Gerald Mckenna Morse
Often in a small community, the true sports heroes, and those who really have the greatest impact, quietly carry out their responsibilities and duties, without any concern for personal glory or praise. Such a person is Gerald Morse. It has been said of Gerald that, as a coach, he could get more out of any hockey player that any other coach. Winning was never the most important thing to Gerald but rather the opportunity for all his players to play, improve and enjoy their experiences. Not only has Gerald enjoyed a reputation for being an excellent coach, well schooled in the fundamentals, but, more importantly he has had a huge influence on several generations of players and other coaches.
Gerald began his coaching career in 1960 largely because there were no coaches for local boys. Despite the fact that Berwick had no artificial ice at the time, and the Berwick hockey season was considerably shorter, his teams nonetheless performed well against other community teams. In 1964, Gerald attended the Dalhousie University/Howie Meeker coaching clinic — a relatively novel idea for community-based coaches at the time. This was to influence him considerably and by extension many other coaches. Gerald always has felt a need to pass on his knowledge and newly gained expertise. Over the next several years, he conducted coaches clinics for numerous other aspiring minor hockey coaches. This did much to raise the level of coaching and improve the hockey skills of Berwick and area youth and raise their knowledge of the game. One of the coaches who attended these early clinics has commented that under Gerald's guidance he gained the confidence to coach and the knowledge that he could actually help young players improve.
Gerald continued to coach for nearly thirty years working with teams of various ages, abilities and competitive levels. Perhaps the most notable and praiseworthy characteristic of Gerald is his willingness and preference to work with those players and teams who were just starting their hockey experiences or were judged by others as having less ability or talent. Gerald took great satisfaction from seeing players make small but steady improvements under his tutelage and grow immeasurably in both their skill development and confidence in their own abilities. A significant number of players and teams who enjoyed considerable success later under other coaches could trace their positive experiences back to Gerald's initial coaching and the strong skills and knowledge of the game that he instilled. One of his colleagues once remarked that if you looked up the word "coach" in the dictionary, you should see a picture of Gerald. Surely no one deserves induction into a sports Hall of Fame more than a man who has positively and without fanfare influenced the sports life of countless youth and adults.
Inducted June 2001