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HNS mourns the loss of a staple in the sport community
Nov. 28, 2012

Nova Scotia sport icon Pat Connolly has passed away.

*Taken from the Chronicle Herald
The Sydney native had been battling cancer at the time of his death early Tuesday.  He was 84.  Mooseheads owner Bobby Smith was notified Tuesday morning. “He was an absolute gentleman and a friend to Nova Scotia sport,” said Smith. “He was a huge friend to the Halifax Mooseheads and everybody involved in our franchise. It’s a sad day.”The Mooseheads are planning a tribute for Connolly at their home game on Friday night.

Chris Larsen knew Connolly for years, but they worked shoulder-to-shoulder in 2003 when Larsen co-ordinated the world junior hockey championship in Halifax and Connolly did the announcing. They were also closely tied through their bonds to Saint Mary’s University. Larsen saw Connolly a month ago. Connolly’s health was failing, but he was still a force. “That mind, and that spirit, was still sharp as a tack,” said Larsen.  He said Connolly’s “kindness, graciousness and his intellect” set him apart. “This is a man who crossed generations in the sporting world, but also in society in general. The truth of the matter is he could speak to an athlete just as easily as he could speak to a prime minister. He could be comfortable in all scenarios and be respected in all scenarios. He was truly an icon.”

Hockey Nova Scotia had the now, seemingly even more wonderful pleasure, of honouring Pat Connolly at the HNS AGM Banquet this past May.  The room fell silent and all eyes and ears were on this respected legend as he accepted his award and spoke of his career. 

Pat started his legendary career in 1949 broadcasting from the historic Maple Leaf Gardens, as his hometown Sydney Millionaires played the Toronto Marlboros for the Allan Cup.  In 1952, Pat replaced Danny Gallivan as Sports director at CJCH in Halifax and from then on Pat has been a staple in the Halifax and Nova Scotia sporting communities.  

Pat spent over 35 years with the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, the Nova Scotia Oilers, Halifax Citadels and Halifax Mooseheads, where he became the voice of hockey in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada.

He was a sports columnist for both The Chronicle Herald and the Halifax Daily news and his works have been included in many other publications both in Canada and the United States.

He was the Past Chair of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame selection committee from 1977-1997 and was on the Board of Governors and Selection Committee for Canada’s Sport Hall of Fame from 1983-2007.

Connolly is a member of both the Cape Breton and Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and in 2006 he was given and honourary Doctor of Laws degree from Saint Mary’s University for his exemplary community involvement.



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