LEONARD BUTT

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Date of Birth: 1933
Place of Birth: Freshwater, Conception Bay, NL
Inducted: 2007 (Builder Category)

Len Butt devoted 33 years of his life to hockey within Newfoundland and Labrador. He officiated his first game when he was 17 and called his final game when he was 50. In between he was the moderator of hockey games at every level of skill and importance as he made long, valuable and unbiased contributions to hockey, always in an officiating manner that was fair to both teams and all players involved.

A native of Freshwater, Conception Bay, he was tagged with the nickname “Pussy” early in his career and best known by the tag as he traveled to every nook and cranny within the province to provide respected on-ice performances and off-ice knowledgeable instructions to referees of all ages and of all calibers. He was very important in the expansion of qualified officials, especially between 1960 and 1980.

He successfully filled the role of coordinator for Eastern Newfoundland when the provincial hockey association introduced a program of level for officials in the late 1960’s and served very well as supervisor of officials from 1975 to 1983. The number of officials who benefited from his work was extremely high with 565 officials coming under his supervision during one season.

He served as president of the St. John’s Metro Referees Association for four years in the 1960s and later was president of the St. John’s Referees Association for three years. He played a major role in the establishment of both groups and contributed greatly to their success. He served on the executive of the St. John’s Civil Service League for five years, three of them as president.

A defenseman with Prince of Wales College in the St. John’s Intercollegiate League while attending school, he moved easily and quickly into officiating. He called a large number of provincial senior hockey games including playoffs and was assigned too many games involving local teams and teams from outside the province. His final officiating assignment came in 1983 when he called an Allan Cup contest in Stephenville featuring teams from Cambridge, Ontario and Stephenville.