Rowing Canada Aviron is pleased to announce the Class of 2018 Hall of Fame inductees with outstanding Canadian rowing icons represented in the Athlete, Crew and Builder categories. As the Canada 150 celebration year comes to close, RCA is proud to celebrate our champions of sport dating back over a century.
The Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame (CRHF) is established to recognize those exceptional athletes, coaches and builders who are responsible for RCA’s continued excellence in rowing, both nationally and internationally.
Rowing Canada and the Hall of Fame Committee are pleased to invite members of the rowing community to celebrate the Class of 2018 on Friday, January 26th at the National Rowing Conference in Toronto, ON.
Class of 2018 – Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame Inductees
Athlete Category - Individuals
Joe Wright Senior
Born: January 14, 1864 in Villanova, Ontario, Canada
Date of Passing: October 28, 1950
At the turn of the century, Joe Wright Sr. was arguably the most famous rower on the Canadian national scene. A lifelong member of the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club, he won over 130 national titles during his extensive career, as well as medals at two editions of the Summer Olympics, taking silver and bronze in the the coxed eights at the 1904 and 1908 Games respectively.
Joseph George Harris "Joe" Wright Junior
Born: March 28, 1906 in Toronto, Ontario
Date of Passing: June 7, 1981
Aside from facing off against the best oarsmen in the world, Joe Wright, Jr. had the daunting challenge of following in the tremendous wake of his famous father. The younger Joe not only lived up to his father's name, but forged his own legend when, in 1928, he claimed his sport's most prestigious title, one of the only ones that had eluded Wright the elder- the Diamond Sculls at England's Henley Royal Regatta.
Wright Jr. also won Canadian and US single scull championship titles and two Olympic medals in the double sculls and men’s eights in 1928.
Athlete Category - Crews
1956 Men's Coxless Four
Donald Arnold; Archibald MacKinnon; Walter D’Hondt; Lorne Loomer
The men’s’ coxless four was one of Canada's fortunate late additions to the team at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. The crew, one of several high-ranking teams of Coach Frank Read, achieved an impressive victory with a winning margin of 5 lengths of open water over their nearest rivals.
Women’s Coxless Pair
Marion Elizabeth "Betty" Craig; Tricia Smith
Betty Craig and Tricia Smith made their debut at the 1976 Summer Olympics, placing fifth in the coxless pairs. They returned to the coxless pairs in 1980 and were selected for Summer Olympics however stayed home after Canada joined the boycott of those Games. Undeterred, the duo earned silver, bronze, and bronze at the next three editions of the World Championships and then took their talents to the 1984 Summer Olympics, where they won silver behind the Romanians.
1993-1996 Women’s Lightweight Double Scull
Colleen Miller and Wendy Wiebe
Miller and Wiebe were one of the most successful partnerships in the history of Canadian rowing. Their first world championship victory in 1993 was defended with consecutive titles in 1994 and 1995. The 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta were to feature Lightweight Rowing in its debut as a medal sport. Miller and Wiebe were denied Olympic success when the latter suffered from the flu during competition. Miller and Wiebe bravely battled through the illness to finish 7th overall.
Born: January 20, 1932
Date of Passing: December 1, 2014
For the last 60 years, Jack Nicholson has been coach to all levels of rowing in Canada. Jack was a National Team coach in the 80’s, winning gold at the 1985 World Rowing Championships in Belgium with Doug Hamilton, Robert Mills, Paul Douma and Melvin Laforme in the men’s quad. That same combination also won bronze at the 1986 and 1987 World Rowing Championships. Nicholson will most fondly be remembered for his decades coaching at the grassroots level in St. Catharines, ON.
Fred “Frits” Loek
Fred grew up in The Netherlands before immigrating to Canada. A member of the Don Rowing Club in Mississauga since 1968, Loek was passionate about many things, including rowing and photography. He coached at the Summer Olympic Games in 1984 and 1988, the Pan American Games in 1987, as well as the 1989 World Championships. He coached Heather Hattin and Janice Mason at the Mississauga Don Rowing Club, winning the very first Lightweight Women's double sculls event at the World Championship in Copenhagen in 1987. In 1988, Fred coached the Canadian women’s sculling team, consisting of Silken Laumann and Kay Worthington in the double sculls and Heather Hattin in the single sculls at the Don Rowing Club.
Rowing Canada Aviron invites members of the rowing community to join us in celebrating the class of 2018. Tickets will be available for purchase in the New Year!
Friday January 26th, 2018
Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame Reception
Class of 2018 Inductions
Chelsea Hotel, Toronto, ON
Hall of Fame Committee
Marnie McBean (Chair), Greg Rokosh, Kim Norris, Andrew Lamont, Rob Marland, Brenda Taylor, Guylaine Bernier, and Heather Cartwright.
About the Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame
The Canadian Rowing Hall of Fame was established in 2015 to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of Canadian rowers at the highest levels of the sport, and those whose efforts have contributed directly to those results. These individual stories will serve as inspirations to Canadians and others, and will help to promote the sport and its amazing history.