Date of Birth: 1921
Place of Birth: Charlesbrough, Quebec
Inducted: 1995 (Athlete-Builder Category)
Joe Byrne moved from Quebec to Newfoundland and Labrador in December of 1949 and, for 40 years, he exerted an important and extremely beneficial influence on every aspect of hockey within the province.
First as a player, then as a coach, an official and an administrator, he played a major role in the improvement and expansion of hockey in every area of the province. Possessing exceptional skills as a player, an impressive amount of knowledge as both a coach and an official, and plenty of dedication, determination and patience as an administrator, Joe Byrne worked well and hard with many people.
He played for Grand Falls and Bell Island teams that won provincial senior championships. His coaching career included successful provincial seasons in minor, junior and senior play and, even more importantly, produced thousands of players and hundreds of coaches who were better because of his involvement.
Within the officiating field, he excelled on the ice, but was even more effective as an instructor. Byrne contributed immensely to the betterment of hockey officiating within the province. Officiating was something he enjoyed and something he did extremely well.
For 24 years, he filled the technical director’s position for the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association, heading up the establishment of the organization’s headquarters and providing the leadership that allowed it to equal any similar operation within Canada.
His contribution to hockey, and to Grand Falls in particular, was recognized when the community named its current stadium in his honor. His overall efforts have been well recognized by the provincial high school athletic federation, the provincial hockey association, and the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, as his awards and presentations are numerous.
Joe Byrne was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame in 1989.