McCluskey, Bernard Daniel “Bunny” “Ace” – It is with heartfelt emotions we announce the passing of Prince Edward Island’s last boxing brother, the legendary middleweight boxing champion, Bernard Daniel “Bunny” “Ace” McCluskey, age 89, of Middle Musquodoboit. Ace fought his last battle on a winter’s day, Friday, January 8, 2016, at 5:55 p.m., with his family by his side, in Colchester East Hants Health Centre, Truro. Born in Charlottetown, he was a son of the late Bernard and Elizabeth (Gormley) McCluskey.
Ace worked various jobs with local store owners and began his boxing career at age 11 in Charlottetown. His first amateur fight was on Christmas Day in 1937 at the old L.P.U. Hall on Water Street, where he decisioned Jackie Carver in four rounds. He continued his boxing career and enlisted in the Merchant Navy in the Second World War. He fought many fights during the war and became a professional middleweight boxer.
Ending his professional boxing career at age 31, his last fight was in Charlottetown in 1957, when he fought a 10-round draw with Mickey Ryan of Boston. Ace had a total of 127 professional fights; he was inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame in 1988, and the Prince Edward Island Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 as a professional middleweight boxer.
From 1949-72 he worked at the Rainbow Tavern, Halifax, as a special policeman/bouncer. From 1973-76 he was a bouncer at the Green Dory Beverage Room, and retired from the Matador Lounge in 1982 as a general manager, at age 56.
Ace was a loving, caring and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He left behind his devoted wife, Barbara; beloved daughters, Bernadette (Brendon), Elizabeth; son, Vic (Jane); his grandchildren and great-grandchildren; his dearest and youngest brother, Tommy (Lucy); sisters-in-law, Gloria, Teresa, Peggy; many nieces and nephews; many friends. He was predeceased by his first wife, Doris; sisters, Catherine, Mary (Earl), Frances (Raymond); brothers, Tom, Wilfred, and Cobey.
In keeping with Ace’s wishes, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. Cremation has taken place under the direction of Arimathea Funeral Cooperative, Upper Musquodoboit. Memorial donations may be made to Colchester East Hants Health Foundation, Middle Musquodoboboit Fire Department, Musquodoboit Valley Health Foundation – Hospital, or a charity of choice. Online condolences may be sent to the family at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The family would like to thank staff of Colchester East Hants Health Centre who cared for Bernard, also Earth Angels homecare worker, Tahnee Dodsworth, as well as doctors, nurses and staff of Musquodoboit Valley Memorial Hospital, and Middle Musquodoboit Fire Department. Special thanks to my Mom, Mary Dorey, who stayed with me after Ace’s passing, and gave so much love and support; also to my sister, Joan and her husband, Tudy, who helped me through such a difficult time. Thank you to family and friends who sent cards, phone calls, meals and dropped by to give so much love, support and kindness.
To my special Bunny
God saw you getting tired
A cure was not to be,
So he put his arms around you
And whispered, “Come with Me”.
With tearful eyes we watched you
And saw you fade away,
Although we loved you dearly
We could not make you stay.
A golden heart stopped beating
Your tender hands at rest,
God took you home to prove to us
He only takes the best.