Inducted November 7, 1981
Arthur Hammond was born in St. John’s in 1894. As a youth and a member of the Church Lads’ Brigade he became actively involved in the denominational interbrigade sports competitions which flourished locally prior to the Great War of 1914-1918. In the early years of the present century Arthur Hammond, through the friendly rivalry provided by inter-brigade competition, began to show great versatility as an athlete. There were few sports in which he did not participate. Wrestling, however, appears to have been his forte.
With the outbreak of war in 1914, he volunteered for the Royal Newfoundland Regiment becoming a member of that prestigious band known to history as the ‘Blue Putees’ and the ‘First Five Hundred’. His regimental number was 67. He is one of the surviving members of that flower of Newfoundland manhood which sailed from St. John’s on October 1914 in service for King and Country.
The athletic promise shown by young Hammond as a member of the C.L.B. boys’ brigade came to flower in Britain and Scotland where he began his military training. On the basis of his proficiency as a gymnast and wrestler as well as his recognized ability as a cross-country runner, he was chosen by his military superiors as an instructor of recruits. Later he was to proceed to both the European and MidEastern theatres of War where he saw active military duty. On demobilization in 1918 he returned to St. John’s and to his peace-time pursuits. The immediate post-war years in St. John’s have, for good reason, come to be regarded as the Golden era of sport. Quite naturally he became a part of that scene.
He was a member of the St. Andrew’s soccer team which captured the St. John’s championship in 1919. That same year he was a member of the winning Army crew which captured the Veterans’ race at our Annual Regatta. He was a competitor as well in the swimming races across Quidi Vidi Lake then conducted in conjunction with our annual Derby Day. All in all however it was his extraordinary talent as a wrestler which gained him the greatest measure of recognition and acclaim. Before going overseas in 1914, Hammond as a youth won the Featherweight Wrestling championship of Newfoundland.
In 1920, with his return to civilian life, we find him again dominating the local wrestling scene. He became the reigning champion of both the Welterweight and Middleweight Wrestling classes. When construction of the new paper mill began at Corner Brook in 1923 Arthur Hammond took up residence there. For well nigh sixty years now he has been actively associated with the business, social and cultural life of that West coast city. He deservedly merits the honor now bestowed on him.