Photo by: Charlie Martin
On Thursday, Nov. 4, family, friends, coaches, and teammates came together at the Meridian Centre to induct local sports veterans into the Class of 2022 Sports Hall of Fame.
This year’s ceremony consisted of five nominees across three different sports.
Each person inducted into the hall of fame has played a commendable part in bringing sports together in the St. Catharines community as athletes and builders.
Class of 2022 St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame members
Donald F. Thom — Rowing Builder
Donald F. Thom was a builder for the sport of rowing. Thom, who served as president of the St. Catharines Rowing Club in 1945, is noted for being one of the key people who brought the club back to light after the economic depression and the Second World War. Thom was a strong promoter for the St. Catharines Rowing Club who always believed that great equipment for athletes was an integral part of building successful rowing teams and clubs. He also successfully developed a women’s rowing program in the year 1947 and continued to be a strong supporter of rowing until his death.
Douglas Geddie — Curling Builder
Douglas Geddie, a curling builder and local business owner, who has been an ambassador for the City of St. Catharines in the world of curling. Geddie is two-time St. Catharines Sportsperson of the Year. He has played a major role in St. Catharines hosting several major curling events through his leadership roles. In 2017, Geddie was instrumental in bringing the Scotties Tournaments of Hearts; the national women’s curling championships, to the garden city. The event attracted about 60,000 fans and had coast-to-coast TV coverage.
“I love to curl, but I’m at best a mediocre player—I stand here because I love the game and what it teaches you about life can be celebrated,” said Geddie.
David Cullen — Hockey Athlete
David Cullen, a St. Catharines native who played AAA hockey locally for years, went on to play men’s Division 1 hockey at the University of Maine on a full scholarship and was captain of the NCAA National Championship team in his senior year. Cullen played professional hockey for several years in different organizations across different countries. In 2005-2006, Cullen served as the assistant captain for the American Hockey Leagues’ Rochester Americans. Cullen is currently a teacher with the Niagara Catholic School Board.
“Thank you very much to the City of St. Catharines for this very special honour, I would like to congratulate all the other inductees.” said Cullen, in his acceptance speech addressed by his mother, Lorraine Cullen.
Daryl MacDonald — Rowing Athlete
Daryl MacDonald was a rowing athlete born and raised in St. Catharines. MacDonald competed internationally for Canada four times. Throughout the course of his rowing career, MacDonald won 13 Royal Canadian Henley Regatta gold medals, three U.S. National gold medals, two American Henley gold medals, five International Trials gold medals, and several other victories individually and with teams on the local level throughout Ontario and the United States. After his rowing career as an athlete was over, MacDonald made major contributions to rowing. He had many mentors in his life in sport, and he was also a mentor to others.
Barbara Armbrust — Rowing Athlete
Barbara Armbrust’s rowing career started at Sir Winston Churchill Secondary School, St. Catharines, where she won three gold medals, two silver medals and one bronze medal at Canadian Secondary School Rowing Association Regattas from 1979 to 1982. She earned a spot on the Canadian national program from 1980 to 1988 where she won a silver medal at the women’s coxed four event at the 1984 Olympic Games, followed by a silver medal the following year at the 1985 World Rowing Championships at the same event, as well as several other outstanding results in international rowing competitions. Armbrust won the University of Victoria’s President’s Cup in 1987.
“I feel very lucky to have been born and raised in St. Catharines, and I’m honored to receive this recognition today and be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said Armbrust.
The Sports Hall of Fame ceremony, which is held annually, is key to recognizing local St. Catharines native athletes and builders and showing them appreciation for their work.