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Tourism, Culture and Recreation
May 14, 2012

The following statement was given today in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Derrick Dalley, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Recreation:

Don Johnson Celebrated for his Lifelong Commitment to Sport

I rise in this Honourable House today to pay tribute to Mr. Don Johnson who passed away on Saturday. It is with fond memories that we honour his life-long dedication to his family, and to sport and recreation and to our Province.

Mr. Johnson had many accomplishments throughout his life, including his role as a senior civil servant with the provincial Department of Rehabilitation and Recreation. However, most people knew him from his involvement with hockey for which he was well respected throughout this province and the country. He was the first person from this province to be President of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association and Chair of the 1978 World Junior Hockey Championship in Montreal. He was a member of both the Canada Games Council Hall of Honour and the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.

As a respected sports historian, Mr. Johnson still attended many sporting events at the age of 82. In fact, he attended and spoke at the Don Johnson Cup held at the Jack Byrne Arena only two weeks ago.

He was so proud to see our athletes contributing at the national and international level and particularly representing our province in the National Hockey League. He dedicated so much of his life to better sport in this province. He believed sport and recreation contributed immensely to an individual's character.

While he was born in Halifax, Mr. Johnson moved to St. John’s in 1959 and was delighted to be a resident of this province. His pride, passion, and love of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador were quite evident whenever he spoke at a sporting event. He wore his heart on his sleeve and everyone knew it.

Mr. Johnson could tell a story with the best of them, especially about his involvement with hockey at the national and international levels. Throughout his life, he continued to make the game of hockey better.

I knew Mr. Johnson personally. He was a family friend. Mr. Johnson was a man of great faith and great character. He was indeed one the finest gentleman within our sports community. I can tell you that first and foremost, he was a loving husband, father and grandfather. At this time, I’d like to send out my sincerest sympathy to his family. Mr. Johnson will be missed. Thank you.

2012 05 14                            2:30 p.m.

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