Turnbull, Mason honoured as Olympic Park in Stellarton is officially unveiled
A park in the Valley Woods section of Stellarton has been named after homegrown Olympic athletes Blayre Turnbull and Babe Mason.
Babe Mason can remember hunting rabbits and other wildlife in Valley Woods when he was just a boy.
Many years later, after that part of Stellarton had been developed, Blayre Turnbull grew up skating on the Valley Woods pond, dreaming of one day playing for Team Canada in the Olympics.
On Sunday, the two Stellarton natives were brought together, as the playground and small pond in that part of town was re-christened Olympic Park, recognizing
their success in sports, which took place more than 60 years apart.
“After 62 years, I thought it was wonderful,” said Babe Mason, a former boxer who fought in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.
“For me it’s been a long time, and anytime something like this can happen, you can enjoy it.”
Turnbull, 25, won a silver medal for Canada last February at the Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.
“It’s something that I never thought would happen, but it’s pretty cool because this is where I grew up,” said Turnbull.
“In the winters, I was on the
pond skating, in the summers I’d be in the playground playing with my friends, or catching frogs in the pond. I definitely spent a lot of time here, so it’s quite the honour.”
Stellarton Mayor Danny MacGillivray, who came up with the idea to honour Turnbull and
Mason several months ago, called them good citizens and role models for a town of 4,200 people.
“As a community, we are fortunate to have not just one Olympic athlete, but two. We could not be more proud of Babe and Blayre.”
Turnbull, who is heading to
Calgary this week for training camps for both the national team and the CWHL’s Calgary Inferno, thanked her family and all those from Pictou County for their support over the past couple of years.
“My Olympic journey was more special because of that,” she said.
Blayre Turnbull and Babe Mason attended a ceremony in Stellarton on Sunday in which the duo was honoured by having a park named after them. Both athletes competed in the Winter Olympic Games — Turnbull as a member of Team Canada’s women’s hockey team last February in PyeongChang, South Korea, and Mason as a boxer in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia.
A monument recognizing the accomplishments of Babe Mason and Blayre Turnbull at Olympic Park in Stellarton.