The Legion is hoping this is the year that the sport of snooker becomes revitalized in Prince Rupert. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

The Legion is hoping this is the year that the sport of snooker becomes revitalized in Prince Rupert. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Local Legion cueing up support for snooker

Lifelong snooker fan Bernie Alexander looking to rejuvenate the sport in Prince Rupert

Stop by the Legion most days and you are guaranteed to find certain constants on display. The most important of course is the well documented and preserved history of Canadian veterans. But another heartwarming section of the Legion is the Games Room, where you’re more likely than not to find Bernie Alexander playing a game of snooker.

Alexander is vice-president of the Legion, and also the man most involved with the day-to-day operations of the Games Room. The recreational area, which currently is highlighted by a pair of pool tables, is attached to the Legion, with a separate entrance around the side of the building.

Along with a small group of dedicated members, Alexander was instrumental in organizing the return of the Games Room after the new Legion opened. Now, he and other members are hoping to reclaim some of the past glory of the former Games Room, which stood at the old Legion until its close in 2004.

READ MORE: Bringing the Legion Games Room back to life

Beginning in the 1980s, Alexander and a group of friends translated their love for snooker, (a variant of pool,) into a small local league.

“I think there were only two or three teams at the time,” Alexander said. “We had three divisions with six teams in each division, which was well over 100 players.”

Bernie Alexander and Steve Drozd Sr. face off against each other in a friendly Sunday afternoon match. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Despite the success of the snooker league, the Legion itself fell on hard times, and was forced to shut down its former location, where the casino now stands.

“They were playing on those tables down there right until the very last day. They still walk around saying they miss the old Legion,” Alexander said.

READ MORE: Legion Snooker League honours member

When the new Games Room opened in 2016, there was hope that the allure of snooker in Prince Rupert would be comparable to that of decades past. There is still a lot of work to do in order to achieve this, but Alexander is attempting to swing the favour back toward the game he and his friends love.

“They wanted it back, so we are back,” Alexander said of those interested in the Legion snooker league that will start up in the fall. So far there are around 40 players signed up to take part.

Bernie Alexander is a lifelong fan of the sport, having played snooker, pool and other variations of the game since he was a teenager. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

The league is open to everyone, and people can even sign up as individuals and be placed on a team. Even the October 1 deadline is flexible, (although preferably adhered to.)

“There’s always latecomers, and they’re more than welcome,” Alexander said.

Ultimately, Alexander would like to see the league return to the hay days of the old Legion, when people packed bleachers to watch the big snooker matches, and the group hosted stars of the sport like Cliff Thorburn, Jimmy White, and Dennis Taylor, to name a few.

Steve Drozd Sr. prepares his shot while Bernie Alexander looks on. (Alex Kurial / The Northern View)

Until that time, Alexander will focus on building the league back up, and reinstilling a love of the game in Prince Rupert, season by season and player by player. And of course, finding plenty of time to play recreationally as well.

“There’s a handful of guys that like to come in and play everyday,” Alexander said. “That’s why I’m down there to open up, I want to play everyday too. It’s great entertainment.”

Anyone interested in learning more about snooker can drop by the Legion Games Room, where Alexander would be happy to introduce newcomers to the sport, and potentially gain another player for Prince Rupert’s premier snooker league.


Alex Kurial | Sports Reporter
Alex Kurial 
Send Alex email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Royal Canadian Legion

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Toronto-based director Michelle Latimer was recently scrutinized after years of claiming she was of Algonquin and Metis descent. (CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Haida activist calls for hefty fines, jail time against those who claim to be Indigenous

Filmmaker Tamara Bell proposing the Indigenous Identity Act – to dissuade ‘Indigenous identity theft’

Prince Rupert lawyer, Donald A. Silversides has been appointed to the BC Liberals Election Organizing Committee, announced the party on Jan 21. (Contributed photo)
Don Silversides appointed to BC Liberal election organizing committee

Prince Rupert lawyer is the current BC Liberals acting president

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

Rose Sawka, a 91-year old Acropolis Manor resident received her COVID-19 vaccination on Jan. 20, one day after an outbreak was declared at the long-term care facility. Her son Terry Sawka visited with her through the window, like she is seen in an Oct. 2020 photo. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Acropolis Manor COVID-19 cases jump to 20 confirmed

Prince Rupert long term care facility received vaccinations

Illicit drug use has spread in the Northern Health region and overdose emergency calls increased in Prince Rupert by 29.5 per cent from 2019 to 2020. (Photo:THE NEWS/files)
Overdose emergency calls in Prince Rupert spikes by 43.6 % in five years

Northern Health issues illicit drug use warnings

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

Most Read