CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – He was called Morell’s “Mr. Everything” acting as a player, coach, umpire and referee for more than 45 years. His passing on Sept. 21, after a battle with cancer, at age 74, ended an era but one that will never be forgotten.
Kenneth (Trixie) Dunn was born in Morell and he put a lifetime into his community in sports and as a volunteer. Raised by his parents, Frank and Eileen Dunn, he played all sports, including hockey and baseball, as a student at Morell’s elementary and high school. He graduated in 1961 and enrolled at St. Dunstan’s University, where he played varsity football.
After working in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia he returned home in the late 1960s. He played for Morell and Scotchfort teams in the Eastern Kings Hockey League (EKHL) and the Morell Seniors in the Island Baseball League.
It was his role as a builder in sport that distinguished Dunn in his community, where he shared his love of sports while helping Morell area youth.
In 1970, he established the Paturel/Trixie’s Cubs midget baseball team that would dominate the Island and Maritimes for much of the decade. The 1971 team won the Island championship and lost in the Maritime finals. The Morell midgets also competed in the Kings County Senior League and made it to the finals. The team included stars like Billy Connolly, Lorne Carmichael, Parker MacDonald and Jim (Humphrey) MacAdam.
When Paturel, a local fish processor, decided not to sponsor the team Trixie took it on himself to buy new uniforms and keep the Cubs going.
In the 1980s, he turned his attention to senior baseball, first with the Morell Legionnaires in the Island Baseball League and with the Morell Chevies of the Kings County Baseball League (KCBL) in the ‘90s. He managed and coached the Chevies to league championships in 1991, 1993 and 1995. He was the founder of the KCBL and the only secretary-treasurer the league would know until he had to step down due to health reasons.
With the demise of the Island Baseball League in the 1980s, Ken almost singlehandedly re-established senior baseball in eastern P.E.I. He fought overwhelming opposition in 1991 to form the KCBL, which has been in existence for more than a quarter of a century and provides a place for 150 players to compete each summer.
After the 1995 championship, Trixie returned to his love of coaching youth. He directed Morell’s entry in the Island midget and youth leagues from 1996 to 1999. They won provincial titles in 1998 and 1999 and hosted the Atlantics both years. He was the driving force in Morell’s junior squad in 2000 and helped get the league off the ground.
“Ken Dunn has made a difference,” said Walter MacEwen, Baseball P.E.I. vice-president. “He has made baseball an important place for many, many young men and not so young enthusiasts.”
He added many young men were given a place to play and enjoy an active lifestyle through teams he coached or leagues he co-ordinated.
Dunn was also involved in hockey. He was a pioneer of the EKHL, coached midget from the early 1970s into the 1980s and officiated thousands of games at the Morell Rink.
In the mid-1980s, Morell had a highly competitive recreational league but older, less-skilled players could not compete. Dunn created the Morell Participation Hockey League or “Trixie’s League” and served as president for 10 years while playing and officiating.
He was a family man as well as community leader. He and his wife Sharon raised nine children – Patricia, Greg, Tracey, Steve (Lefty), Jennifer, Chris, Rosanne, D.J. and John – who were all coached by their father in baseball or softball.
He will forever be remembered for helping to keep sports alive and well in the community by nurturing young athletes and helping develop their skills. Without his many efforts there would have not been a place for them to play.
– Compiled by Dave Holland, Queens County director for the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame.
Need to know
A look at the P.E.I. Sports Hall of Fame 2017 induction ceremony.
When – Friday, Nov. 24. A reception will begin at 6 p.m., with the dinner at 6:30 p.m.
Where – Rodd Royalty
Tickets – $40 each and they are available at Sport P.E.I.