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Tribute to John “The Realm” McNeill
Tribute to John “The Realm” McNeill now on display at Credit Union Place
John “The Realm” McNeil display at Credit Union Place

SUMMERSIDE, PE (September 28, 2021) – John “The Realm” McNeil was considered by many to be a legend in local sports writing. Starting in May of 1945, his sports column “The Realm of Sport” appeared over the next 56 years in the Journal Pioneer. The column of which covered all facets of sport, was eagerly anticipated by the readership.

Residents became extremely proud of the local sporting accomplishments thanks to the publicity “The Realm of Sport” garnered and through the contributions of local citizens a sports memorabilia collection was created and name the “Realm Collection” in honour of John W. McNeill.

“I’m sure this tribute to John’s works will trigger a lot of great memories for the residents of Summerside,” commented Mayor Basil Stewart. “The Realm of Sport touched thousands across PEI and Summerside has benefitted greatly from John’s efforts in publicizing Summerside’s sporting accomplishments.”

The tribute includes a collection of trophies, three-dimensional items, many historic sports team photographs, and can be viewed on the second floor of the City’s recreational facility.

A few facts about John W. McNeill:

  • He was the fifth child in a family of 12
  • He debuted in the Journal Pioneer on May 17, 1945
  • He wrote approximately 36 million words
  • On the 50th anniversary of his column, the City proclaimed May 17 “John ‘The Realm’ McNeill Day”
  • His final column was published in 2001

John W. McNeill’s contribution to the sports community also lives on through his memorable columns in archived issues of the Journal-Pioneer. They can be accessed at MacNaught History Centre and Archives.

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