The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

Nov. 26, 2008

Nov. 26, 2008 – The Condy Brothers

This is the story of two Springhill brothers who became known around the province and beyond. One brother was a sportsman and the other was in the military.

Anthony “Tony” Condy was born in Springhill the son of Italian Immigrants Bonifacio (Boni) and Assunta (Camarra) Condy.

Tony was raised in Springhill and like other young men went into the mines to earn his living and later enlisted in the regular army, the Royal Canadian Regiment in 1932. When the Second World War broke out he went on active duty and served in France, Sicily, Italy and Okenawa, Korea. While in Italy, during heavy shelling, he was hit in the back by shrapnel.

During the time that France had given up and the Germans were heading toward the coast Sgt. Condy’s brigade was also in France and wanted to take over. Sgt. Condy was the non-commissioned officer in charge of transportation and, while his commanding officer was attending other duties, he was responsible for the regiment’s military vehicles which were loaded with ammunitions and supplies. He wanted to move the men and supplies from Brest, France to Paris but while on reconnaissance, he saw the Germans heading toward Brest. This was a complete surprise to the regiment. At first they tried to head to the transport vehicles towards Spain but the roads were so crowded that they decided to return to Brest. Condy ordered the trucks be driven into a field in a circle. He kept enough vehicles for immediate transport needs and then punctured the gas tanks of those in the circle and fired flare pistols to set them on fire so they wouldn’t fall into enemy hands. He saved about six vehicles and three Bren gun carriers. He and his men and equipment were evacuated from France. For his actions while in France he was decorated with the British Empire Medal by King George V1 at Buckingham Palace on June 13, 1940. He was the first Canadian to receive a medal during the Second World War.

Tony went to officer training camp and participated in the Italian Campaign. He was appointed Commanding Officer No.1 Personnel Department following his Korean service. He retired from the military in 1962 with the rank of Major. Later he worked at the Registry of Motor Vehicles as director of Motor Vehicles Inspection Division.

Anthony Condy was married and had two sons David and Donald. He died November 27, 2004 at the age of 80.

William A. (Buddy) Condy was also born in Springhill. One day when he was fifteen, he was at the ball field, to watch the Fencebusters play ball. The Coach “Blondie” Burden was looking for a replacement for one of the players who was late getting off work and the only one he could see was Condy. There were two outs in the second inning and Eddie Cormier was at bat. Cormier got a hit, got on base and with that the bases were loaded. The count was 3-2. The fastball came down the middle and Condy hit a grand slam home run in his very first time at bat in senior baseball. This was in 1938.

Buddy enlisted during the war and served with the RCAF as a pilot and when it was over he again played for the Fencebusters. He also played for a series of teams in the Halifax and District League as he pursued his medical degree at Dalhousie University. In 1947 his Halifax Arrows won the Halifax and District League and Maritime Championships and Condy was voted the Most Valuable Player.

Buddy’s lifetime batting average was .356. He had a great ability to swing the bat and won League batting championship in 1949-1950. He retired from baseball in 1953 but came out of retirement in 1955. After a two year hiatus he faced the top pitcher of the day and in three times at bat walked, singled and drove a fly ball to the warning track in center field. Buddy turned down lucrative Major League offers to practice medicine in Halifax. He was described by all who were fortunate enough to watch him as the most consistent long-ball hitter the province has ever seen. He was inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in 1980.

Anthony married Verna Anderson and they had three daughters: Suzanne, Sheilagh and Patricia. He died Sept. 2, 1993 in Halifax.