As a kid, Bob Cook’s heroes were future Belleville Sports Hall of Famers Vern Goyer and Al Kelleher. Now, like them, he’s being honoured as one of the city’s paragons of sport. For most of his life Cook has known nothing of off-seasons, being involved in both boys and girls minor hockey and girls minor softball. With the Belleville Minor Hockey Association alone he’s been an executive (including president), convenor, manager and coach. In the mid 1960s he was instrumental in rejuvenating girls softball here in Belleville. Out of that came girls hockey in the winter when his summer charges asked him to continue coaching them during the winter. With the BMHA, Cook coached in every division from Novice through Bantam. He once conducted a goalie school for both boys and girls free of charge.
In 1966 he, with help from Bob Dafoe and Ralph Boomhower, organized the Belleville Ladies Hockey Association and then coached teams that went on to win two Provincial “C” titles and two Nations “C” championships. For six years Cook sat on the executive of the Eastern Ontario Womens’ Hockey Association. Meanwhile, with the Belleville Minor Baseball Association he coached and umpired, serving as umpire-in-chief for three years.
The City of Belleville recognized Cook’s contributions, naming him Citizen of the Year in 1990. In 1992 he received a Canada 125 Medal from the Government of Canada. Believe it or not, he actually had time to work for the city’s public works department before retiring. He’s married to Doreen and has five sons and two daughters. In the Hall’s builders category, few can claim to have been more constructive in more areas than Bob Cook.