PICTOU — A poster honouring local hockey great Mark Babineau now adorns the Hector Arena.
A native of Pictou, Babineau visited the arena last week to see the collage of stories, photos and statistics that highlight his career in junior, senior and professional hockey.
“I got to say this is wonderful, the best thing that ever happened to me,” he said. “A lot of work went into this.”
Jim Nicholson, who previously wrote a book about the history of hockey in Pictou, assembled the poster with the help of his wife Beth and former hockey player Dave MacKeil.
“Beth is the official proof reader and grammar person,” Jim quipped. “It was time for a tribute to Mark. It was great to work with Beth and David to make this happen.”
Nicholson referred to passages about Babineau in his published history of hockey in Pictou that are contained in a mini biography on the poster. It describes how he played hockey ponds and Pictou Harbour and open ice rinks before playing on a team that won the 1940-41 Pictou juvenile hockey championship.
Babineau played with the Pictou Packers, which won the 1946-47 Pictou County junior hockey championship, but lost to the Sydney Sunbeams in the provincial playoffs. He collected 17 goals and four assists in just eight games.
Photos include a full shot of Babineau and photos of the 1947-48 and 1949-50 Pictou Maripacs teams he starred with, as well as a photo of the 1973-74 Pictou Midget team he coached to a provincial hockey championship.
A photo of what was called the B.L.M. forward line of Tick Williams, Babineau and Allie Morrison is also included.
Babineau amassed more than 500 points in his senior hockey career. His most productive season was 1949-50 when he recorded 57 goals and 37 assists in only 32 games.
Courtney Malcolm, who played pro hockey with Babineau, joined him at the presentation. They played on a forward line with Art Dorrington of Truro in 1951-52.
“Not only was I his teammate, I was his roommate,” Malcolm said. “He was s sharp dresser and taught me how to dress.”
From left: former teammate Courtney Malcolm, Mark Babineau and Jim Nicholson stand beside the poster collage honouring Babineau’s hockey exploits. (Goodwin photo)