Paul MacDougall, author of Nova Scotia #1 bestseller Distinction Earned: Cape Breton’s Boxing Legends, 1946-1970 will host a lecture entitled “Writers and Fighters, Earle Pemberton, Blair Richardson and the Hero Tradition Monday” Monday, February 7 at 7pm at the Glace Bay Historical Museum. The museum is located in the Old Town Hall Building, 14 McKeen St in Glace Bay.
Distinction Earned covers a period the mid 1960’s when five different Canadian champions in different weight classes were from Cape Breton. Cape Breton had dozens of young men involved in boxing and The Glace Bay Miners’ Forum would often host fights with upwards of 5000 people in attendance.
MacDougall’s talk will focus on two people that were part of the local fight scene in the 1950s and ’60s – Earle Pemberton and Blair Richardson.
Earle Pemberton was from Glace Bay and published a four page sports newspaper, that he himself called a boxing bulletin, for a few years in the early 1960s. Punching with Pemberton was more than just about boxing and MacDougall will demonstrate Pemberton’s interest in using words and photos to document the lives of our local heroes, be they boxers or something else.
Pemberton often wrote and chronicled the career of one such hero. Blair Richardson from South Bar was a man of complex character. He was a boxer, a teacher, a preacher and a local legend. Richardson rose to the rank of British Empire Middleweight champion in 1965 while studying theology among other things in the United States. After retiring from boxing as a champion, Richardson was well on the way to another career in the ministry with a wife and baby on the way when he took ill and died at the age of thirty. This March is the 40th anniversary of the Richardson’s death.
Paul MacDougall has written short stories, plays and many articles and book reviews for various magazines and newspapers. He teaches in Health Studies at CBU and is a long standing member of the CBC radio book panel. Distinction Earned, published by CBU Press, is his first book.