Inducted April 24, 1976
‘Newfoundland’s fastest human’ is indeed a rare and precious accolade. It is furthermore a straightforward evaluation of Gerry Halley’s extraordinary prowess as a sprinter. Conclusive proof of that talent is reflected in the record books. His record for the 100 yards of 9.8 seconds (on turf) established in the mid-1930’s is unbroken to this day.
‘Gerry’ Halley was born at St. John’s and was educated at both St. Patrick’s Hall School and St. Bonaventure’s College. As a member of an exceptionally talented athletic family it was not surprising that he should give early promise of his capabilities. Throughout the 1920’s and into the late 1930’s Gerry Halley emerged as a one-man track team. Seemingly, there was nothing he could not do, on the field of contest. He was to dominate track and field locally in a wide range of events – hurdles, 100 yards, 220 yards, 440 yards, and at one time held records in all those events. It was a pleasure to watch him run and particularly so as anchorman on St. Bon’s relay team, when he had to come from behind to overhaul a competitive advantage. Gerry Halley invariably contributed more points to St. Bon’s victories in club events at sports day meets than any of his team-mates. But his versatility as an athlete extended beyond his track performances. He played football with the BIS in the senior league and was a member of many of their championship teams. He was a superb oarsman and represented both the BIS and St. Bon’s in victorious encounters at our annual Regatta. He performed brilliantly, as well, as a member of the Cubs baseball team. In athletics you occasionally encounter a ‘natural’. Gerry Halley was just that. No matter what the sport, he performed with grace, style, and always conveyed the impression that he thoroughly enjoyed himself even when – as did happen occasionally – he did not finish first. In World War II, Gerry enlisted with the 1st Canadian Survey Regiment and saw service in the United Kingdom, the Central Mediterranean area, and in continental Europe. He was a member of the team which represented Newfoundland at the British Empire Games.
Newfoundland has known no more popular athlete than Gerry Halley, nor more courageous a competitor.