class level.
Compete he did.
Two years after a somewhat disappointing performance at his first Canadian Games for the Physically Disabled, Ross won all five events he entered at the 1983 nationals in Sudbury, Ont., 10,000-, 5,000, 1,500, 800 and 400 metre events, setting a Canadian mark in the 10,000 for his class.
Marathon events were his favourite.
Over the next two years, Ross would leave his mark wherever he wheeled against the world’s best, including the 1983 Orange Bowl Marathon in Miami, Fla., where he was 13th of 56 entries; the 1983 Montreal International Marathon, 8th of 18 wheelchair competitors; 1983 Honolulu Marathon, 4th of 32; 1984 Orange Bowl Marathon in Miami, 8th of 52.
Ross was one of five Canadians invited to Marathon-Japan in November of 1983 and in 1984 was named to the Canadian contingent at Stoke-Mandeville where he competed in several event, the topping his performance with a third-place finish in the marathon.
He was the recipient of Sackville’s Outstanding Amateur Athlete Award in 1984 and was honoured by the Nova Scotia government at a Night of Champions dinner celebrating top amateur sports figures in the province. In January 1984, Ross joined the staff of the Recreation Council for the Disabled in Npva Scotia.
- 2004 -
Builder - Boxing
Boxing was tailor-made for Bill Arsenault, a long-time Sackville resident who, this year, joined three other proponents of the sport in Sackville’s Sports Hall of Fame, among them his wife Alison.
If amateur boxing was laced with medals based on performance in the ring, Arsenault would be among the most decorated.
He’s risen to the top as a referee, his Level 5 ranking placing him at the very peak of his profession in the world of amateur boxing.
Scottish-born Bill earned a solid reputation in the boxing world from the outset, working whenever he was needed, in all types of environments and whatever venue he was called upon at a given moment. As he upgraded his skills, his assignments became national and international where today he’s one of the most recognized of amateur boxing officials worldwide.
He’s participated in numerous international competitions, among them Simon Bolivar tournament, Kings Cup championship, North American championships, Gaelic Youth Tournament, world juniors, Pan-American Games and was Canada’s only boxing official invited to the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
His travels have also taken him to Russia, Yugoslavia, Thailand, Venezuela, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Scandinavia, United Kingdom and Cuba.
But with all his worldly travels, Arsenault still finds time to continue his activities at the grass-roots level of the sport, providing leadership as president of Boxing Nova Scotia, as chief official for Boxing NS, and has had a hand in rewriting the sport’s Constitution and By-Laws.
Arsenault’s past recognitions include Official of the Year and Executive of the Year by Sports Nova Scotia.
Scott Edward Kelly
- 2004 -
Athlete - Auto Racing
Little did Scott Edward Kelly realize as a 16-year-old the imprint he would leave on the Sackville region when he determined auto racing would be his life’s ambition.
When cancer took him all too soon at age 28 in May 1999, Kelly left a legacy that his peers and other home-grown stock car drivers would pursue as a benchmark for success.
Friends and competitors alike agree Kelly had a special talent all world-class race car drivers embrace, an ability that can’t be taught but honed only through experience – the capacity to foresee impending dangers on the track and the ability to take advantage of the situation to improve his position in a race.
“He was really good in heavy traffic,” says his father, Lewis (Junior) Kelly, himself a top race-car driver at Nova Scotia tracks before retiring to become crew chief for his son’s MASCAR racing team. “He was able to perceive what was happening on the track before it happened.”
Scott Kelly achieved a number of awards and firsts throughout a career packed with excitement. But the peak of his racing exploits was probably his third-place finish at the Oxford 250 in Maine in 1996, a race he led with two laps to go.
“We may have lost that race for him in the pits,” says Junior Kelly. “All he had to do was run along side one of the other cars on the track to hold up the two cars behind him. But I guess that’s 20-20 hindsight.”
Scott Kelly was a champion wherever he performed in the Maritimes, on sprint tacks and road courses, from Halifax to Truro, to Antigonish to Sydney, from Oyster Bridge in P.E.I. to New Brunswick Geary (Fredericton), Shediac, Riverglade and Miramichi speedways.
In 1998, Scott Kelly’s peers presented him with a special award for perseverance and the portrait of a true racing spirit.
- 2004 -
Athlete - Auto Racing
Stock car racing in Nova Scotia as we know it today can be traced back to a true pioneer of the sport in the 1950s, Frank McMahon.
McMahon dominated the quarter-mile dirt track in Sackville, then located on the old Walker property at the corner of Hwy. 102 and Beaver Bank Road.
