Inducted October 18, 2003
John Barrington Sr. owns the finest record of achievement among the thousands of oarspersons who have participated in the historic Royal St. John’s Regatta since 1818. In addition, he has been an excellent coach within junior and minor hockey. Because of his great record, the Board of Governors and Selection Committee of the Royal St. John’s Regatta Hall of Fame used their prerogative to rule him eligible for induction in 2001 despite the fact that he rowed with the 1999 men’s championship team. Because of his exceptional accomplishments, the Board utilized paragraph 4 of Article 10 of the Hall of Fame constitution. This paragraph allowed the Board to overcome the 3-year eligibility rule in “special cases”, thus allowing Barrington to receive the recognition and acknowledgement that he has earned immediately after retiring as an oarsman. Barrington is the only Hall of Fame member for whom this clause has been used since the Royal St. John’s Regatta Hall of Fame was established and this certainly recognizes his exceptional Regatta record. It is noted that Barrington is the only rower to have won a Lord Warden Medal, a Queen Mother’s Crown and a Henley Ring. He was a member of the 1981 Smith-Stockley crew that broke the 80-year-old record of the 1901 Outer Cove Fishermen and a member of the 1991 Smith-Stockley – Outer Cove Crew that was the 1st to complete the men’s course under the 9-minute mark. The statistics for Barrington’s career in the Royal St. John’s Regatta are extremely impressive. His rowing career lasted from 1966 to 1999. For a variety of reasons he missed six years of rowing. John rowed in 58 Regatta Day races, recorded 37 first place finishes, recorded 10 second place finishes, recorded 7 third place finishes, and recorded 4 fourth place finishes. John earned the right to row in 17 men’s championship races during the 20 years he rowed in Regatta Day senior men’s races and he recorded 8 championship firsts, 3 championship seconds, 3 championship thirds and 3 championship fourths. He was also a member of the crew that won the first Canadian fixed-seat championship in 1994 at the Olympic Basin in Montreal. In addition he was a member of two record-breaking crews, with the 1991 title being the first with a men’s time of under nine minutes. In the races he rowed in other Avalon Peninsula Regattas he enjoyed impressive success with one Placentia championship to his credit. John has contributed greatly to the Royal St. John’s Regatta in many other ways, especially as a coach and coxswain for younger crews and oarspeople. The success of his contributions is clearly demonstrated by the fact that his three sons and one daughter are regarded among the best young rowers within the sport. In a wide variety of other ways, he has contributed to many aspects of the Royal St. John’s Regatta. Special events, “fun” regattas and other aspects of the Regatta have always received his full support and involvement. John will continue his coaching and coxswaining within the Royal St. John’s Regatta for many years to come but his competitive rowing career is finished. He was coxswain for men’s championship crews in 2000, 2001 and 2002. In addition, his hockey career includes one St. John’s and one provincial high school championship as a member of a Gonzaga High School team and he also played for ten seasons in the St. John’s East League as the Inter-city League of senior hockey with one top defenceman trophy to his credit. An outstanding athlete, a concerned and dedicated individual with many good qualities, John has been an exceptional credit to the Royal St. John’s Regatta and rowing in general.