Date of Birth: 1887
Place of Birth: St. John’s, Nfld.
Inducted: 1996 (Athlete-Builder Category)
Gus Herder’s hockey career lasted more than 20 years and included 16 years as a player and four years as a coach and builder. From his 1902 intermediate league performances to his nine Boyle Trophy achievements, Herder was marked as a scintillating hockey player.
Upon graduating from school hockey, he moved immediately into the senior ranks and, during his second season, he earned an all-star team berth to play against visiting teams from the Mainland.
His hockey talents were such that a sports reporter of the time wrote: “He became the first Newfoundland hockeyist to master and bring to a plane of perfection what was then referred to as ‘the lift’. He brought that accomplishment to such a stage of proficiency that he could send a puck flying to its target with amazing accuracy. He became the acknowledged star in an era when hockey teams involved seven playing members and no “relief players”. But Gus could do more than shoot the puck; he was a dedicated and talented hockey player. He was always the first choice in selecting a city team to compete against visiting teams from the Mainland of Canada from 1910 to 1918. During his caree,r he had his name inscribed on the Boyle Trophy nine times while being a member of three different teams.”
His first St. John’s senior hockey championship and Boyle Trophy came in 1908 as a member of the Crescents. For the five seasons between 1910 and 1914, he provided the on-ice leadership that added five more Boyle Trophies for the Crescents. In 1918 and 1919, he was a member of the Terra Novas who won the title and the Boyle Trophy. Herder also played for the St. Andrew’s club.
While his playing career ended in 1923, Herder filled the position of coach and manager of the Methodist Guards and his knowledge of the game was a major factor in Guards winning their first championship that season. He was Guards’ coach until 1930.
A great credit to the game of hockey, Gus Herder was the eldest of the seven Herder brothers who are remembered by the Herder Memorial Trophy.