He was known for good reason as Speed to the local fans in what was then the fastest growing sport across North America. His ability to circumnavigate a track rife with potential for serious injury is legendary. The only real “safety” features on the cars of that day were roll bars and seat belt. The driver’s only protection was a hard hat with a leather chin strap.
McMahon was known for his fast starts, probably because as an early scholar of the sport he learned the importance of getting off the mark quickest on a track that meted its own measure of justice on also-rans. If mud tracks were a driver’s bane, then trying to cope with dust flying up from the lead car had its own prescription for misery.
In 1953, the year the Sackville track opened, McMahon won both the Mid-Season Championship and led all drivers in the points race for the season.
His contributions to the race car industry over the years were further recognized in the 1990s when, during introduction of Legend Cars to the program at Scotia Speed World, organizers called on McMahon to drive the first official lap.
His exploits over the years have not been a hidden commodity as Fultz House Museum has long recognized his accomplishments with a display of Speed’s achievements.
- 2004 -
Builder - Baseball
Baseball and John Sperdakes are synonymous in the Sackvilles.
The long-time mentor made a huge contribution to baseball in the region. The sport was not merely a passion for Sperdakes, it was a spiritual experience.
John will probably most be remembered as a charter member, along with his buddy Wayne MacDonald, of the Sackville Chiefs baseball organization in the mid-1980s.
From the bantam level onward, the Chiefs became through the years one of the outstanding baseball organizations in the province at several age brackets, winning six Nova Scotia titles, two Atlantic championships and representing the province twice at the midget A National tournament.
Sackville Chiefs joined the Nova Scotia Senior League in 1995, followed two years later by an intermediate team. Both teams remain active in provincial baseball and the intermediate club won the John Sparedakes Memorial Tournament its first three years.
It was the tandem of Sparedakes and MacDonald that initiated the development in Upper Sackville of Weir Field, a state-of-the-art facility that is recognized and the envy of communities throughout.
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Builder - Boxing
A teen-age crush with amateur boxing blossomed into a full time love affair.
Alison got a taste of what was to come at her Amherst, N.S., high school while watching classmates hone their skills sin conventional basement gym environments in preparation for local fight cards.
A career in nursing and a husband later, Alison still is comfortable around sweaty gyms while just as easily mix with the elite of the world amateur boxing community.
Several years after taking up residence in Sackville in the late 1960s, Alison met future husband, Bill, an aspiring boxing official. Accompanying him to amateur boxing cards around the Maritimes often ended in stimulating discussions that led to her first assignments – scoring bouts.
Her increasing popularity led to officiating assignments throughout the Atlantic provinces and her subsequent learning process enabled her to achieve a level of judging accorded few women in a predominantly male bastion.
Alison overcame seeming resistance within the Canadian boxing hierarchy to earn her Level IV license, allowing her to judge at major Canadian competitions. When the international body opened its doors to women officials, Alison was one of the first women recommended to text for a Level V card. She was one of four women worldwide – two from Nova Scotia – to achieve that level of excellence
She’s earned her stripes on the international stage, officiating at competitions with boxers from France, Scotland, Mexico, England, Ireland, Russia, Germany, Finland, Sweden and Italy and represented Canada at the 2000 women’s World Cup in Turku, Finland.
Alison has continued working at the ground roots for amateur boxing in Nova Scotia where she’s been registrar for Boxing Nova Scotia all but two years since 1976, served as BNS’s chief official, has been a Vice-President of BNS for 22 years and is the longest-serving member of the amateur body’s executive board.
Her latest project is introducing a computerized scoring system at clinics throughout the province.
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Builder - Hockey
His name is synonymous with the highly successful Sackville Blazers junior hockey club, but Bill Chase’s contributions to the overall sporting wealth of the community was not overlooked in his induction to the Builder’s Section of the Hall.
As a prominent figure in the establishment of numerous sports groups aimed at bettering life for Sackville’s youth, Chase always seemed able to surround himself with volunteers equally impassioned at seeing whatever project they undertook was completed.
While his name will forever be emblazoned on the community as the man instrumental in bringing about the arrival of Junior B hockey to Sackville, Chase’s thousands of hours volunteering and his financial support of numerous undertakings that earned him a permanent place in Sackville’s sporting history.
He was a founding member of the Sackville Minor Hockey Association. When he noticed most of the players were disappearing after a certain age, Bill and several colleagues determined to find a higher level of play for the locals and a permanent tenant for the new Community Arena.
Rejected by the Metro Valley League for an expansion franchise, the group purchased the Spryfield Rangers Junior C affiliate, moved the team to Sackville and the rest is history. The Blazers, under Bill’s tutelage, became a vital part of the Sackville sporting scene and have remained so for nearly a quarter century.
With Chase shouldering most of the paper work, including use of office space looking after much of the financial investments in the organization, the Blazers evolved into one of the most successful junior hockey franchise business operations in the country.
