Af­ter 20 years as pres­i­dent of the Truro ju­nior A Bearcats hockey club, Keith Macken­zie is stepping aside

Truro Daily News - - SPORTS - Lyle Carter Lyle Carter’s sports col­umn ap­pears Satur­days in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, con­tact him at 902-673-2857.

Keith Macken­zie has been pres­i­dent of the Truro Bearcats Mar­itime Ju­nior Hockey League team since Day 1.

e well-liked Macken­zie was aboard in 1997-98, the team’s in­au­gu­ral sea­son and he re­mained a strong pres­ence dur­ing the Bearcats suc­cess dur­ing their rst 20 sea­sons.

at is about to change.

“ere’s an old say­ing, ‘if you want to get a job done go nd a busy per­son.’ at was my rea­son for seek­ing out Gerry Hale as my re­place­ment,” Macken­zie said. “No one in the Bearcat or­ga­ni­za­tion has done more than Gerry over the past 20 years with the re­search he’s done on vis­it­ing teams be­fore writ­ing the best pro­gram in the MHL by far, in ad­di­tion he writes two ar­ti­cles a week for the Truro Daily News.”

Macken­zie flashed back 1997.

“When we en­tered the MHL as an ex­pan­sion team and I be­came pres­i­dent, I sought out vol­un­teers to per­form cer­tain func­tions. Gerry be­came me­dia re­la­tions co­or­di­na­tor, Harold Bark­house statis­ti­cian, Deb­bie Brown game events co­or­di­na­tor and Wayne McCormick our 50-50 co­or­di­na­tor.

“All three have re­mained in those po­si­tions for 20 years, I

nd that quite amaz­ing. Freida Ga­bani and Larry An­thony have also per­formed var­i­ous vol­un­teer func­tions through­out the two decades.”

Macken­zie ap­plauded Don McMil­lian, mar­ket­ing co­or­di­na­tor, and Sam Wor­thing­ton, who vol­un­teers in sell­ing a wide va­ri­ety of Bearcat sou­venirs.

“Last, but cer­tainly not least has been the tremen­dous sup­port from owner Stu Rath,” said Macken­zie. “I have said many times Stu is the rea­son we have ju­nior A hockey and his sup­port made my job a breeze.”

In dis­cussing high­lights, Macken­zie sin­gled out the move to the new Rath Eastlink Com­mu­nity Cen­tre and host­ing and win­ning the Fred Page Cup with many vol­un­teers com­ing for­ward to make it a tremen­dous suc­cess. to Stu Rath, seated, owner of the Truro Bearcats; new pres­i­dent Gerry Hale, left; and re­tir­ing pres­i­dent Keith Macken­zie.

He touched on last sea­son, record crowds and a fourth MHL playo cham­pi­onship.

“It was nice to see An­drew Mac­Don­ald grad­u­ate to the NHL and sign a multi-mil­lion dol­lar con­tract,” Macken­zie said. “It was great to see lo­cal play­ers Zach Sill and David Brine en­joy pro­fes­sional hockey ca­reers. e many suc­cess­ful sea­sons our club has had stands out and I’ve en­joyed a great work­ing re­la­tion­ship with coach/gen­eral man­ager Shawn Evans. How­ever, it is time for chang­ing of the guard.”

Hale was quick to credit the out­go­ing pres­i­dent.

“Keith was the one who put the or­ga­ni­za­tion to­gether. Most of the peo­ple brought on board dur­ing those early years were brought in by Keith. As Keith agrees, we were for­tu­nate to have great peo­ple step in and do out­stand­ing jobs.”

Un­der Hale, not much is ex­pected to change.

“We’re look­ing at there pos­si­bly be­ing more meet­ings,” he said. “Ba­si­cally, we’ll be car­ry­ing on the same way.”

Evans feels the Bearcats or­ga­ni­za­tion has been lucky to have had Macken­zie in­volved.

“Keith was around many sports, his play­ing background, his coach­ing background and his many ex­pe­ri­ences in sports, he cer­tainly has been valu­able. It was 16 years ago I was hired. I re­mem­ber Keith told me, ‘this can be a stepping stone for you to go fur­ther as a coach or you can be a coach here for 20 years.’ Keith’s

wife Dianne served for 11 years as ed­u­ca­tional co­or­di­na­tor. She worked with a lot of our play­ers who were in high school.”

Added Rath: “Keith and I are cousins, we’re al­most like brothers. It’s been great hav­ing Keith in­volved with the team all th­ese years. He’s been a big help in many im­por­tant ar­eas. It’s cer­tainly go­ing to be di er­ent not hav­ing Keith work­ing with us.”

An out­stand­ing rst-base­man and play­ing coach in soft­ball dur­ing the 1960s and 1970s, Macken­zie’s Salmon River teams pro­duced sev­eral cham­pi­onships in­clud­ing a Nova Sco­tia in­ter­me­di­ate A ti­tle. Later, dur­ing a 32year teach­ing ca­reer, he coached the CEC girls’ bas­ket­ball team to six pro­vin­cial high school cham­pi­onships and the CEC Cougars

Boys’ team to ve pro­vin­cial ti­tles.

Macken­zie was in­ducted into the Nova Sco­tia Sport Hall of Fame in 1991 as a builder, he was also in­ducted into the Colch­ester County Sports Hall of Fame.

“I’m plan­ning to spend more time in Florida, from Novem­ber un­til May,” Macken­zie told me. “I’m just plain re­tired, I’ve also re­tired from the school board.”

Plan­ning to live an hour north of Or­lando, Fla.,, he’s look­ing for­ward to play­ing at least three rounds of golf a week. Cur­tis Cameron is a reg­u­lar golf part­ner.

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