Phillip (Phil) Easson – Builder
The legendary Nova Scotia teacher, coach and broadcaster John ‘Brother’ MacDonald was fond of saying, ‘we may not all be good athletes, but we can all be good sports’.
Truly, the contributions of some individuals transcend the actual playing of the game. In terms of Berwick and area, brothers Phil and Bill Easson serve as perfect examples.
Bill Easson was inducted into our Hall of Fame some years ago. Phil’s joining him is long overdue, and this year, he receives his own recognition for his considerable contributions to the betterment of sport in the Berwick area.
Phil Easson was born in Morristown, and moved on to Berwick to complete high school. He has made his home in Berwick ever since, raising his family here.
He and his brother founded the trucking company that bears their family name, and made it into one of the largest and most successful in the Maritimes.
Phil was always interested in sports, but like many of us, was more comfortable – and became far better known – as a supporter of sports than as an actual participant.
He filled many roles at sporting events, including for many years working the canteen at the old Berwick Arena for a variety of sporting events, including hockey and wrestling. He was also a valued member of the Berwick Community Association.
Like his brother, Phil felt strongly the sponsorship of sports teams should remain local, so as to form a strong collaboration with the local community by supporting local sport and other community activities in a tangible and ‘hands-on’ way.
In the early 1970s, the Easson brothers took on the sponsorship of a men’s softball team in Berwick. It was a collaboration that would last more than 30 years.
The Berwick Eassons name became a familiar part of the town and its sporting life – arguably, as well-known and well-respected as the Easson family business.
The Eassons teams enjoyed their share of success, including provincial, regional and national championships, providing an outlet for many local athletes to excel at the sport of softball, not to mention hours of enjoyment for local fans.
Phil’s support, like that of his brother, was more than financial. He was an active supporter of the teams his family’s company sponsored, attending games and assisting in any way he could.
A little more than 10 years ago, a committee was struck to plan, and finance, a badly-needed new arena complex for Berwick and area.
The Easson brothers played a crucial role in making the facility that became the Kings Mutual Century Centre – affectionately known as the Appledome – a reality.
Phil and Bill donated the land on which the new arena would be situated – a selfless gesture that arguably went further than most toward bringing the project to fruition.
Needless to say, no one who had lived in Berwick and area for any length of time was the least bit surprised to learn the Eassons had endowed the project in this important way.
They had been in the forefront of supporting organized sport in Berwick for more years than many could count. In everything they did, they always selflessly put the community first, ahead of any personal or corporate gain or recognition.
The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame has been remiss in not honouring Phil Easson with induction long before tonight. We are genuinely pleased to have him take his rightful place among those who have made a real difference in the sporting life of Berwick. The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct, in the builder category, Phil Easson.