Garnet Sydney Cooke
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Athlete - Baseball, Hockey
Garnet Sydney Cooke honed his athletic skills on the baseball fields and ice rinks of Sackville throughout the ’40s and ’50s.
Those skills eventually led him to the broadcast booth where he became for many years the voice of the Sackville Nova B Blazers junior hockey team on Shaw cable television.
Garnet was a long-time member of the Sackville entry in the old Suburban Baseball League, a team that won the 1969 East Hants Border League schedule and playoffs. He was equally at home on a sheet of ice as a star defender for Sackville Acadians of the Halifax Suburban Hockey League.
His passion for the hockey team extended beyond his playing days. He was a Jack-of-all-Trades, making himself accessible I to the organization in many areas.
His involvement with the Blazers from their infancy in the community continued well into his retirement from his everyday job. Garnet touched the lives of many of the players around him.
He thought little of traveling with the team during the season, often with his mike and camera in tow, to ensure fans back home got their weekly hockey fix.
His love for the game in the early years was spontaneous. In later years, after taking up residence in Pugwash, he’s often get his “fix” for the game by visiting nearby rinks.
In September 2001, just months following his death, Garnet Cooke’s contributions were recognized by the Sackville Blazers when the organization made him an Honourary Member of the team’s Wall of Fame at the Sackville Community Arena where his picture and a jersey hang in his memory.
Greta Marina Gordon
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Builder - Boxing
Greta Marina Gordon’s idea of a traditional family upbringing probably differed widely from what she grew up with in her native Newfoundland.
All of that was discarded when she wed boxer-coach Taylor Gordon in 1954, nurtured their off-spring sons through amateur ranks and then moulded her own image as one of the outstanding amateur officials in international boxing.
Once Marina sat around and absorbed some of the boxing culture in those early years, she jumped into the mix with both feet and emerged a certified Level 5B official in the International Amateur Boxing Federation (AIBF), the world regulating body. She is one of only five women to achieve that ranking at the world level.
Marina, Taylor, sons Wayne and Dwayne and daughter Ann moved to Sackville in 1974 and the family has been an enthusiastic supporter of the community since that time.
Her passion and abilities to function at the highest levels of the amateur boxing world made her a welcome addition to boxing tournaments worldwide. She rose rapidly in the local rankings through the 70s, earning Level I, II and III certifications while officiating at event in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. In 1978, Marina participated in the Canada Winter Games in Grand Falls, NL.
With completion of her Level IV certifications, she officiated at competitions throughout Canada and the United States in the 1980s and was involved with the first know professional women’s boxing card sanctioned by a provincial body in Glace Bay, N.S., in 1991.
Marina represented Canadian amateur boxing at numerous events, among them the first women’s international tournament in Turku, Finland (1999) and volunteered at the Atlanta Olympics (1996) and the Winnipeg Pan-American Games (1999).
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Builder - Softball, Ringette, Hockey
Pauline Stanick’s organization and administrative skills over some 40 years earned her a place in the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame.
Pauline played many sports as a youngster, among them softball, fastball and ringette, but the coaching and ability to bring to fruition programs that benefited the youth of the community earned her a spot in the Hall.
A founding member of LDRA (Lake District Recreation Association) in 1971, she was a member of that organization for more than 20 years and was an active fund raiser that led to construction of the Sackville Community Arena along with several other recreation projects.
She helped organize girls softball in the Sackvilles (1972), a women’s softball league for Sackville and the surrounding areas (1975), was involved with girls’ ringette (1974-90) and was instrumental in bringing about a women’s ringette league in Sackville that led to the creation of an organization that included teams from Cole Harbour and Canning.
Pauline was secretary of the Sackville Minor Hockey Association (1972-80) and was a director with Ringette Nova Scotia where she undertook several tasks including transportation chair for the 1980 Canadian championships.
She spent 18 years as a coach and referee in ringette, was Chairwoman of Ringette Nova Scotia (1980) and managed the Nova Scotia Belles entry at the first national ringette championship (1978).
Pauline has been on the receiving side of a number of awards, among them the CAHA Award of Merit (1981) from the Nova Scotia Minor Hockey Council, Volunteer Appreciation Certificate from Ringette Nova Scotia (1996), Sackville Volunteer of the Year (1995) and was nominated for Volunteer of the Year by Blue Line Hockey Magazine (1985) and the YWCA Recognition of Women Award (1986).
Taylor L. Gordon
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Athlete - Boxing
Taylor Gordon has been moulding championship boxers in the region for more than 30 years.
Since Taylor and his family arrived to Lower Sackville, the community has been hailed around the world as a birthplace of champion fighters.
