Inducted November 2, 1979
John Charles Parsons, more popularly known as ‘Plus’, was one of Newfoundland’s greatest all-round athletes. There is hardly a branch of sport in which he did not participate and furthermore excel. A superbly conditioned athlete, his career spanned the first twenty years of the present century coinciding with the establishment of organized sport in Newfoundland. In the athletic sphere ‘Plus’ Parsons had few peers in either versatility or accomplishment. He was a champion cyclist, an incomparable soccer player and a scintillating cricketer. The range of his talent also embraced both swimming and rowing and his abilities in those sports was convincingly shown at our annual Regatta where in addition to rowing the lake he also competed in the swimming races then conducted as part of the annual Regatta program.
It was however in hockey that ‘Plus’ Parsons really excelled. Through his accomplishments on the frozen surface he virtually made local hockey history from 1896 through to 1916. As a hockeyist his career began in 1896 as a member of the Saints team. He was chosen as a member of the City team which competed against Truro in 1901 and again in 1902. In 1902 he was a member of the City team pitted against Sydney. The Terra Nova Club of which ‘Plus’ Parsons was a member recorded the first win on the prestigious Boyle trophy. Parsons continued as a member of the Terra Nova team in 1905 and 1906. He captained the team in 1905 to a championship and the Boyle trophy. In 1907 Parsons joined the Victorias and again his team won the Boyle trophy. That same year he represented the City team when it played the P.E.I. Abegwaits. Parsons remained a playing member of the Victorias hockey team from 1908 through to 1914, winning the League championship and Boyle trophy in 1909.
Parsons’ career as a hockeyist went through a winding down period after 1914. With his playing days behind him he became active as a coach. In 1925 ‘Plus’ Parsons moved to Corner Brook along with his family. By profession ‘Plus’ Parsons ‘like his father before him’ was a photographer. His love for sport and the outdoor life is reflected in the priceless collection of sports photographs he has bequeathed to the Newfoundland Sports Archives. Newfoundland should be grateful to him for his gift of the one remaining visual link with our storied sports past.