The sports personalities of any community reflect the spirit and character of that community and Collingwood is no exception. If you want to get a feeling for the history of Collingwood over the last 125 years, talk to the people who have been a part of its sports life and listen to their stories of the characters, events and the exploits of their predecessors.
Collingwood’s Sports Hall of Fame came into being on Feb. 16th, 1974, when twenty-five former Collingwood athletes were inducted by the selection committee which included Scotty Carmichael (chairman), Nip Spooner, Jack MacMurchy, Dr. Donald McKay, Bob Bush, John Freudeman and Paul Hawman.
The guest speaker was the late Steve Douglas, one of Canada’s best known football broadcasters. The Master of Ceremonies was the well known Hamilton broadcaster and television personality, Norman Marshall, who, incidentally was raised in Collingwood.
Although only twenty-four athletes were officially selected by the committee, Mayor Harry Bell and the committee members pulled a surprise by adding the chairman’s name to the list to make it twenty-five. The Hall of Fame members were presented with silver medals through the courtesy of the Canadian Mist Distillers. The medals have been provided by this company every induction ceremony since that time.
In 1976 nine more were inducted, eleven made it in 1978, twelve in 1980 and a dozen more in 1982 to bring the total to sixty-three men and six women.
Hockey players have dominated Collingwood’s Hall of Fame and with good reason. This town’s sporting history has been built around hockey since the first Shipbuilders club was formed almost one hundred years ago.