Frank “Duck” Acorn was a participant and builder of sport on Prince Edward Island throughout his entire life. Possessed with enthusiasm and high energy for whatever he committed himself to “Duck” made a significant contribution to the development of a variety of sports in the Province. It is in this context that Frank “Duck” Acorn, athlete and builder of sport “par excellence”, was inducted into the Prince Edward Island Sports Hall of Fame.
Duck’s first exposure to harness racing was at the tender age of nine when his father took him to his first race at the Charlottetown Driving park. From that event, in the fall of 1919, until the spring of 1981, a span of sixty-two years, Duck Acorn did not miss a single race or a day of work at the C.D.P. This simple statement of fact exemplifies the kind of dedication that is so characteristic of this man.
He commenced work at the C.D.P. under C. R. Smallwood in 1923 and continued under a succession of prominent presidents including Mr. Boulter and Col. D. A. MacKinnon. In 1964, he became a Director of the track, one of the twelve apostles, when the complex was sold by Colonel “Dan”. His involvement at the track ranged through all positions; as a runner, program director, coordinator of pari-mutuels , classifer, race secretary and eventually he held the responsible position of Secretary-Treasurer.
An example of his “vision” occurred in 1959 when he and Bill Hancox were instrumental in staging the first Evening Patriot Gold Cup and Saucer race. As we are all aware, this event has developed into one of the most prestigious harness racing events in North America. Duck was also involved in the PEI Colt Stakes and started the Duck Acorn Stakes for three year olds and remained an active member of the Association since its formation in 1934.
Frank “Duck” Acorn had a life long involvement in sport and recreation on Prince Edward Island. The legacy of his leadership is evident in many areas but most notably in his dedication to harness racing.