Categories Archives: Builders

Burton Russell

Kentville, N.S.

Burton Russell (1934 -)


As a young boy growing up in Kentville, N.S. Burton Russell watched and loved sports of all types, especially baseball, having watched the Kentville Wildcats and Middleton teams of the Central League which later joined with the Halifax Defense League to form the celebrated H&D League. That caught Burton’s interest, a man who has published eleven (11) books on various sports and athletes over some forty (40) years. His writings and collection of articles and memorabilia have been a source of information for many over the years and he is often sought out as a credible expert on sport, not only in the province, but throughout the Maritimes.

The retired teacher is a former coach in various sports, having received a NSSAF citation for his contributions, and is a regular attendee at sporting events within the Valley region. Last December 11th, in the midst of receiving an unbelievable number of e-mails, cards, calls and visits from former Kings County Academy students and provincial athletes scattered across the province, he celebrated his 80th birthday. He is currently penning his 12th book.

He is a member of the Sport Hall of Fame at Acadia University, his alma mater, served on the selection committees of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and Acadia University for many years, and has been the statistician for the N.S. Senior Baseball League (NSBBL) for over twenty-seven (27) years in 2015.

According to Burton, among his most memorable moments was twice being named Coach of the Year in the Annapolis Valley High School Hockey League and being the recipient of the prestigious Johnny MacAskill Award. Especially memorable was being named Honorary Chairman of the National Junior Baseball Championship in 2013

In many ways, Burton has become the premiere sports historian for Nova Scotia.



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    Danny Gallivan

    Sydney, N.S.

    Danny Gallivan (1917-1993)


    Born in the Whitney Pier district of Sydney, N.S., Danny Gallivan would be become associated as much with the Montreal Canadiens as any of its players. From 1952 until his retirement in 1984 he was the “voice of the Montreal Canadiens”. He would broadcast over 1,900 regular season and playoff games and call games in sixteen of the Habs’ Stanley Cup championships.


    After an arm injury cut short a baseball career with the New York Giants, he graduated from St. Francis Xavier University in 1942. He joined CJFX radio soon after and began broadcasting games in the APC League. He moved to Halifax in 1946 as sports director of CHNS and broadcast the Halifax St. Mary’s junior hockey games. In 1950 he replaced the ailing Doug Smith to call his first Canadiens’ game and became the team’s permanent announcer in 1952.


    It was his unique and colourful style for which he became famous: Plante would make “a scintillating save” but often faced “a paucity of shots”; Harvey would “feather a pass to the streaking Rocket”; Ferguson’s ”pugilistic endeavours” would take him to the “box of punition”; Captain Beliveau will “take up the oratorical cudgel of his confreres”; Geoffrion’s “cannonading drive” would sometimes be “nowhere near the net”; Lemaire would “feather a pass” to Lefleur who would “successfully negotiate contact”; Robinson would “tip-toe out of his own zone”; Dryden would make “a save in rapier-like fashion”: Awrey would have the puck caught up in his “paraphernalia”; Savard would beat his man with his “patented spinerama”.


    He was selected to the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in 1980, the Canadian Sport Hall of Fame in 1989, and received an honorary doctorate from his alma mater in 1985.



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      Edgar “Duck” Acorn

      Charlottetown, P.E.I.

      Edgar “Duck” Acorn (1910 – 1998)


      Though a highly successful multi-sport athlete, “Duck” Acorn’s most significant contribution to his native Prince Edward Island is in the sport of harness racing. From 9 years of age until the age 71, he never missed a race at the Charlottetown Driving Park. Over the years he was a director and as secretary/treasurer, he established the Gold Cup and Saucer Race, one of Canada’s most prestigious racing events. He also established the “Duck” Acorn Stakes for 3 year olds.


      He was an active member of the P.E.I. Colt Stakes formation in 1934 and was named Honorary Director of that association. He was also Honorary Director of the P.E.I. Standard bred Horse Owners’ Association and named the 1992 Horseman of the Year.


      In hockey, “Duck” had the distinction of playing for the Junior, Intermediate and Senior Charlottetown Abegweits, all in the span of the 1930 season. He left the following season to perform with the Sydney Millionaires. Thirty years later, he was active in hockey as a coach, helping to lead the Milton’s Old Spain team of Charlottetown to victory as the Island hockey champs in 1960.


      He started curling in 1940 and quickly established himself as one of the leading skips in the province. He won the several prestigious championships. including the British Consols’ Trophy – one of PEI’s top honours in curling – in 1947, 1951 and 1953. He became president of the Charlottetown Curling Club in 1948 and during his 4-year term as president, he succeeded, after a lengthy battle, in having females admitted to membership in the Club for the first time. Later in life, “Duck” would become involved in active campaigning for senior sports and social activities. He was also an avid hunter and conservationist.


      In short, “Duck” was very influential as a player, coach, and administrator in hockey, curling, golf, and hunting. He was inducted into the PEI Sport Hall of Fame in 1985.



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