Date of Birth: 1930
Place of Birth: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Inducted: 1994 (Builder Category)
While Don Johnson was not an all-star hockey player, he stood out at the all-star level in the builder category of hockey at the local, provincial, national and international levels. From his 1959 arrival in Newfoundland to the present, his leadership, contributions and reputation for fair play have established him as one of the most important figures within Newfoundland and Labrador hockey.
In 1975, he was elected president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and exerted extremely beneficial influences on Canadian and world hockey for four years. He played a major role in Canada’s return to world competition, was a major factor in the establishment of the elite Canada Cup hockey series, and generally enhanced Canada’s reputation within international hockey. He was very successful in obtaining funds for the development of minor and junior hockey across Canada and, by his action, gained respect for the manner in which he treated each and every provincial branch of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association.
Johnson was elected president of the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association in 1966 and conducted successful negotiations to have the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association join the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association as a separate branch. Minor hockey benefited immediately from Johnson’s presidency as he took a strong stand to have the minor operation become a permanent part of the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association. As he would later do on the national scene, Johnson fulfilled his mandate in an extremely competent fashion, gained respect for the manner in which he handled problems and disputes, and generally brought Newfoundland and Labrador hockey into the national structure on a sound, sensible and permanent basis.
At the St. John’s senior hockey level, Johnson was elected secretary in 1963 and president in 1964. His term of office came at a time when St. John’s hockey was finally moving into the expanded provincial hockey competition, while continuing its own very popular local league. He handled both situations in an efficient manner. Johnson involvement with St. John’s hockey moved from executive to coach and he was associated with a large number of city hockey teams from minor to senior.
Don Johnson has been awarded a Canadian Amateur Hockey Association’s Life Membership and a Life Membership in the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association.
He contributed in an executive manner to sailing, softball and golf, and was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame in 1982.