By Seth Browne

  In honour of Black History Month, Hockey NL remembers a legendary player in the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League, Clobie Collins. Collins was the first Black player to play in the league and was a trailblazer for all other minorities to follow. 

Collins, who was from Truro, NS, played in the league for 14 years and was a member of the Grand Falls Andcos from 1954 to 1961 and the Corner Brook Royals from 1962 to 1967. He would go on to win six Herder Memorial Championships, three with the Andcos in 1955, 1956, and 1957 and with the Royals in 1962, 1964, and 1966. Clobie was given the nickname “jet” because of his speed on the ice and was also known for having an elite scoring touch. From 1962-1967, Collins tallied 61 goals and 93 assists for a total of 154 points with the Corner Brook Royals. After leaving Newfoundland, Collins went on to play with the Belleville Monarchs in Ontario senior hockey and the Jersey Devils and the Syracuse Blazers in the Eastern hockey league.

When Clobie first moved to Grand Falls as an 18-year-old rookie he boarded with a teammate at the time, Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Famer, Cec Thomas. Thomas, who continues to live in Grand Falls-Windsor, speaks very highly of Collins as both a player and a teammate. “He {Collins) was one of the most electrifying players I have ever seen play, and he was a fantastic skater”, recalled Thomas. Even describing him as “like lightning” on the ice. Cec also mentioned that Collins was a tough player who enjoyed fighting as he was a great scraper. Off the ice, Cec’s praise of Collins continued, calling him a “great teammate and a fantastic guy to get along with.” While reminiscing about Clobie’s exploits on the ice, Cec remembers racism Clobie encountered. Racial slurs were frequently hurled in his direction while playing. Looking back on this, “Clobie handled the racism well as he took it all in stride and never got too upset over it, a true testament to his character”, said Thomas.

Collins passed away in 1985 at the age of forty-nine and was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame, in the player category, posthumously, in 2014. Craig Tulk, who is the Executive Director for the provincial hockey association, Hockey NL, recalls the induction ceremony fondly, as Colbie’s children, John and Cheryl, attended the event and accepted the recognition on behalf of their late father. “The family was so proud of his accomplishments and spoke highly of how welcomed their father felt in his time in our province” said Tulk. Hockey NL continues to promote inclusion and diversity in their game. Tulk, who has been the Executive Director for the past twenty-three years, believes that everyone in our game still must work together to remain a welcoming sport. Our mission statement is “To Foster a Safe, Fun and Inclusive Hockey Experience” and we have kept that focus each and every day.  


About Hockey NL

Hockey NL is the governing body for organized hockey in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Hockey NL’s primary function is to grow, promote, develop, supervise, regulate, and govern the sport of amateur hockey throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. Its mission statement is To Foster a Safe, Fun and Inclusive Hockey Experience.

For more on Hockey NL and its programs visit or follow through social media on Twitter @HkyNL and Instagram @HkyNL_ .