Brian R. (Jerry) Goulet – Athlete
Brian (Jerry) Goulet served his country for 34 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force, joining in 1953 and retiring in 1987. For much of that time, if you were in the Forces and were athletic at all, there were plenty of opportunities to play a variety of sports.
In addition to his ‘day jobs’, sports kept Jerry quite busy for several years, as both a player and an official. He was primarily a fastball pitcher, and recalled that in one season, he played for three different teams and won a total of 32 games.
Born and raised in Foleyet, Ontario, Jerry learned to whip a fastball from a young teammate. After he had tried it a few times, his friend said, “you seem to have a knack for this.”
Joining the Armed Forces at 17, Jerry began a three-year posting to occupied Germany in 1954. He was transferred to Greenwood in 1957, and spent that season playing football for the Greenwood Bombers.
That was the final year for the Nova Scotia Senior Football League, so Jerry fell back on his ability as a fastball pitcher. Pat Hampsey invited him to join the Berwick Legionnaires, a strong team that already included a pair of talented pitchers in Gary Whittier and Jerry Murphy.
Hampsey told Goulet he might not get much pitching time, so when Dr. Ron Thorpe extended him an invitation to join the Cambridge Tigers, he jumped at the chance, given that he “had just married a girl from Cambridge.”
Fastball, he said, “was really strong at that time, Every little village had a team.” Joining Cambridge was timely for Jerry, as the Tigers went on to win the Maritime Intermediate C championship in 1960.
After one season with the Tigers, Jerry and his wife moved to Aylesford, where he “worked the night shift” at a local service station while also holding down his ‘day job’ in Greenwood, plus playing fastball in his ‘spare time’.
Jerry signed on with the Aylesford (formerly Waterville) Mohawks, and played the 1961 season for that team. Between then and being posted back to Germany in 1965, he also saw action with the Berwick Legionnaires, the Kentville Blue Flames and the Greenwood Raiders.
Jerry also obtained his official’s certification as both a referee in hockey and an umpire in fastball and slo-pitch, and also officiated at track and field competitions. “Many a day,” he said, “I started out with minor hockey at 6 a.m.” He also played hockey, winning a Valley title in 1960 with the Valley Aces.
Eventually, Jerry was certified as a referee in the Maritimes, in Ontario and in Europe. One year, he officiated in the Spengler Cup hockey tournament in Europe. As an umpire, he officiated at the first ever co-ed slo-pitch tournament in Nova Scotia, played in Kentville.
In 1965, Jerry was again posted to Germany until 1969, when he returned to Canada and was sent to Camp Borden in Ontario. He taught technical skills to a different group of students each month, “in both official languages.”
Along with his ‘civilian’ fastball career, Jerry also played fastball in military competition. “The national armed forces championship was called ‘the BAT’. Each province declared a champion, which moved on to the national tournament.”
Jerry was part of Greenwood teams that won ‘the BAT’ two years in a row, in Toronto in 1960 and in Winnipeg in 1961. Altogether, he played in six BATs, including two while at Camp Borden and two as part of teams of Canadian personnel at bases in Germany who were eligible to compete.
After returning to Greenwood in 1977, Jerry played a few years of slo-pitch with teams such as Mid-Valley Cable and Alweather Windows and Doors. As a golfer, he represented Greenwood in the Nova Scotia Pro-Am in 1979 and Paragon in Kingston in the same tournament the following year.
Since retiring from the forces in 1987, Jerry has resided in Berwick. He turned 80 on April 12, 2016.
The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct, in the athlete category, Brian R. (Jerry) Goulet.