The Realm of Sport Exhibit
John “the Realm” McNeill Collection
John W. McNeill’s great interest in sports led him to a position as sports columnist for the Summerside Journal. His first column appeared in May 1945 and for the next fifty-six years, he wrote about all facets of local sport under the title “The Realm of Sport.” In 1992, he was inducted into the PEI Sports Hall of Fame and in 1995 was honored by the City of Summerside by a proclamation of John “The Realm” McNeill Day and a testimonial dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of his popular column.
The sports memorabilia collection that bears his name was accumulated over many years as the result of donations made by local citizens. The items that comprised the fledgling collection were housed in trophy cases in Cahill Stadium, where Credit Union Place now stands. The cases were put on display around 1977 when the Steele Arena was added to the stadium.
As the years passed and more donations were made, there was a need for more space to house the collection. The trophies and three-dimensional items, along with many historic sports team photographs, were moved to a large room upstairs that became known as The Realm Nostalgia Room in honour of John McNeill.
When the Cahill Stadium was demolished to build Credit Union Place, the collection moved into the care of Culture Summerside, the arts, heritage, and culture division of the City of Summerside. This exhibit showcases the collection and offers a look into the vibrant sport’s history of Summerside, while also highlighting one of the key players in PEI Sports, John “the Realm” McNeill. His contribution to the sports community lives on through his memorable columns in archived issues of the Journal-Pioneer as well as through the unique historic collection named in his honour.
The "Realm of Sport" Exhibit can be viewed on the second floor of Credit Union Place, 511 Notre Dame St, Summerside, PE. On display are local sports memorabilia, including sports equipment, team jackets, trophies and awards, as well as archival material such as historic photographs. Didactic panels provide information about John "the Realm" McNeill along with stories of local sports heroes. Visit Credit Union Place's website to see facility hours.