Inducted November 3, 2007

Gordon Clarence Follett - Athlete/Builder

Gordon Clarence Follett could be called the fastest man who never ran. For 24 years, Gordon was Newfoundland’s best race walker, or “heel and toe man”, as they were often called. Of 25 categories in which records could be set, Follett, racing under the colours of the Church Lads Brigade, the Guards, and the St. John’s Olympic Club, held 20 of them. On the track, he owns 1,500 metres, 1 mile, 2 mile, 3 mile, 5 mile, and 10 mile. Road records for Follett include the 3 mile, 4 mile, 6 mile, 15 mile, 20 mile, 25 mile, 3 km, 5 km, 10 km, 15 km, 20 km, 25 km, 30 km, and 50 km. Follett was also a strong force in keeping track and field alive on the executive level. He was chairman of the road race committee for 12 years, after which time he moved into the position of President with the Newfoundland and Labrador Track and Field Association, a position he held for two years. Gordon also made significant contributions to rowing and hockey. He steered crews for 12 years, winning the Women’s Championship in St. John’s with Central Dairies in the mid 1980’s. Gordon also served nine years as President of the St. John’s Coxswains Association. His hockey career began in the mid 1950’s playing in the Mercantile League with Chalker Barnes. In 1963, Follett was a member of the Chalker Barnes team which won the Mercantile Title. Gordon also won the scoring title while playing with Chalker Barnes. For several years, Gordon served as secretary of the Mercantile while still playing in the league. In the 1970’s, he was the driving force behind the Inner City Hockey League, serving nine years as President. He coached in the League for 15 years and led his teams to an incredible 12 championships, six with Woolworths, five with Labatt Blue Stars, and another with Star of the Sea. In Ball Hockey, Follett lay claim to five championships in the St. John’s Women’s League and never lost a Women’s Provincial Championship in which he was coaching, giving him four titles. He coached Newfoundland to a silver medal at the 1987 Canadian Women’s Ball Hockey Championship in Calgary. During the next two seasons, Follett coached Newfoundland to bronze medals at the national championships. While Gordon was more than just a one-sport athlete, race walking was where he made a name for himself in Newfoundland sports.