Burnett A. Ralston- 1935

Burnett A. Ralston–better known as “Burnie”-was born in Shelburne, Nova Scotia but attended Morris Street, Halifax Academy and Saint John High Schools. A gifted athlete who participated in interclass basketball, baseball, swimming, track and field, hockey and soccer, he is best remembered athletically as an excellent varsity English rugby and basketball performer.

On the football field he joined the Fred Kelly-directed charges during the fall months of 1930, becoming particularly prominent in a late season 18-0 blasting of St. F .X. On that occasion he, Bernie Cain and Charlie Foote battled the cold north wind to display their offensive skills.

The following October he again appeared in the Red and Blue garb, making an immense impact in an early-season 3-3 tie with the Halifax Wanderers. Reports of that game indicated that Burnie Ralston, “the outstanding man on the field, scored for Acadia on a beautiful backfield play.” In a subsequent home-and-home series against St. F.X., he shared the offensive heroics with Captain Pat Gunter, Glenn Fountain, Bobby Fraser and Arnold Tedford. In intercollegiate playoff action that fall, Burnie and teammates won the Nova Scotia title by blanking Nova Scotia Technical College by scores of 13-0 and 9-0. In competition with U.N.B. for the tri- province crown, they dropped a 3-0 decision. In that ’31 season’s final encounter against Dalhousie, Burnie and Glenn Fountain each scored in a 6-0 victory.

During the harvesting season of ’32, Burnie and Pat Gunter received accolades in an 8-4 victory over Dalhousie. Again, winning the Nova Scotia Intercollegiate title by registering a 7-0 win over St.F.X, Burnie and friends once more lost to U.N.B. in Maritime-championship play.

Departing for Dalhousie and studies in Medicine during the ’33-’34 academic year, Burnie returned to Acadia during the fall of ’34. As captain of that season’s rugby squad, Mr. Ralston was involved in a most interesting October 10th encounter against Richie MacCoy’s touring Montreal All-Stars. While losing, 6-0, to this experienced group of footballers, Burnie drew a reporter’s stamp of approval. “Ralston,” he wrote, “played an outstanding game, saving Acadia from a more serious defeat by breaking up many of the visitors’ plays.”

In an early-season encounter as well, the Ralston boys, Burnie and Doug, made some outstanding rushes in an 8-0 victory over the Halifax Wanderers. Later, in registering 6-3 and 11-6 triumphs over Dalhousie and a 17-0 verdict over the United Services in City League action, Burnie shared the plaudits with teammates Glenn Fountain, Neil Sanford and David Holgate.

In the midst of a train load of Acadia supporters who accompanied the team to Halifax’s Old Redland, Ralston and associates did not disappoint, winning the City League’s Rugby Championship with a 6-5 win over the Wanderers. In intercollegiate playoff action against St.F.X. Burnie with “Brother Doug” and Holgate were reported as “conspicuous” in the series final encounter’s 6-3 loss. The versatile Mr. Ralston was equally adept on the basketball court. In the midst of such competent athletes as the Pitt brothers, Johnny Wilson, Everett Cameron, “Bally” MacLeod, Bob Goudey and others, Burnie enjoyed some memorable moments during his first two seasons as a member of the Terry Osborne-directed varsity basketballers.

During the spring of ’33, final efforts by Ralston, Goudey and MacLeod fell short as the Wanderers, inspired by the final performances of Bev Piers, enabled the Halifax Wanderers to defeat the college boys in Nova Scotia senior championship play. During his one-year stint with Dalhousie, Burnie enjoyed some big moments against his former teammates. In a February 13, 1934 encounter, for example, he scored 14 points in a 47-29 victory for the ultimate Maritime Intercollegiate champs.

The Acadia Yearbook of 1935 pictures Burnie with teammates Roy Lockhart, Ted Ellsworth, Johnny Wilson, David Holgate, “Bally” MacLeod, Tom Larrabee and Ralph Cameron as the Osborne-guided hoopsters are congratulated on defeating Nova Scotia Technical College and U.N.B. to win provincial and Maritime intercollegiate honours.

Mr. Ralston, a ’35 Bachelor of Science graduate from Acadia and for years a successful real estate broker, is presently enjoying life as a resident of Hunts Point. What a pleasure it is to welcome back to Acadia for induction to the Hall of Fame, Mr. Burnie Ralston, an outstanding varsity football and basketball performer under the leadership of coaches Kelly and Osborne.