First Name: Pat
Last Name: Connolly
Sport: Sport Media
Inductee Type: Builder
Year Inducted: 1999
Home Town: Sydney
County: Cape Breton County

“Sports in my life was always the biggest thing,” said legendary sports commentator Pat Connolly. “It superseded everything else, including school. It always seemed to be the top priority in my life and my mother kept telling me that if I did not set away from all those pucks, I would not amount to anything. She was quite right,” he said with a grin. “If I’d only listened to her.”

Connolly said he inherited his love for sports from his father, Patrick, and his uncle, Gene. Like most youngsters, he played baseball and hockey while growing up, but, after careful self-assessment, realized that he “was not very damn good!”

“I learned very early that I would have to get my fix in other ways,” Pat once explained. His broadcasting career started off with a major bang in 1949. As a rosy-cheeked 21-year old, with just three weeks experience at Sydney radio station CJCB, Connolly found himself in Maple Leaf Gardens, doing play-by-play for the Allan Cup final between the Sydney Millionaires and the Toronto Marlboros. “I grew up listening to Hockey Night in Canada, and then there I was, sitting in Foster Hewitt’s seat in the gondola. How the hell do you top that?”

In 1952, Connolly left CJCB to “explore this great country.” While in Flin Flon, Manitoba, he received a call from Danny Gallivan. Gallivan had just been named play-by-play man for the Montreal Canadiens, and wondered if Connolly might be interested in replacing him at CJCH in Halifax. Pat was, and came back to take over the role of sports director. From there, the rest is Nova Scotia broadcasting history. Connolly soon moved to CBC Halifax, and when TV debuted three years later, he became the first television sports caster in Atlantic Canada. “Those were the fun days, because nobody knew anything about the television medium, or very little, so we had a good time learning as we went along.”

A few years later, Connolly moved to Dartmouth, and spent the next 15 years at CFDR, where he became the voice of the Nova Scotia Voyageurs during their glory years in the 1970s. “There were years when the Voyageurs would have beaten at least half of the teams in the NHL. Ken Dryden, Bob Gainey, Larry Robinson… we had some great players come through these parts.”

Connolly later remained in the sports spotlight as the public address announcer with the Halifax Mooseheads, and with a twice-weekly column in the Daily News. Retirement was a word he refused to acknowledge. Pat passed away on November 27, 2012.

“I love what I do, and I have never lost my enthusiasm for sports or broadcasting. If I could go back, I would not do it differently. There are certainly no regrets. How many people get the opportunity to make a living at what they like to do best? It is the people I have met over the years that have made it all so enjoyable. You meet so many it reaches a point where you can go all over the world, pick up the phone and call somebody you know. It has been a wonderful life.”


• Broadcasting Career Began 1949
• 1st Television Sportscaster in Atlantic Canada
• Public Address Announcer Halifax Mooseheads
• Columnist with the Daily News