May 8, 2020 – The origin of Nova Scotia’s longest running loppet and why a pot of honey still rewards skiers at this annual event. A conversation with Dianne Powell about the history of the Honey Pot Loppet.
1978 Mail Star article reporting Honey Pot results. The second edition of the loppet. (Article from Bryan Scallion’s coach album.)
Bryan Scallion’s Idea
Bryan had this idea of organizing a ski race in 1977. He wanted to raise money for the provincial ski team, which he was coaching. The race was held up here behind our house on these trails (Wentworth). The course would have been anywhere from 13 km – 20 km. We kept bees, there was a limited market for honey. Brian would average the top five finishing times, and skiers finishing within that time, won honey.
At one time we had 200 people skiing the Honey Pot up here, the registrants all came through the kitchen. Kate was in a little baby chair sitting on the counter by the sink. That would have been February of 1985.
Bryan organized this race for years, we held it here in Wentworth, and did some at the top of Wentworth ski hill. We kept bees until the mid-1990’s and sold them to a friend in Debert. He still gives me a case of honey every year.
The Honey Pot loppet is currently being held in Victoria Park, Truro. Now the money we raise we split between the team and the Bryan Scallion Memorial Fund, which is used to support athletes.
– A conversation with Dianne Powell (2019). Dianne skied on the Nova Scotia cross-country ski team, competed at the Canada Winter Games, and also served as team manager following her years as an athlete. Bryan Scallion, her husband, also skied on the provincial team, the national espoir Canadian ski team, and coached the provincial team for many years. Bryan was an accomplished Nova Scotia endurance athlete, who dedicated much of his life to achieving in sport and developing young athletes.
Sincere thank-you to the Dianne Powell and Kate Scallion for sharing the story of the Honey Pot.
Call for NS Ski Stories
Do you have a Nova Scotia cross-country skiing story to share? Tales of friendships, perhaps mishaps, family ski traditions, Nova Scotian can-do attitudes, humour, or memorable moments?
Telling the greater history of cross-country skiing in Nova Scotia through your experiences.