Joan (Sutherland) Murray- 1953

The late Joan (Sutherland) Murray, a graduate of the Yarmouth High School was certainly one of Acadia’s most gifted Axettes during the early fifties when the varsity basketball squad were either champions or contenders for the Maritime Intercollegiate crown. Although she was capable of performing creditably in swimming and track and field events, and was twice a valuable member of the University’s field hockey squad, it was, however, in the hoop game that she truly shone.

During her junior and senior years at Acadia, Joan (Sutherland) Murray was a key member of the field hockey teams that were coached by Margaret Harrington and Gi Corcoran respectively. During the ’52-’53 season, under the direction of Coach Corcoran, she exhibited plenty of skill and leadership ability as she captained the team in exciting contests played against Edgehill, King’s College and Dalhousie.

In varsity basketball, she was a very valuable member of the ’50-’51 team coached by newly appointed physical education instructor Margaret Harrington that enjoyed immense success.

In playoff action that season, the Axettes captured the Provincial Intercollegiate title by defeating Dalhousie 53-49, in a total- point series as Sutherland, Carol Zinck, Barb Smith, Beth Brinton and Norma Pickle were the scoring standouts. In subsequent competition against perennial rivals, Mt. Allison, for the Maritime crown, the Axettes again were victorious, recording 27-18 and 30-19 verdicts. Starring offensively for the Acadia squad were Eva Forbes, Barb Smith and the always competitive Joan Sutherland, while strong supporting roles were played by Joan McLaughlin, Janet MacGray, Joan Fraser, Carol Zinck, Mary MacKay, Norma Pickle and team captain Brinton who accepted the then newly-donated Jeanne W. Leslie trophy, emblematic of tri-province basketball supremacy.

During the following season, the Harrington-guided Axettes were unable to duplicate their superb efforts of ’51, bowing to Dalhousie in playoff competition.

In their first intercollegiate action of ’52, the Acadia squad dropped a 27-17 decision to Dalhousie even though the offensive unit of Jan MacGray, Pat Sutherland and Joan Sutherland provided some exciting moments.

In a two-game total-point loss to Dalhousie, Francie MacLean and Sutherland were particularly effective Axettes registering creditable offensive numbers.

Scoring-wise for the season, the MacLean-Sutherland duo finished first and second respectively.

In her final season as a basketball Axette, Joan (Sutherland) Murray was captain of the Gi Corcoran-coached team that again bowed to Dalhousie in intercollegiate playoff competition.

On February 7th of that academic year, 1952-53, this former Yarmouth High School star celebrated her return to her hometown by scoring sixteen points as the Axettes defeated the local senior club 22-16.

In a 125- 70 total-point series loss to Dalhousie, the Axette captain, concluding a highly successful stint in intercollegiate play, shared many fine moments of action with such teammates as Jane Schrader, Zelma Barteaux, Nancy Killam, Jane Giddings and Pat Seldon.

It is indeed an honour to induct post-humously to the Acadia Sports Hall of Fame, Joan (Sutherland) Murray, Class of 1953, an individual whose athletic skills and leadership abilities were highly respected by coaches and teammates alike.