Patrick Joseph Connolly
Doctor of Civil Law
A Cape Bretoner, Patrick Joseph Connolly was born, raised and educated in Nova Scotia, where he has spent most of his adult life. Following senior matriculation from Sydney Academy in 1945, he began his career in journalism, starting, firstly with the Cape Breton Post, and then moving to the Halifax Chronicle Herald. His broadcasting career began in 1948 with CJCB Radio in Sydney before moving to CJCH Radio and CBC Halifax television in 1954 as CBC?s first ?Sports Host?. Pat later worked at CJCH television, before accepting positions with McLean Hunter and the Great Lakes Broadcasting System, respectively, between 1962 and 1967. He returned to Halifax in 1967 and subsequently worked for CFDR Radio and CHNS Radio in various on-air capacities. Over the ensuing 23 years, Pat was the voice of American Hockey League teams such as the Nova Scotia Voyageurs, the Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Oilers, and Halifax Citadels. During this time, Pat began his own media consulting business, and has continued to write as a columnist with the Halifax Chronicle Herald, the Halifax Daily News and numerous Canadian and American newspapers and publications.
Over the years, Pat has dedicated his time to numerous community, sports and charitable organizations. From 1977 to 1997, he was Chairperson of the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame?s Selection Committee. He served on the Board of Governors of Saint Mary?s University and continues his involvement with Saint Mary?s Sports Hall of Fame from its inception. Since 1982, he has served on both the Board of Governors and Selection Committee of Canada?s Sports Hall of Fame. He has also been elected to both the Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Sports Halls of Fame. After retiring from the Nova Scotia Hall of Fame Selection Committee in 1997, a Pat Connolly Roast was attended by over 800 people at the World Trade & Convention Centre that raised $48,000 for numerous charities. Pat has also served as Honorary Chairperson of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Bowl for Millions campaign.
Pat?s expertise in journalism and sport, as well as his dedication to causes has been recognized both within and outside his immediate community. For instance, he was chosen by Atlanta, Georgia Department of Trade, Commerce and Industry as a representative Canadian journalist in previewing the Olympic Summer Games sites prior to the opening of the Olympic Games in Atlanta. In 1988, the American Hockey League awarded him the James Ellery Trophy for outstanding radio broadcasting and distinguished service. And in 1990, he was awarded the Robert G. Hayes Award. Within the community, he was honored for his community contributions by the Halifax Regional Municipality during its 250th Anniversary celebrations, for his longstanding work as a journalist and volunteer.
For the area of the Universities? varsity sports, Pat has written and spoken much, advocating the concept of the ?scholar athlete?. He has done a great amount to raise the public?s understanding and appreciation of these scholar athletes with relatively short seasons and pressing academic demands on them at all times, but especially during playoff. It has been said that Pat ?is always fair, understanding but never a fool?.
Pat Connolly continues his journalistic work as a columnist for the Daily News, and as a media consultant, with various appearances on radio and television, and numerous public speaking engagements. His longstanding dedication to sports has earned him the title ?The Dean of Maritime Sports?.
Pat is married to the former Bette Curtis of Sydney. They have one son, David, a daughter-in-law, Alison McEachern, and three year old twin grandchildren, Brighid and Alec.