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Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee Announces 2024 Hall of Fame Inductees

On July 11th, 2024

July 11, 2024 (St. John’s, NL) – The Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee is pleased to announce three new inductees into the Regatta Hall of Fame: Timothy Gibbons, in the category of Rower/ Crew; the 1958 Police Crew, in the category of Rower/ Crew; and Campbell Feehan, in the category of Rower/Crew.

 

“This year we have added three worthy inductees to the Regatta Hall of Fame,” said Ashley Peach, President of the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee. “Our Hall of Fame is a place to honour those past and present who have contributed significantly and have been the foundation of making the Royal St. John’s Regatta the incredible event it is.”

“We take pride in ensuring deserving candidates are inducted into the Hall of Fame each year,” said Don Kelly, Chairperson of the Hall of Fame Committee. “We take passion in recognizing these exceptional individuals and an outstanding team, and highly encourage people to submit a nomination for future inductees.”

The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be hosted by the City of St. John’s on Wednesday, July 31st.

 

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Media Contact:

 

Keith White

Vice President & Captain of the Course

Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee

E: [email protected] 

T: (709) 693-2722

2024 Inductee Biographies

Timothy Joseph Gibbons

In 1998, the 1939 West End Police Crew was inducted into the Royal St. John’s Regatta Rowing Hall of Fame.

Timothy Joseph Gibbons, recognized by his peers as an outstanding oarsman, was a member of that crew. But Tim’s rowing story began five years earlier in 1935 and concluded in 1946 when he retired from the sport.

From 1935 to 1939 Tim was #5 rower on the West End Police Hall of Fame crew. This continuous five-year run as champions was the record number of All Comers/Championship consecutive wins until the 1960s. Despite his five-year success, Tim wouldn’t row again until 1945 due to a series of events including cancellation in 1940 due to the war and work assignments outside of St. John’s.

In 1945 Tim happily returned to Quidi Vidi to once more row on the pond, this time with the Central Police Crew. Previously rowing in #5 position, Tim now rowed as a stroke on the alternate side – whether this was due to a hip injury a few years prior, or his abilities to row with both hands learned as a young fisherman, we will never know. However, at the 1945 regatta, the Central Police crew won the Police Fireman Race in a time of 10:25 1/5; their time was shy of the qualifying time of 10:18 1/5 to row in the championship race.

The following year,1946, Tim stroking for the Central Police team placed second to the West End Police crew in the Police Race and third place in the Police Fireman’s Race.

Rowing as a #5 from 1935 – 1939 and on the opposite side of the boat as a stroke when he returned for the 1945 and 46 regattas, Tim was a winner on both sides of the boat!

Timothy Gibbons passed away in 1954; he was and remains as one of the most exceptional racers to ever row in the Royal St. John’s Regatta. His achievements have earned him induction into the Hall of Fame as a Rower.

1958 Police Crew

The 1958 Police Crew is a testament to the enduring spirit of competition and the relentless pursuit of excellence. Their remarkable championship time of 9:45 may not have shattered records, but it firmly established them as a formidable force on the waters, a record that remained the second lowest for an astonishing 40 years.

From 1941 to 1980, no other men’s championship crew could surpass the standard set by the 1958 Police Crew. The team, steered by skilled Cox Levi “Shotty” Rogers and powered by the strokes of Fred Wicks, Martin Hickey, Gerry Feehan, Jim Pitts, Ron Dower, and Ray Greene, became legends in their own right.

Their era was marked by the rarity of breaking the ten-minute barrier, a feat achieved only eleven times between 1958 and 1978. Remarkably, two of those instances were the doing of the 1958 Police Crew, underscoring their dominance and consistency.

What makes their achievement even more impressive is the context of their times. The 1958 Police Crew conquered the water in boats with oars that were significantly heavier than those used in more modern times. Their strength and endurance were both physical and symbolic of the grit and determination that define the spirit of the Royal St. John’s Regatta.

As we honor the 1958 Police Crew, we remember not just their time of 9:45, but the legacy they left behind – a legacy that continues to inspire rowers and spectators alike, a legacy etched in the history of the Royal St. John’s Regatta Hall of Fame.

Campbell Feehan

In recent years a name synonymous with the Royal St. John’s Regatta is that of Campbell Feehan. In 1975, at the young age of 13 Campbell began his rowing career and won his first race with Dunn’s Pharmacy with a time of 5:09 and followed up with a second win in 1976 rowing with J.J.’s Gulf in a time of 6:10.

Buoyed by his early successes, Campbell continued to vigorously train and hone his rowing skills which paid off in 1982 when the legendary Outer Cove crew broke the all-time regatta record with a time of 9:03:48. As part of this crew, Campbell went on to win multiple races and championship races again in 1983 and 1984.

In 1987 Campbell was named Oarsman of the Year.

Rowing with RNC/Lakeshore Homes, Campbell added three additional championship wins to his already impressive roster – in 1988 (time of 9:23:3); in 1989 (time of 9:01:07); and1990 (time of 9:10:02).

Upon completion of his rowing career, Campbell continued to be involved with the Royal St. John’s Regatta through an ad-hoc committee formed to review practices and policies.

In 2015 Campbell became a proud member of the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee where he continues to serve today, as a general member having fulfilled a term as Boathouse & Pond Director.

For his achievements, Campbell Feehan has earned recognition to the Royal St. John’s Regatta Hall of Fame in the Rower category.

Nomination Process

 

The Hall of Fame Committee puts out a call for nominations in the spring of each year. The three categories are: Rower/Crew, Coach/Coxswain, and Builder. The Committee receives and reviews applications, and certificates are presented at a special luncheon the Wednesday before

the Regatta.

 

The 2024 Royal St. John’s Regatta Hall of Fame Committee members are: Don Kelly (Chair), Bob Whelan (Secretary), Brendan McCarthy, Brian Madore, Mike Power, Wayne Purchase, Gail Malone, and Chris Neary.

  

The Regatta Hall of Fame was established in 1987 with three objectives. The first is to recognize, honour and pay tribute to individuals or crews on the basis of ability, sportsmanship, character and achievement or extraordinary distinction in fixed seat rowing, whether amateur or professional.

 

The second is to recognize, honour and pay tribute to those individuals, groups or associations who have given distinguished service and who have made a major contribution to the

development and advancement of fixed seat rowing in Newfoundland.

 

And the third is to encourage the development of all aspects of fixed seat rowing by permanently recording the achievements and history of such individuals, groups, associations, or crews.

 

The 206th Royal St. John’s Regatta will take place on Wednesday, August 7 (weather permitting). Additional information about the regatta can be found at www.stjohnsregatta.com.