In 1964, Jim Keddy, his wife Elizabeth (Libby) and their three children, Robert, Pamela and Kimberley, moved from Nictaux to Berwick, where Jim had just been appointed Postmaster.
Having a young family and possessing an outgoing nature, Jim often found himself at the Berwick Arena with his children. When the Shell Junior hockey club, also among our Inductees this evening, was formed in the fall of 1966, Jim was there to do all he could to help.
Almost immediately, he volunteered to be the team's official scorer and timekeeper, as well as the public address announcer for the Junior games that were played every Saturday night that winter at the Berwick Arena. It wasn't long before Jim's distinctive voice could be heard announcing goals, assists and penalties and many other things connected to the Junior games.
Jim also helped provide transportation for the players when the team travelled out of town. As the team was not part of a league, it played exhibition games whenever, and wherever, they could be arranged, all the way from Yarmouth to Antigonish.
During the 1967-1968 season, Jim took over as manager of the Berwick Juniors. He also continued to fulfil the duties of PA announcer, timekeeper and official scorer. By this time, Berwick played in the Metro-Valley Junior 'B' League, which meant a considerable amount of extra duties for the manager.
Throughout this time, Jim, with the able assistance of his wife Libby, would also fundraise for the team, which involved organizing suppers, barbecues, walkathons, raffles, 50/50 draws and many other fundraising events.
Jim and Libby's home, at that time located on the corner of Maple Avenue and Union Street, was also a gathering point for many of the young local players, who would relax, shoot a game of pool, have a meal and, on many occasions when games were scheduled for Saturday evening at home and then Sunday afternoon on the road, even stay the night.
The duties of a manager included arranging games, interacting with other teams and league officials, making sure the team had sticks and other gear, transportation to and from games, advertising of the team's home games as well as just being there when something was needed.
At the end of the 1967-1968 season, a season-end wrap-up story in the Berwick Register included the following:
“We hope, too, that coach Art Newton and manager Jim Keddy will see fit to carry on for another year. These two have put in a lot of time for the club. Mr. Newton has been good to the boys and deserves a lot of credit. “Manager Jim Keddy, who is the Postmaster at Berwick, should be congratulated for his tremendous effort in arranging games for the club all during the season. The long list of phone calls and the waiting period for many of them tells the story.
“Citizens of Berwick and area should be thankful to their local postmaster for helping the young fellows through the season and taking so much of his time when otherwise he could have joined the rest of us and spend the weekends driving around.” According to players from that era, Jim “was a truly great manager” who would “always be there for the players, regardless of their needs.”
Jim was also very active at this time helping raise funds for the Western Kings Memorial Hospital Fund and the Berwick and District Fire Department. His distinctive voice was again put to good use calling the Giant Bingos held to raise funds for these two very deserving entities. In all, more than $40,000 was raised for the services.
The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct, in the Builder category, Jim Keddy, in his day an announcer, statistician, timekeeper and the epitome of what a successful team manager should be.
Inducted June 2011