NL Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (Class 2022)
Sport Newfoundland and Labrador, along with the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame, celebrated the 49th Annual Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on April 22, 2023 at the Delta Hotel in St. John’s.
Class 2022 Inductees
Brian Brocklehurst in the “Athlete” Category (Softball, Hockey, Baseball)
Darren Colbourne in the “Athlete” Category (Baseball, Hockey)
Sean Gulliver in the “Athlete/Builder” Category (Baseball)
Mike Howlett in the “Athlete” Category (Soccer)
Dr. Pat Parfrey in the “Builder”
Brian Brocklehurst “Athlete”
Brian Brocklehurst was an all-star athlete in St. John’s in the 1960’s and early 1970’s. He was a late starter in hockey, but soon caught on to the sport to become one of the best kids in the minor hockey system in St. John’s because he passed the puck with authority and was an excellent stickhandler who had a strong shift to either side when rushing the defense. He played on the 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966 Provincial minor hockey championship St. John’s teams. He went on to win two St John’s junior and senior hockey championships with St. Bon’s and Memorial University. As a rookie in 1969 he won the senior league scoring title with 58 points in just 16 regular season games and was also named league MVP. Later in his hockey career, Brian was a star player for the MUN Beothuks from 1970-1973 and again as a rookie lead the St. John’s Caps in scoring and to the Herder Trophy in 1973-1974. When his career led him to be transferred to Gander, a softball injury prevented him from playing with the Gander Flyers as part of the Newfoundland Senior Hockey League, so he took to coaching the team instead.
He was an all-star in the St. John’s Senior Softball League and is a member of both the St. John’s and Softball Newfoundland Halls of Fame. He played on six league championship teams winning 11 individual awards including the league MVP in 1969, the first non-pitcher to win the award. During the 12 seasons he played in the St. John’s Senior Softball League he compiled a .283 batting average with 136 hits, 14 home runs, and 61 runs batted in. He was also a catcher for the St. Pat’s baseball teams that won both St. John’s Junior and Senior titles. As a first baseman, who also caught and pitched, he earned a great deal of respect for his hitting ability, his fielding skills, his impressive leadership skills, and his exceptional sportsmanship and was well liked-by teammates and opponents.
Brian’s biggest and most treasured accomplishment was being named St. John’s Male Athlete of the Year in 1969. In that year he played on eight championship teams in three different sports – softball, hockey, and baseball. A severe leg injury in 1974 effectively ended his competitive career at the age of 24. He continued to play recreational hockey until recently and today enjoys a leisurely game of golf.
Darren Colbourne “Athlete”
Darren Colbourne has succeeded as both a hockey and baseball athlete since he began playing minor baseball and hockey in Corner Brook in 1972. Darren has displayed excellence and leadership at every level of his sports career while playing locally, provincially, nationally, internationally, and professionally. His exploits on and off the baseball fields and hockey rinks on the west coast of the island led to a life filled with awards and individual achievements. Playing baseball, he appeared in more than 20 National Junior and Senior Championships with the Corner Brook Barons and St. John’s Caps, won 10 Provincial Championships, 2 Atlantic Junior Championships, and 2 Atlantic Senior Championships, along with winning a Bronze Medal at the 1992 Senior Men’s Championships in Windsor, Ontario. His hard work led him to be selected as the Flag Bearer for the 1989 Canada Summer Games in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan at the age of 21.
He had the unique opportunity to pursue hockey and baseball for collegiate endeavours in 1984, choosing to follow his dreams of playing hockey. He spent 5 years in the Ontario Hockey League playing with both the Oshawa Generals, and the Cornwall Royals. Known for his gift to shoot and score, he was fortunate enough to score 150 goals and added almost 130 assists which resulted in being drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 1988. He had a decorated career in the ECHL, playing 421 games over seven seasons in the League and ranks fifth in League history with 323 goals. He was also named ECHL Rookie of the Year and earned a spot on the All-ECHL First Team in 1991-92. He was one of only three players in ECHL history to have three 50 plus goal season which led him to be inducted into the ECHL’s Hall of Fame in 2015.
He also played Inline Roller Hockey, earning 3 world hockey championships which include a Roller Hockey International title in 1995 and a Major League Roller Hockey World title in 1998, and a International Ice Hockey Federation World title for Canada in 1998. Retiring in 1999 from his professional career, Darren returned to provincial hockey in 2000 to play for the Corner Brook Royals. He played a pivotal role in four league championship achievements and the 2002 Herder Memorial Championship. After he retired from playing in 2009, he went on to coach the 2011 Clarenville Caribous to an Allan Cup title. His contributions to the hockey community were recognized when his jersey number, 25, was retired by the Corner Brook Royals.
Sean Gulliver “Athlete/Builder”
Sean Gulliver had a great baseball career as a star middle infielder in local and provincial junior and senior baseball starting in the early 1980’s. He was the heart and soul of the Shamrocks baseball dynasty for over 30 years as a player. Sean combined great hitting, defense, and baseball intelligence to help his team to 21 local and 10 provincial championships with the Caps. As an outstanding defensive shortstop/second baseman and captain in the infield he was always at or near the top in key statistics and captured many individual honours over the course of his career.
From 1979-1985 he played in the St. John’s Junior league helping to win the Championship in 1985 and from 1981-2015 and was a key member of the Shamrocks Senior Baseball team, including the dynasty team of the 1980’s that captured a record 9 consecutive league titles. He broke into the league as a 15-year-old rookie and played for a total of 23 years at the junior and senior level combined. Over the course of his senior career, he had a lifetime batting average of over .360, hit .400 or better 10 times. This earned him numerous awards including being inducted in 2019 into the St. John’s Baseball Hall of Fame and into the Provincial Baseball Hall of Fame. During the prime of his career, he was considered by many to be the best hitter in the province and has been a dedicated and tireless leader in the development of baseball in Newfoundland and Labrador on and off the field, always helping to make others around him more successful.
