Mary-Ann (Brooks) Thornton- 1949

Mary Ann (Brooks) Thornton first appeared on Acadia’s campus during the fall of 1945, following completion of grade eleven at the high school in Woodstock, N.B.

During her four academic years at Acadia, Mary Ann participated in a wide variety of activities and displayed outstanding organizational skills while holding such positions as class secretary, vice-president and president of the Secretarial Science Club, interclass sports manager, literary editor and member of the yearbook staff and other committees.

Athletically, she participated in interclass track, ground hockey and basketball and was a member of the badminton and tumbling clubs. At a higher profile level she starred on varsity basketball and ground hockey teams.

In ground hockey -as it was then called -Mary Ann came to the forefront during the fall of 1948 when she and her Axette teammates won the provincial intercollegiate crown by defeating Edgehill and Dalhousie by respective scores of 7-1 and 8-1. Sharing the accolades on the Margaret MacKinnon coached team were Helen Thompson, Shirley Chute, Lois Lockhart, Beth Brinton and Mary Manzer.

In basketball, she shone on Axette teams that won four provincial and one Maritime intercollegiate title. During her initial season, Mary Ann was the team’s offensive standout, as she and teammates were ousted in the Maritime finals by perennial rivals Mt. Allison. In her sophomore season Mary Ann and teammates as Patsy Churchill, Lois Lockhart and Mary MacDonald drew special praise for performances recorded in the Axettes tri-province championship loss to the University of New Brunswick. During her junior year Mary Ann shared offensive heroics with Mildred Hawkes and Beth Brinton as the Axettes won another provincial intercollegiate hoop crown. In the Maritime finals against Mt. Allison the Brooks, Hawkes and Lockhart combination posted impressive numbers in front of a home audience in a 23 -all tie.

In her senior year at Acadia Mary Ann and teammates won another provincial title and climaxed the season with a Maritime inter-collegiate win over Mt. Allison. In 16-13 and 23-20 victories the MacKinnon coached Axettes were led offensively by Barb Smith, Thelma Chew and the Woodstock trio of Lois Lockhart, Mildred Hawkes and Brooks. Fittingly, Mary Ann – recipient that year of a Literary A, Athletic A and a Committee A -highlighted an excellent basketball season by scoring a key basket in overtime play of the Maritime Championship’s final contest.

Following departure from Acadia, Mary Ann graduated from the Ontario College of Education in Toronto and subsequently taught school at Port Credit High. Returning to New Brunswick, she married another Woodstock native, Leon Thornton and they settled in Canterbury in 1954, remaining there to the present time. While raising four children -Nancy, William, Sally and Janette -Mary Ann continued to teach at the high school and elementary levels and has been church organist and choir director in Canterbury for forty-five years.

What a pleasure it is to welcome Mary Ann (Brooks) Thornton for induction to Acadia’s Sports Hall of Fame