Honest, loyal, kind, dependable and generous, Don Johnson was dedicated to making Newfoundland and Labrador a better place to live. Straightforward at all times but with a very charitable manner, Don was an outstanding leader who was always willing to follow if the greater good required it.
Known by many for his role in sport, most notably hockey, Don Johnson’s impact on this province’s athletic community and many charitable organizations can only be described as outstanding. His leadership skills and reputation for fair play established him as one of the most important figures in Newfoundland and Labrador hockey.
At the St. John’s senior hockey level, Don was elected secretary in 1963 and president in 1964.
In 1966, Don was elected president of the Newfoundland Amateur Hockey Association and was the driving force in bringing Newfoundland and Labrador into the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. In 1975, Don was elected president of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association.
He was a highly respected and extremely powerful influence on Canadian and world hockey.
He played a major role in Canada’s return to world competition and was a major player in the establishment of the elite Canada Cup hockey series.
Don was a member of the St. John’s Maples leafs Board of Directors from 1991-1995 after which he became a valued member of the Leafs Foundation Board of Directors until the termination of the franchise in 2005.
In 1986, Don Johnson became a member of the Royal St. John’s Regatta Committee. His contributions to the Regatta were varied and considerable as he served on the board of directors as secretary, treasurer, vice-president, president and past-president and chaired the Royal St. John’s Regatta Hall of Fame.
Don, along with Geoff Carnell and the late Lieutentant Governor Fred Russell worked to obtain the prefix “Royal” for the Regatta, a move that greatly enhanced the Regatta’s image. He filled the “captain-of-the-course” position took part in every “fun” Regatta and time trials during his 18 years involvement.
His many other volunteer efforts include; President of the Newfoundland Lung Association, Board of Directors, The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award NL, Chair, Williams Family Foundation, President, St. John’s Senior Softball League, Board of Directors Bally Haly Golf Club, Board of Directors National Youth Bowling Council of Canada, and Board of Directors, Canada Sport’s Hall of Fame.