A.E. Bezanson And Family
In 1924 the Berwick Board of Trade placed an ad in the Halifax Herald in an attempt to solicit the interest of bakers who would be willing to establish a bakery in town. A.E. and Gertrude Bezanson answered the advertisement and traveled soon afterward from Barss Corner, Lunenburg County in a horse and buggy. The couple worked side by side and opened the Berwick Bakery on the corner of Commercial and Mill Street.
The Bezansons were very active community members and generous supporters. When Gala Days were first organized to raise money for a new rink, the Bakery donated hot dog rolls and other baked goods. This practice continued for over 40 years. When the rink was started in 1952, they provided a truck to haul fill for the rink and park. A.E. was instrumental in improvements to Rainforth Park. He organized the building of a fence around the Park which still can be seen today. He provided drivers and vehicles for many teams to travel. He also provided employment to some players so they could live here and play for Berwick. In their successful drive for the Nova Scotia Senior Championship in 1937, A.E. specifically told young Orlay Bligh, a star player employed by the bakery, “Don’t let the job interfere with your hockey”.
A tribute appeared in the November 23, 1963 edition of Halifax Herald. It was written by Alvin Savage, Associate News editor for the paper. It read that "hundreds of Berwick boys got their start at the bakery, many of whom went on to other occupations and professions. But the boys remembered it was A.E. who gave them their start and continued to be supportive when they moved on. He was truly Berwick’s Man of the People. Help, financial and otherwise, he freely gave to so many to assist their projects and undertakings."
Mrs. Bezanson purchased a parcel of land from Rod Bethune in 1964 and donated it to the Town of Berwick in memory of her husband. It is known as Arthur E. Bezanson Centennial Park.
A.E. had two sons who would become involved in the bakery and community life. Frank and Gerald continued the long-standing tradition of community support established by their father. The Bakery sponsored many teams, including the senior softball teams of the 60's, made annual contributions to upgrades at Rainforth Park, and contributed to many minor sport and community fundraising events. Gerald was an active member of the curling club and supported the operation in many ways.
Evidently, Gerald and Frank inherited their father’s sense of enterprise and success. Both men shared terms on Berwick Town Council, Lions Club, Rink Board, Board of Trade, and Gala Days. They carried on the tradition of supporting local sports and facilities, not just financially but as volunteers that could be seen helping to make events successful.
It is with pride that A.E. Bezanson and Family is recognized by the Berwick Sports Hall of Fame.
Inducted June 2008