Athletics & Recreation

Harold Beazley


Inducted in 2002
Category: Builder

Harold "Babe" Beazley is credited with laying the foundation in the 1940's upon which Saint Mary's modern hockey success story was built.

A 1936 graduate of Saint Mary's College, Beazley returned that fall and joined the Commerce faculty. He taught commerce, accounting, auditing, Canadian problems and business administration until his retirement in 1978 after serving as Dean of Commerce and on the board of studies, committee of admissions, Senate, Board of Governors, curriculum and executive committees, as well as the committee on academic planning. He was honoured with the designation "Dean Emeritus" in 1979.

During the early 1940's Beazley, who had coached at park High in Dartmouth and Saint Mary's High in Halifax, took the reins of the hockey team at Saint Mary's College. These were the war years and a challenge for Beazley to put together contending teams. "Babe's Boys" competed in the City Intercollegiate League against Dalhousie and Tech as well as the C.O.T.C. league winning city and provincial titles in their "Big M" uniforms.

While there were many highly contested battles played in Halifax, some of the more titanic struggles were waged against Acadia and Saint Francis Xavier. In particular were the provincial intercollegiate playoffs in 1942 when Saint Mary's tripped Saint Francis in a two-game total goal series and then went on to take Acadia 12-11 in the final, all before packed houses. It was the first title for Saint Mary's in 11 years. Many more city and provincial titles followed.

For all the great wins and tragic losses, Coach Beazley shared his commitment to his players as Mike Greene wrote in his Journal column in 1941, "And then there came the memorable day of the Antigonish trip. Feb. 19, 1941. That's a day for every Saint Mary's student to remember, because on that day we, and particularly the team, showed our ability to "take it', and in large doses, too. We went up there with hopes of a hockey championship making the long journey shorter, and came back with something far more valuable to us all, the knowledge that our student body is built on a strong foundation."

In the dressing room following the provincial loss to Saint Francis, "Coach Beazley wore a terribly stricken look that had no source in championships or titles, and he went from one to another incessantly, pride and sympathy both struggling for expression." This too is a quality of a great builder.

Although he passed away in 1990, his memory lives on in the Beazley Trust used annually to fund the University Gold Medal for highest standing in the MBA programme.

Portrait Artist: Barb Dorey
Portrait Art Photographer: Joe Chrvala

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