They say when you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. For Westport native Bob St. Pierre, running the clock for the Westport Wildcats was his life and he loved every moment of it.

On Friday, Feb. 2, St. Pierre was welcomed back with open arms to watch the Westport Wildcats take on the Fairhaven Blue Devils in a varsity men's basketball game. I was sitting adjacent to him, admiring his love for the sport as he watched the teams go head-to-head with each full-court press. He may have known why he was there that night, but he was astounded once he felt the pride of Westport shower him with love.

For 57 years, St. Pierre was the ticking heartbeat at each home game as hundreds of Westport athletes looked upon the giant scoreboard clock he once managed. His recognition was long overdue and well-deserved.

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As the buzzer sounded halftime, St. Pierre was ushered by his two sons Robert St. Pierre Jr. and Jim St. Pierre. New Bedford attorney and former Wildcat Mike Friar, along with Westport Athletic Hall of Fame Chairman David Collins, gave the honors and presented St. Pierre with a plaque that read:

With deepest appreciation for your unselfish contribution and steadfast commitment for 57 years, (1962-2019), to the Westport Wildcats Program serving as their timekeeper.
Our Sincere Thanks -- Wildcats

Gazelle/Townsquare Media
Gazelle/Townsquare Media

Friar went on to deliver a speech that defined the hard work and true character St. Pierre delivered for over a half-century.

"I am here tonight on behalf of the Westport High Athletic Hall of Fame as we recognize our greatest fan, volunteer, and game technician. In 1962, JFK was the president and John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth. That same year, Bob took over as the clock and scoreboard operator.

Over the next 57 years, Bob dutifully served both the boys and girls programs, faithfully manning the clock and scoreboard. During these 57 years, Bob was far and away the greatest of Wildcat fans and was witness to the highest highs and a few character-building lows.

Bob was there to support many great coaches such as Skip Karam, College Hall of Fame Jim Calhoun, Joan Carpenter, Mike Roy, Glenn Lincoln and Tim Plante.

Bob was there to follow '70s greats: H.O.F. Mitch Perry and Gus Cariglia, to follow Hall of Famers Sue Medeiros and the Albanese Sisters -- Jen and Jill and their great teams of the '80s.

Bob was on the clock for Mike Roy's '84 boys team, led by Pete DeFusco, Garth Patterson, and Dave Collins. The first team in years to win 70% of its games and what most consider the team that turned Westport from a Farm town into a basketball town.

Bob was there to support Krisitn Gizzi and the Farias sisters- Kate and Jen as they got win after win. From the power game of Allen Levrault to the silky smooth scoring of Kyle Fernandes and the wizardry of Mike Noonan and the Sectional Championship team under Tim Plante.

Bob saw the gym rain with three-pointers from Matt Medeiros, Jake Friar, and Kayla Vincelette. Bob St. Pierre was always kind and assuring, a true gentleman and great representation of Westport Athletes."

As the crowd stood to applaud St. Pierre's loyalty to the Westport community, I couldn't help but look back and remember my time as a varsity Wildcat. The year was 2005 when both the men and women's basketball team went the distance, almost securing the state championship. Win or lose, one thing was consistent and that was the loyalty of St. Pierre behind the board. He always had a smile and a pack of original Wrigley's juicy fruit gum he would often share with the athletes.

Once the ceremony had finished and St. Pierre was making his way back to the bleachers to continue watching the second half of the game, I shook his hand and asked him to describe the Westport athletic community and comradeship in one word.

He replied, "Stupendous."

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