A rowing team from Harbour Grace that participated in the Regatta during the 1990s was inducted into the Harbour Grace Sports Hall of Fame last week. The Compass spoke with former team member Diane Williams about how it felt to be recognized by the entire community.
A rowing team from Harbour Grace will officially be recognized in the town’s Sports Hall of Fame.
The 1993 Ladies’ Rowing Team spent several years during the ‘90s competing in regattas all over the province. The team, which consisted of five regular rowers and two extras, was inducted into the Harbour Grace Sports Hall of Fame during the annual town awards reception May 11.
Former member Diane Williams told The Compass it was more than just a team – the women felt more like a family.
“We bickered and argued sometimes, for sure,” said Williams. “But at the end of the day, we were like sisters, and that hasn’t changed after all these years. Not all of us still live (in the area), but every time we see each other again it’s like a family reunion.”
Williams described the induction as a moment of pride. The accolade came as something of a surprise, but the entire team felt honoured and respected by the town they competed and practiced in for so many years.
Williams described the pride
that came from long days and nights of practice, when the team would get together and row for hours during the spring, summer and fall seasons, and head to the gym during the colder winters.
“It was a lot of training, and a lot of work, but we loved it,” said Williams. “It never felt like a chore – it was something we
all loved to do, and we all loved to do it together.”
Williams attributes most of the team’s success to coxswain Fred Chafe.
“Fred was the heart and soul of the team,” she said. “He loved it just as much as we did, and we wouldn’t have been able to do what we did without his help. He was always there, making
sure we did what we had to do. We really owe it all to Fred.”
The rowing team was inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside the Bannerman Lakers hockey team, of which Danny Clearly was a former player.
Don Regular, MC of the Harbour Grace Town Awards Reception, said the recognition was long overdue.
“After all these years, I think it’s about time these ladies saw the acknowledgement. After all the regattas and countless hours of practice, the team will forever be remembered in the Hall of Fame.”
Rowing team member Alice Pye accepting a certificate on behalf of the team as they are inducted into the Harbour Grace Sports Hall of Fame.
Diane Williams with her certificate.