VOL­UN­TEER LEO FA­HEY LEAVES LAST­ING LEGACY

Stel­lar­ton’s Leo Fa­hey re­mem­bered for his many con­tri­bu­tions to sports

The News (New Glasgow) - - FRONT PAGE - BY KEVIN ADSHADE

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.”

FILE

Leo Fa­hey throws the cer­e­mo­nial pitch at a mi­nor base­ball game in 2009.

SUB­MIT­TED

Leo Fa­hey as a mem­ber of the Stel­lar­ton Roy­als hockey team.

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