Born into a sports-minded family, Laurie grew up in Weston and loved to join the games that surrounded him. He remembers playing ball with great delight, as young as age five, in the backyard after supper with his brother Paul and sister Marilyn, his uncle Bernie, and any neighbors that happened along. One night in particular, he remembers his mother coming out, taking him inside, and putting him into bed. He waited until she returned downstairs, and then snuck down the back stairwell to rejoin the game outdoors. This desire to play and compete continues to this day.
Laurie played Little League ball in Aylesford, but one day at the age of thirteen, he tagged along with his older brother Paul to one of his games in Berwick. He was invited to join the game. The teams were comprised of men ten years his senior. The opposition, noticing the youngster at bat, pulled the outfield in. Laurie hit the ball fifty feet over their heads. He was immediately invited to play in the Berwick league. Laurie continued to play softball in Berwick. He played for the All Stars at the age of fifteen and hit a .327 average. In the following years his batting average was over .400. He was a member of the Berwick Legionnaires team that won the Nova Scotia and Maritime softball titles in 1961. This team has previously been inducted into the Berwick Sports Hall-of-Fame.
The same year, Laurie played baseball with the Kentville Hoppers Juvenile Team who won the Nova Scotia and Maritime Championships. In fact, after finishing one championship game in Saint John with the Hoppers on Saturday, he went to play in Woodstock with the Legionnaires on Sunday. He also played a year in the Halifax & District League, known as the H&D League, for the Kentville Wildcats. He was known to be a power hitter with a high batting average, a very good bunter and base stealer, and an outstanding outfielder who made many sensational catches.
During his high school years at West Kings, Laurie excelled at many sports. He was a member of a relay team which set a record at the Kings County zone trials and went on to the Acadia relays. He held seven records at West Kings in track and field. He was the pitching and hitting star for the softball team. His basketball years were phenomenal. The West Kings team won the Headmasters “A” Championship in 1960, and as it was reported in the Chronicle Herald, Laurie was “the big gun for West Kings, the kingpin for the attack throughout the tourney.” He was also a member of the West Kings teams that won the provincial titles in soccer and volleyball that year. Laurie was named the athlete of the year at West Kings for his stellar contribution to sport.
In later years, while stationed with the RCMP in Gimli, he played fastball for the Winnipeg Molson Canadians who won the Manitoba Senior “A” League Championship. In 1966, he was voted All Star left fielder for the league.
Laurie was also a very good hockey player. While playing for the Berwick & District League he finished third in scoring and led the league in assists. He played for the RCMP in New Brunswick, and also for the RCMP Old-timers who toured Nova Scotia playing benefit games.
Laurie is an accomplished golfer. He has had three hole-in-ones (two at KenWo and one in P.E.I.), played to a 2 handicap, with a low score of three under par, 67 at KenWo, and has won the Midas Invitational Tournament.
In addition to playing sports, Laurie has coached hockey; taking the Kentville Pee Wee hockey team to the International Hockey Tournament in Quebec, in which 200 teams from Canada, the United States, and Europe participated. He also coached Little League baseball in Kentville, as well as several ball and hockey teams while living in Manitoba.
The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is proud to induct Laurie Ward.
Inducted June 2010