PORT HAWKESBURY: Their athletic achievements have already made them well-known throughout Nova Scotia, but now Wayne Reynolds, Brian Langley and Shaun MacDonald will receive additional accolades as inductees into the Port Hawkesbury Sports Wall of Fame.
MacDonald is being inducted as an athlete who excelled in hockey, golf and fast pitch softball.
In the builder’s category, Reynolds is being inducted for his long-standing commitment to judo. Also in the builder’s category is Langley, earning his place on the wall for his contributions to track and field.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Reynolds, who served as the founder of the Port Hawkesbury Judo Club in 1969. “When I first started out on this journey, I didn’t expect to be honoured as such. It’s quite an honour to be named with the individuals who are already there — and the people going in with me.”
In addition to being a Nova Scotia judo champion and an Atlantic Canadian champion, Reynolds is a second degree black belt. He was not only the lead instructor in Port Hawkesbury for many years but he also served as vice-president and president of the club.
Provincially, Reynolds is a past-president of Judo Nova Scotia. He’s a former Atlantic Region Councillor and advisor to Judo Canada; an advisor at the World Senior Judo Championship; a volunteer at the World Judo Championships in Hamilton, Ontario; and a manager of Team Nova Scotia at the Canada Games.
Over the years, Reynolds trained many athletes who medaled at the Atlantic, national, and Canada Games level.
“When I see someone I had in judo, I realize I also had that person’s father in judo — and maybe his grandfather too. Sometimes I see someone I coached, and they tell me where they went due to judo. It reminds me of all my experiences,” he said. “I bought many McDonald’s hamburgers over the years, going to tournaments,” Reynolds said with a laugh. “It was always fun to travel with the kids.”
The coach said his efforts weren’t singlehanded over the decades
“The Town of Port Hawkesbury and Inverness County, along with service clubs, gave me so much help over the years — it was amazing how many people helped us out. They always came through for the kids.”
Reynolds was made aware of his upcoming induction by a phone call from Port Hawkesbury Mayor Brenda Chisholm-Beaton and Chair of the Port Hawkesbury Sports Wall of Fame John Davis. Reynolds said it was very nice news to receive, especially considering the news was delivered by the daughter of a good friend.
“Brenda said ‘we’re awfully proud of you, Wayne.’ I told her, ‘I’m kind of proud of Archie’s daughter, too.’
“That’s her father. Archie and I grew up together.”
MacDonald’s induction into the wall of fame won’t be his first appearance at the event. He spoke at the event a number of years ago during the induction of Carly Bunyan, a student at SAERC where MacDonald served as principal.
The educator said he is honoured to have a place on the wall.
“I put a lot of time into sports during my lifetime, but I’ve taken a lot out of sports in my lifetime,” he said. “I think that’s why, as a teacher and administrator for 21 years, I always saw the value of sports for young kids and tried to get them involved. Academics is number one, but sports is a huge part of your school life.”
The early days of MacDonald’s hockey career saw him lacing skates with Sydney Academy in what was, at the time, a very competitive high school league.
From there, he went on to play with StFX Sydney which became the College of Cape Breton during MacDonald’s second year with the squad. He’s also well known for contributing to the Port Hood Bees and Port Hawkesbury Rebels on the senior level.
MacDonald remembers when he was first starting out with Sydney Academy.
“Back then, high school hockey was everything,” he said. “There wasn’t Midget AAA or a Q league, but high school teams regularly sold out arenas. Often times, the safest place to be was on the ice.
“We played in the Cape Breton Metros tournament, and that was a huge tournament held every year in Sydney. That first year, I think it was ’72, we ended up winning the whole thing.
“Nobody thought the caliber of hockey in our area would match up with the rest of the country, but we met Colonel Gray from Charlottetown in the final and the place was packed. We won it, and the Academy went onto win six or eight of the first 10 tournaments. That’s how strong the hockey was there.”
As a hockey coach, he guided the Strait Junior Pirates for four seasons, winning league and provincial championships in 1980. He’s also a long-serving bench boss for minor hockey teams and managed the SAERC Saints hockey team to two provincial titles. (The former SAERC principal managed several other high school teams as well). Also on the administrative side of sports, he was a member of the mission staff for the Canada Summer Games in 1985.
Outside of hockey, MacDonald proved himself capable as a shortstop on several championship softball teams.
“We went into the AGR for a year or two, playing double headers in Arisaig and Heatherton,” he said. “Jimmy Davis was our ace at the time, and he was a hell of a pitcher.”
An avid golfer, MacDonald was the Dundee Club champion three times and played in provincial Crown Life Pro-Am competitions. In 1984, his team won the provincial championship and competed at the national championship.
Indeed, MacDonald was returning from the Dundee Golf Club when The Reporter caught up with him.
Langley is something of an old hand at being inducted into walls/halls of fame, as he was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. He was also inducted into the Lunenburg County Sports Heritage Society Wall of Fame in 2018.
Langley’s background in track and field is extensive. He was the first employee of the Nova Scotia Track and Field Association, and he went on to serve in many executive capacities with the association. He also served on many Athletics Canada national committees. He eventually became Chair of Athletics Canada.
Additionally, Langley was head of the delegation for the Canadian Track and Field Association at Barcelona in 1992. He continued his association with provincial sports through the Nova Scotia School Athletic Association as a district coordinator, regional director, and director of the annual high school provincial track and field meet.
He also won the Dr. Hugh A. Noble Memorial Distinguished Service award for his contributions to interscholastic athletics.
The induction ceremony will be held at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre on Nov. 14.