T.A. GUS SOPER

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Date of Birth: 1908
Place of Birth: Freshwater, Carbonear
Inducted: 1995 (Builder Category)

While Gus Soper is best known for his long and distinguished service to hockey in Buchans, he actually started his hockey career after moving to Grand Falls in 1917. A regular “rink rat”, he was a ticket-taker and a skate sharpener. As a goalie, he won a championship playing for The Scouts and was the Grand Falls’ goalie against Buchans in 1930. When he moved to Buchans in 1935, Soper immediately became deeply involved in a variety of sports, but retained hockey as his favorite.

Since the Buchans Social and Athletic Club was the organization responsible for sports within the community, Soper became involved with the club and filled its treasurer’s position from 1944 to 1966. From 1945 to 1970, he was manager of the Buchans Miners, five times winning the provincial senior hockey championship and the Herder Memorial Trophy. The great success that the Miners enjoyed was due in great part to the manner in which Soper fulfilled his responsibilities. He worked long and hard with the coaches and with Buchans’ company management to obtain employment for some of the finest players to perform within Newfoundland and Labrador.

As Buchans Stadium manager from 1960 to 1973, he worked with Jimmy Hornell to establish minor hockey in the community. Soper’s influence had a great beneficial impact on the minor program. An expert on the provincial hockey constitution, he served on the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association executive and was a longtime Buchans delegate to its meeting.