VOLUNTEER LEO FAHEY LEAVES LASTING LEGACY
Stellarton’s Leo Fahey remembered for his many contributions to sports
They filed in to pay their respects to Leo Fahey.
“It was phenomenal, all the people who showed up for the wake and funeral,” said Gus Fahey, whose father, a Cape Breton native who came to Pictou County in 1947, died Aug. 29 at age 93.
Leo Fahey ran a pool hall on Stellarton’s main street for more than three decades, a place where young people could go and hang out.
“The pool room was a big part of our lives – for 32 years, any kid in Pictou County was welcome. It was a home away from home for a lot of them (and) a lot of friendships were formed there over the years.”
A member of the Pictou County Sports Hall of Fame (1988 inductee), the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame and Cape Breton Sports Hall of Fame, Fahey was honoured by the Town of Stellarton in 2005, which named a street after him – Leo Fahey Way.
“Growing up, I’d see him around the ball fields and hockey rinks,” said mayor Danny MacGillivray.
“Stellarton was very fortunate to have Leo Fahey come here to be part of our town.”
In his early 20s, Fahey was a Maritime boxing champion and later a star player in senior hockey in the 1940s and 50s. He played senior baseball with the Stellarton Albions and coached hockey, track and rugby at Stellarton High School for several years.
His love of sports – and coaching – put him in touch with countless athletes over the past 60 years.
“Sports was his life, it didn’t matter what was going on,” said Barry Trenholm, curator for the Pictou County Sports Hall of Fame.
In later years, he started Twilight Leagues for women’s hockey and softball, and “that really enhanced his life in the last 20 years,” Gus Fahey said.
Not one to back away from a challenge, in 2000, at age 75, Fahey ran the Johnny Miles half-marathon – while wearing hockey skates.
“He had a real passion for the sports he taught,” MacGillivray said. “It really showed in him, and the kids he taught.”
Fahey’s funeral was Saturday at the Church of the Holy Name in Westville.
“He made a lot of friends through sports,” Gus Fahey said, “friendships that lasted right up until he passed away.”
Leo Fahey throws the ceremonial pitch at a minor baseball game in 2009.
Leo Fahey as a member of the Stellarton Royals hockey team.