Sport: Hockey: Year Inducted: 1974-5
Like so many other Cornwall athletes, Neil Burke’s career started in the Our Citizens of Tomorrow (O.C.O.T.) hockey program.
His first hockey award came out of this program in 1950 when he was the winner of the Levi Miller Sportsmanship Trophy. In 1952, Neil led the St. Lawrence High School hockey club to the EOSSA Championship for which he was rewarded with school letters. He then joined the Cornwall Colts senior hockey team for the 1952-53 season.
Neil became a member of the Montreal Junior Canadiens of the Ontario Hockey Association and played with the Baby Habs for three seasons. It is significant to note that the OHA was the top junior league in Canada, indicative of Neil’s ability.
Neil then turned pro with the Cincinnati Mohawks of the International Hockey League in 1955 and led the “Hawks” to the league Championship in 1956.
He returned to Cornwall in 1957 and turned to coaching the John Collins Flyers of the Cornwall Junior “B” Hockey League for the next three seasons.
Neil returned to playing status as a member of the Cornwall Chevies of the OHA Senior “A” Hockey League, playing from 1959 through the 1961 season. He had a leading role in the success of the Chevies.
In 1961-62 season, Neil returned to the coaching ranks when he accepted the head coaching position with the Peterborough Petes of the OHA.
Neil brought his hockey expertise back to Cornwall when he retired as coach and into the board room of the fledgling Cornwall Minor Hockey Association.