Drawing On Longtime Connections, Halifax Officials Root For Bruins

By Marco Werman

June 15, 2011

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — The city of Boston is decked out in black and gold ahead of Game 7 of The Stanley Cup, when the Bruins will face off for the last time against the Vancouver Canucks. Bruins fans are hoping they’ll see their team take home their first Stanley Cup since the 1970s.
But Bruins fever isn’t limited to Boston, or even New England. The Bruins have a surprisingly healthy fan base in Canada – the host of the team they’re trying to defeat.
That’s especially true in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Bill Estebrooks is a long-time Bruins fan. “I was a Bruins fan before Bobby Orr played for the Bruins,” Estebrooks said.
The thing that makes Estebrooks’ B’s allegiance a bit awkward is that he’s a representative of Canada’s parliament and Nova Scotia's transportation minister.
“I know that many Canadians are saying that you know, that as a patriotic public figure I should be cheering for team Vancouver, eh not so much okay, like there’s lots of reasons to cheer for the Bruins. They’ve got some Canadian kids playing for them,” Estebrooks said.
In fact, Bruins agitator Brad Marchand is actually one of Estebrooks’ constituents. “I’ve known Bradley since he was a little boy and he’s one of those great hockey players,” Estebrooks said.
Brad Marchand is just one of  several connections between Boston and Halifax. In 1917, Boston provided aid after the explosion of munitions bound for Europe leveled large portions of Halifax and Dartmouth, killing 2000 people. The kinship formed in the aftermath of that disaster is still recognized annually through the gift of a giant Christmas tree for the lighting ceremony on the Boston Common.
That might be why Estebrooks is actually one of several local politicians supporting the Bruins. Several Halifax Councilors sported black and gold when they met with Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robinson last week.
Estebrook isn’t trying to be contrary. He says he’s just standing up for what he believes in.
“I mean loyalty is a wonderful quality, particularly through the ins and outs, the downs and ups of professional sports. The Bruins have had a great rise and there’s only one way to finish a season like we’ve had and that’s of course to win it all,” Estebrook said.

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