Date of Birth: 1908
Place of Birth: St. John’s, Nfld.
Inducted: 1997 (Athlete-Builder Category)
While he excelled as a player, Ron Taaffe made his most important contribution to hockey within Newfoundland and Labrador as one of the founders of the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association in 1935. Already having put a senior league in place in Corner Brook, he joined with R.S. Furlong and Arthur Johnson to establish the first hockey organization for the island.
He served as the organization’s vice-president for 15 years during a period when it was important that hockey’s governing body was firmly established in all areas of the province.
Taaffe possessed great organizational skills, was a dedicated worker, and mixed well with people. All these characteristics were vital to having a sound foundation for the hockey body. After moving to Corner Brook with his family in 1929, he became chairman of the Rink and Hockey Section of the Corner Brook Sports Club in 1930, and put in place a local hockey league, winning its Most Valuable Player Award in 1934. He contributed greatly as a referee, calling all degrees of Corner Brook games during the 1930s and 1940s.
He was captain of the Corner Brook all-star team that won the first Herder Memorial Trophy and the first provincial senior hockey championship over Guards of St. John’s in 1935. He played again in 1936 and accepted the position of manager of the Corner Brook club in 1937 when his playing career ended.
Hockey within Newfoundland and Labrador was fortunate to have an individual with the capabilities of Taaffe willing to work for it during the years that it became established in all areas of the province.