2001 Inductees

Arthur Ward Robinson 1881-1940

Berwick has had a long and storied sports history extending well back to the earliest years of the twentieth century. However it may be no exaggeration to claim that sports first became a well established and important part of the life of Berwick because of the near coincidence of two events — the completion of the first covered arena in 1929/30 and the arrival of Arthur Robinson in Berwick.

In 1929/30, a Berwick hockey team, the first team to use the name "Bruins", won the Central Valley League Championship using the newly completed covered arena as home base, The Bruins continued to play over the next decade but were continually in need of money to finance their operations_ Within a year, the agent for Standard Oi1, Arthur Robinson and his family had moved to Berwick from Halifax and this new hockey team had an immediate promoter and fund-raiser. Within the year, Robinson started a boxing program and promoted exhibition bouts as a way to raise funds for the hockey team and new arena. The boxing card often featured many local boxers (including Earl Kinsman who went on to compete for the Maritime championship) and fighters from throughout the Maritimes. The Berwick Arena gained a province-wide reputation as a boxing center for fight fans and Arthur Robinson became a well-respected promoter and widely admired for the quality of the bouts he staged. The boxing program continued for nearly a decade.

In 1933, Art Robinson started a junior hockey team called the Berwick "Three Stars" (named after the most popular product of the Standard Oil Company). This team featured all local boys and won the western Nova Scotia championship several times and performed well against other provincial competition from larger centers. The team included a number of excellent players(including Orlay Bligh) who went on to star on several senior hockey teams including the 1936/37 Berwick Bruins who won the Nova Scotia Championship, Arthur performed the role of coach, manager, promoter and fund raiser for the Three Stars. To help finance both the Three Stars and Bruins teams, Art continued to promote boxing, added wrestling as an attraction at the Berwick Arena, conducted plays and variety shows at the Victoria Hall and Bligh's Theatre, held turkey raffles, 60/40 draws and exhibition hockey games. Despite the difficult financial times, hockey and boxing thrived during the 30's and early 40's chiefly due to Art's untiring

In addition to this involvement, Art's sports contributions included being an official of the Maritime Amateur Hockey Association, President of the Central Valley Hockey League, Vice-President of the Eastern Hockey League and an executive member of the Berwick Bruins and Berwick Arena. A contemporary of Art's has stated that without Art's involvement, many of Berwick's most noteworthy sports achievements would have never occurred. Certainly many of the later successes that followed in the 40's and 50's and later years can be attributed to the foundation laid by the organizational talents of Arthur Robinson. Upon his death in 1940, a local newspaper commented on his illustrious sports career and wrote: "Any community would be proud to have such a prominent sports enthusiast as the late Art Robinson among its inhabitants."

Inducted June 2001