The Saskatchewan-born coach is recognized internationally as a trainer who gets the most from his proteges and is one of the most successful instructors ever in Canada when it comes to preparing boxers for the world stage.
First named head coach of Canada’s boxing team at the 1968 Olympics, Taylor was subsequently named to the position for four straight Olympics – Moscow in 1980 (which was boycotted by the Western countries), Los Angeles (1984), Seoul (1988) and Barcelona (1992). Coincidentally, Canadian fighters ended a medal drought at the ’84 Games and had medal performances at the next two Olympics.
Among his personal successes, local boxer Chris Clarke won gold at the 1973 Pan-American Games in Mexico City. Taylor’s resume includes head coach of the Bermuda boxing team. And he’s been team leader for Canadian boxers competing at tournaments in Milwaukee, Havana, London, Athens, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Jakarta, Bangkok and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Fighters from his clubs in Sackville and Halifax represented Canada in eight consecutive Olympics.
Unforgettable moments for the former Royal Canadian Navy CPO was at the 1984 Olympics when son, Wayne, was named captain of the Canadian boxing team and again in 1992 when Wayne joined him on the Canadian coaching staff, believed to be the first time a father and son were together in that capacity.
Robert Douglas Peverill
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Athlete - Hockey, Softball, Baseball
Doug Peverill was arguably one of the finest athletes to represent Canada in hockey, softball and baseball.
Born May 18, 1922, Doug left us all too soon with his death in April 1966 at the age of 43.
Among his peers, Peverill was best known for his hockey skills. But major league baseball sensed enough all-round athleticism to have him scouted and he made his mark on Halifax-area softball circles with such outstanding teams as Halifax Olands, Shipyards and Reliable.
Peverill was a standout in several sports but what defined his athletic talents was his ability to always play the game in control, whether it was eluding an opposing goaltender or defenceman or waiting for just the right moment to snag a baseball.
“If I had to sum up Doug in a word, it would be ‘Gentleman,'” said long-time Suburban Hockey League rival Bob McDonald. “You always had to be careful of two or three guys from those teams with their hooking and holding, but Doug didn’t play that way… Always the gentleman.”
An institution with the Acadian hockey team, Peverill was instrumental in bringing the Halifax Suburban league title to Sackville in 1940. “He won more MVP (most valuable player) awards in those days than my 78-year-old mind can recall,” said former teammate Eugene Roberts.
Peverill declined an invitation to attend a major league baseball training camp but left and indelible mark on local softball and fastball circles while helping his team to several city and provincial titles.
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Team - Hockey
It started as a traveling road show, but the Sackville Scooters oldtimers hockey team soon developed a serious lifeline to the community.
The Scooters have spent more than two decades traveling around the Maritimes as goodwill ambassadors and fund-raising for numerous local causes, particularly projects initiated by LDRA (Lake District Recreation Association).
A meeting in 1980 between Fred Grace and LDRA’s George Matthews spearheaded the establishment of the Scooters who, as a group, have turned some $200,000 over to community projects.
“We don’t have the exact figures in our hands, but . . . $200,000 sounds pretty impressive,” says John Doyle, Scooters treasurer and the only charter member of the team still campaigning on the eve of the team’s induction into the Sackville Sports Hall of Fame.
The Scooters-LDRA relationship began with players looking after LDRA’s Bonanza Bingo. That project and other bingo-related events proved profitable to both groups. The Scooters decided they would funnel their profits back into community facilities such as minor athletic programs and recreation fields.
Their first undertaking – installing bleacher stands at the Community Arena in 1980-81 – carried a $24,000 price tag plus a $7,800 donation to minor hockey. Another arena renovation undertaken by the Scooters included renovating the mezzanine area of the arena in 1986 at a cost of $10,000 plus another $8,000 contribution to minor hockey.
Another ambitious venture included the purchase of a bus to transport the team to its out-of-town engagements. That was in 1983 and the next five years saw their coffers depleted as Scooters carried Sackville organizations – minor sports groups such as the Junior B Sackville Blazers, Triple A midget hockey teams, majorettes, service clubs, fire fighters – all across the Maritimes.
The bus project was scrapped when a $10,000 cost to replace a blown engine was factored into the annual costs or continuing the service.
The Scooters charity to the community didn’t stop along with the bus ride, however. Their contributions include kitchen equipment for the Springfield Lake Recreation Centre, $25,000 donated to the Sackville Sports Stadium and another $15,000 toward heating the Stadium dressing rooms.
Despite more than two decades of giving back to the Sackville region, there hasn’t been much in the way of openings on the team roster. Only 55 players have worn the Scooter sweaters over the years and more than 40 attended the Induction ceremonies.