Coaching for 41 consecutive years, he has dedicated a lifetime to coaching teams at all levels, including 3 Canada Games teams. He coached over 100 teams spanning both minor and senior divisions, capturing 55 local and provincial championships. He has also coached the junior and senior St. John’s Capitals teams for a combined 30 years including both teams for the past 7 years. For his efforts, Sean has been recognized by the Provincial Baseball Association as Provincial Coach of the Year 8 times and was the recipient of the Les Noseworthy Award in 1993. He has coached the junior Shamrocks the past 10 years, earning 6 titles, and has been a coach of the senior Shamrocks the past 18 years, earning 11 titles. In addition to coaching, he was a respected umpire, a scout for the Major League Scouting Bureau for 16 years and served on the executive of St. John’s Minor and Senior Baseball Leagues.
Mike Howlett “Athlete”
Mike Howlett has been involved in the sport of Soccer since the young age of four, he played a total of 32 years of his life in which 22 of those years were played at the All Star or top provincial level in two different provinces, Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta. At the age of 12, Mike was honoured to be selected to play for Team Newfoundland and Labrador at the Under 15 age level to help his team to win the Atlantics and compete at the 1987 All Star Nationals. Mike then played for Team NL every year until 1991. In 1993, Mike represented the province as part of Team NL at the Canada Summer Games in Kamloops. He moved to Calgary in 1995 and lived in there for 12 years before returning home in 2007 to once again play Challenge Cup for St. Lawrence where he started his Challenge Cup career many years ago at 15 years of age. After the move back home Mike played for St Lawrence again from 2007-2010.
His 21 year Challenge Cup career was split between the St. Lawrence Laurentians and two teams in Calgary. At the national level, his Calgary teams represented Alberta six times while winning the National Challenge Cup gold medal twice. In 1999 he won with Calgary Celtics and repeated the success in 2003 with the Calgary Callies. He is the only Newfoundland born player to have won two National Challenge Cup gold medals. Here at home, his St. Lawrence team represented Newfoundland and Labrador 4 times at the Challenge Cup Nationals in 1993, 1998, 2007 and 2008, winning a Bronze Medal for the province in 2007. Playing at the Masters level, Mike helped St. Lawrence win a Silver medal at the 2012 Eastern Canadian Masters.
In Alberta, he is recognized as being one of the top strikers to have played in the Alberta Major Soccer League. Mike is also considered by many to be the best player Newfoundland and Labrador has ever produced. He continuously showed leadership on most every team he played on by being named captain, team and league MVP along with being scoring leader numerous times. Winning multiple titles earned him the honour to be named as the NLSA Senior Player of the Year in 2008 and be inducted into the St. Lawrence Soccer Hall of Fame in 2014, the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Hall of Fame in 2016, and the Burin Peninsula Hall of Fame in 2018.
Mike is described as a strong, determined competitor and his success on the field has been exceptional even when he played at the All Star level at 36 years of age, becoming the Challenge Cup top scorer.
Dr. Pat Parfrey “Builder”
Dr. Pat Parfey started playing rugby at the age of 13 at the CBC in his native Cork, Ireland and played club rugby while studying for his medical degree at the University College Cork (UCC) winning the Munster Cup with the team in 1976. He eventually moved to England to further his academic career, and continued to play in Montreal and England. Assuming responsibility of player coach from 1977-1982 with the London Irish, he led the team to its first ever RFU Cup Final in 1980.
As a player, coach, and volunteer, Pat has made enormous contributions to the sport of rugby for over 30 years. His name is widely known within the rugby community here in the province, across Canada, and around the world for pushing the development of the game, to guiding many national championship teams from the province and becoming one of the sport’s most prolific fundraisers and builders.
Away from the field, he led the campaign to build the Swilers Rugby Complex, a world class sports facility in St. John’s which has played host to attracting high quality competitive teams from all corners of the globe. Pat has mentored and coached athletes of all ages. His accomplishments as a coach to improve Canadian Rugby are numerous, including training an Under 19 team that won 5 out of 6 games while touring London, and led the Canadian National side to the 1999 Rugby World Cup, also leading Canada to victory in the Pacific Rim Championship in 1997 and 1998.
Pat is the only person to have served as the Coach of Canada’s National Senior Men’s Team and President of Rugby Canada, and currently is Canada’s representative on the World Rugby Board as part of the Community Rugby Committee. Many attest that the opportunities that Pat’s leadership and mentorship behind the scenes with planning, goal setting, lobbying, fundraising, orchestrating, and ultimately getting this done on the grandest of scale has created results for the betterment of the rugby community and in particular youth playing the sport. Presently he is giving back to the sport in a unique way as the Team Manager for the National U20 Men’s Team and is a board member of the Swilers Rugby Club.
Softball NL Would Like To Take This Opportunity To Congratulate Brian Bricklehurst, Darren Colbourne, Sean Gulliver, Mike Hollett and Dr. Pat Parfrey On Being Selected For Induction Into The Newfoundland Labrador Sports Hall Of Fame Class Of 2022.
Congratulations Brian, Darren, Sean, Mike And Dr. Parfrey.
Softball NL Would Like To Take This Opportunity To Congratulate Brian Brocklehurst (Softball, Hockey, Baseball) On Being Inducted Into The Newfoundland Labrador Sports Hall Of Fame In The Athlete Category.