Inducted April 24, 1976
Monsignor George F. Bartlett was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 1897 and died at Bell Island, September 24th, 1956. He spent 32 years of his life as parish priest of Bell Island. Monsignor Bartlett’s name is synonymous with Bell Island. His labours among the people on Bell Island were truly the community spirit at work. He was totally involved with that community all throughout his life. Everybody on Bell Island was his friend and understandably so, because in each resident of the Island irrespective of class or creed, he always manifested a deep personal interest. Their problems he made his own and jointly they went about seeking solutions. He was an extraordinarily affable person and a gifted organizer. His sincerity and enthusiasm, but above all his faith in Bell Island and its people won him their support. He was a born leader and an inspiring one as well. In the depressing Thirties when everybody felt the pinch of economic distress, Monsignor Bartlett proved to be the motivating force in providing the necessary spiritual, moral, and material encouragement. During those times the welfare of youth was very much his concern. He found an outlet for the exuberant energies of the young by building a rink to serve a dual purpose, a hockey arena in winter and a recreational centre during the summer months. His sense of vision and dedication did in time produce many fine athletes and certainly many superb hockey teams. His most significant contribution to the sports sphere was his zeal in promoting inter-town competition and thus improve the standard of hockey. While hockey was the one sport which identifies him so indelibly on the public mind, his interest in track and field merits mention as well. Monsignor Bartlett was the revitalizing force in keeping the NAA sports alive, by making the facilities at Bell Island available at a time when interest was on the ebb.
There has been no more popular figure in the realm of local sports than Monsignor Bartlett. He was revered by everybody irrespective of class or creed. To those of an earlier generation, the mention of his name brings a flood of emotions, all nostalgically pleasant and all very happy ones. Not unnaturally, his memory evokes its most meaningful response in the hearts and minds of all Bell Islanders.