Snooker Mourns the loss of Peter Cummings
The Canadian snooker society has lost one of the great room owners and promoters of the game recently as (my uncle) Peter Cummings passed away on October 1st, 2014 at the age of 76 years old. Peter ran P.J.’s Billiards in North Bay, Ontario for three decades starting in the late 1970’s and was instrumental in running major snooker tournaments in North Bay. Peter held the Snow Tournament in North Bay for over a decade in the 70’s & 80’s as well as countless qualifying events for the Ontario Championships.
His initial room located on Main Street in North Bay had twelve 6′ X 12′ tables and was where I was introduced to the game. Peter was very well liked and respected by all the top players in the area during these “glory days” of snooker in our country and was instrumental in shaping some of the best players that were ever developed in Northern Ontario. Along with his promotional and developmental contributions to the game Peter was a tough adversary on the baize. Not known for his fluid break building he was a tactical genius that enjoyed gluing the cue ball on the baulk rail and grinding his opponents down methodically.
Obviously with my personal relationship with Peter we spent countless hours discussing the game and the great players that played it. Peter had his favourite area players and they were Frank “bionic” Jonik, Vern Smith, Lester Mianskum, Gabe Tarini, Fern Loyer & Don Secord. Peter also had the majority of Canada’s top professional players play in his room including Cliff Thorburn, Kirk Stevens, Alain Robidoux, Bob Chaperon and others and it was always a great thrill for him to enjoy there talents in his own room.
Peter wrote several articles for the North Bay Nugget newspaper as a sports contributor. His memory and level of recall was simply amazing, he could remember certain games and situations from decades back and was known as one of the funniest men around as well as a great story teller. I remember so my days as kid when I would see Peter telling stories from behind his counter and watching several of his patrons laughing almost uncontrollable at his stories and antics!
Survived by his wife Dixie & son Jerry and the rest of our family he will be deeply missed.