The gymnasium at the Sackville Heights Community Centre was the perfect venue for the Sackville Sports Heritage Hall of Fame ceremony held on Oct. 18. The room was filled with athletes, coaches and supporters of sport in the community, all on hand to celebrate the induction of Bernie Bishop, Bud Bremner, Ray Ivany and the Sackville Chiefs baseball organization/team. All people who have made their mark in the history of sport in Sackville.
The Sackville Sports Heritage Foundation was established in 1981 by a group of residents in the area who believed that athletes along with hard working volunteers should be recognized and honoured for the mark they made in the history of sport in Sackville. The foundation folded a few years later, but was resurrected in 2002 thanks to Ron Hefler and other community residents. Now Bill MacDonald, a former county councillor and MLA, has taken on the project and is working hard to keep it going.
"It's very important," said MacDonald. "Sackville is built on the work of the people. We seem to have always been on the wrong side of the government so we had to do it ourselves. Our arena - our stadium. A lot of people who worked hard fell between the cracks. Now, we believe they should be recognized and I think they are happy to be not forgotten."
Minister of Health and Wellness Dave Wilson was on hand to celebrate. He said people like those being recognized at the ceremony should be recognized for their accomplishments and for the role models they have been to people, especially youth.
"There is no question that my track and field coach Doug Mitchell was a role model for me," he said. "I don't know what path I would have taken if it wasn't for him, but I know he has contributed to who I am and what I do today."
A touching moment of silence was given to inductee Bernie Bishop who passed away in 2011. MacDonald said Bishop was a player and supporter of hockey in Sackville for many years.
Other inductees included former minor football coach Bud Bremner, the Sackville Chief baseball team and Ray Ivany, an administrator, coach and fundraiser for the Special Olympics chapter in Sackville.
"I am so proud to be here," said Ivany. "I think it's a wonderful idea."
For a complete list of past inductees and for more information visit www.sackvillesportsheritagehalloffame.org.