The formal opening of the Maritime Sport Hall of Fame was announced today at a press conference held at its home, the BMO Centre, in Bedford, N.S. The formation of the Maritime hall began approximately five years ago when a small group of sport-minded Haligonians pondered why a centre recognizing the best in Maritime sport had never been established. The group was granted a Certificate of Incorporation from the Nova Scotia Joint Stocks after their efforts were successful in bringing those plans to fruition.
The Hall will recognize sports teams and individuals who represented their respective provinces, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia and who competed at, and attained honours, at a regional (Maritime or Atlantic) level or at a national level of competition. The priority in the earlier years will be to recognize teams and individuals from earlier decades, at a time prior to national competition becoming the norm for championship play.
The hall will “provide information on teams and individuals from the far and recent past who could act as role models for young people today in order that they might aspire to play and/or compete in sport, some of whom may further be inspired to compete at championship levels themselves”.
Frank Mitchell, a member of the executive committee addressed the attendees and stressed the commitment of the Maritime Sport Hall of Fame to the youth by stating that “the hall will donate a significant portion of surplus funds raised to youth groups and individuals, especially to allow those disadvantaged by the high cost of competing in team or individual sports, thus allowing them to compete. Following its first induction ceremony in June, 2015, from November, 2015 to March 2016 the hall will make available to individuals and teams forms by which application can be made for funding assistance through this website. We want to stress that the Maritime Sport Hall of Fame is committed to youth.”
In the team category, inductees spanned over a century with the Black Hockey League of 1895 to 1930 leading the honorees into the hall’s first induction class. The other inductees were the Sydney Millionaires, hockey, 1912-1914, the Charlottetown Islanders, hockey, 1981 -1984 , the Moncton Hawks, hockey, 1933-1934, the Halifax Zwickers, fastball, 1946-1947, the Shearwater Flyers, football, 1950’s,the New Waterford Giants, baseball, 1959, the Vaughan Furriers, baseball, 1962, the Moncton Beavers, hockey, 1960-1961, the Halifax Kingfishers, hockey, 1961-1962.
The first inductees in the individual athlete category are Yvon Durelle, Baie Ste. Anne, N.B., boxing, Philip “Skit” Ferguson, Reserve Mines/Dartmouth, N.S., baseball, Forbes Kennedy, Dorchester, N.B./Charlottetown, P.E.I., hockey, Willie O’Ree, Fredericton, N.B., hockey, Ron Turcotte, Grand Falls, N.B., jockey, thoroughbred racing, Leo Woods, Halifax, N.S., baseball/fastball.
The inductees in the builder category are Edgar “Duck” Acorn, Charlottetown, P.E.I., harness racing builder, Charlottetown, P.E.I., Danny Gallivan, Sydney, N.S., hockey broadcaster, Montreal Canadians, 1952-1986, and Burton Russell, Kentville, N.S. sport historian/author.
The official unveiling of the pictures and scripts for the inductees will take place on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 12 o’clock at the BMO Centre in Bedford – and the general public is invited to attend.
The information in this initial draft of the website (It is work in progress) also includes an outline the goals of the organization, its directors, contact information and information on the first induction ceremony. By October, 2015 forms how to join as a supporting member, or to make donations directly to the hall or to fund-raising auctions, as well as the process of nominating teams or individuals in future years.
If anyone wishes more information on the Hall prior to the completion of the website or to make donations to the Society or “in kind” items for an upcoming auction. please call Gord MacInnis at 902-832-0748 or 902-223-4445 (cell) or Frank Mitchell at (902) 576-2055.