Peter Gladstone (Glad) Duff has been named as this year’s Honorary Renegade by the Assante CBR Junior Renegades Hockey Club. Glad was one of the main organizers who started minor hockey in the CBS area in the 1960’s and 1970’s and he helped lay the foundation of the game for thousands of young local hockey players to develop and enjoy today.
Inducted in the CBS Sports Hall of Fame Builder category in 2018, Glad is the eighth person to be named Honorary Renegade and joins previous recipients Ford Metcalfe 2010-2011, Scott Parsons 2011-2012, Bob Cole 2012-2013, Marg Noftle 2013-2014, Sandra Baggs 2014-2015, Sarah Davis 2017-2018, and Mel Strong 2018-2019.
Like many Canadians of his generation, he began his life-long passion for hockey playing on frozen ponds as a young teenager. Glad fondly remembers the fun and friendship playing in the popular CPHL…the Chamberlains Pond Hockey League.
Another love he had was teaching. Glad was a dedicated teacher for 37 years, and started his teaching career in a little 2-room school St. Thomas School on St. Thomas Line, Paradise in the late ’50’s. It was as a teacher that Glad became involved in minor hockey in CBS.
In 1965, Holy Spirit Principal Alice Connelly hired Glad to teach and also challenged him to help organize hockey and other sports for the young people in the community. This was at a time when there was no stadium or even outdoor rink in the area, and no existing hockey program for kids. The community was certainly lacking in sports programs and facilities overall. He quickly arranged for local hockey teams from Atom to Bantam to travel to St. Bon’s Rink in St. John’s on Friday evenings throughout the winter. Glad was one of the original creators of the Holy Spirit School Minor Hockey Association and the program expanded to the Prince of Wales Arena. He was on the Executive Committee 1972-1976 for Holy Spirit Minor Hockey and volunteered in fundraising for the association. Glad was involved in the transitioning to the Conception Bay South Minor Hockey Association in 1976 as the community finally built their own ice rink, now the Robert French Memorial Stadium. And Glad was not just involved in hockey. He organized and coached other sports like volleyball, badminton, soccer, and softball for many local children to play and enjoy. The 80-years-young sports enthusiast even coached his grandson in baseball just five summers ago, and Glad is still involved in bowling today. A die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan, Glad jokingly said he can still remember when the Leafs last won the Stanley Cup, in Black and White. Another long-time passion of Glad is the Peter Barry Duff Memorial Park in Topsail Pond. After his 17-year-old son tragically drowned in 1984, Glad donated over 20 acres of his own land as a memorial to his son, and as a place where local youth could play and enjoy. He spent another 20 years building and developing the land…and today the Park now has 2 baseball fields, soccer field, children’s playground, 4kms of trails, skateboard, basketball, and swimming areas. The Park is run by the Peter Barry Duff Memorial Recreation Commission under the Town of Paradise. A hockey organizer, Hall of Famer, coach, volunteer, teacher, father…congratulations, Glad, our much-deserving 2019-2020 Honorary Renegade!