July 8, 1867 marked the 150th anniversary of the Paris Crew’s astonishing victory at the World Rowing Championship in Paris, France. Their win, just seven days after Confederation, made the New Brunswick based rowers the first Canadians to win an international sporting event. The “Saint John Four” overcame remarkable odds to defeat the much better trained and equipped Oxford University crew and by doing so became Canada’s, and New Brunswick’s, first sports heroes. The crew was comprised of Elijah Ross, George Price, Samuel Hutton, Robert Fulton –three fishermen and a lighthouse keeper. In celebration of this significant historical event, the NB Sports Hall of Fame (NBSHF) spearheaded the delivery of initiatives to commemorate this 150th anniversary.
The New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame undertook various commemorations activities to tell the story of the Paris Crew; including:
- On site exhibition featuring numerous artefacts pertaining to the Paris Crew story and the history of rowing in New Brunswick
- The development of a portable traveling exhibit that was featured at notable community events across the province
- Three 20 minute vignettes performed in front of the NBSHF and other communities chronicling the story of the Paris Crew
- A re-enactment that was staged on the Saint John River on July 8 2017, the 150th anniversary of the Paris Crew’s victory
In order to carry out our Paris Crew project, we graciously received funding from the the Government of New Brunswick Commemorations Fund, International Sports Heritage Association Exhibit Grant, the Canada Heritage Community Stories Grant, and the City of Fredericton.
The New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame increased awareness and exposure of the 150th anniversary of the Paris Crew through heightened online presence, social media, grass-roots communications and engagement with local media. Through the Community Stories Program, the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame will further increase awareness of the Paris Crew anniversary through the online exhibit entitled The Pairs Crew of Saint John, New Brunswick: Canada’s First International Sports Heroes.
At the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, our mission is to preserve and celebrate our sports heritage to inspire greatness. Our vision is to honour the best and inspire the rest. For more information please visit us at http://nbsportshalloffame.com/, like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NBSportsHallofFame/, or follow us on Twitter @ NBSHF.
The New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame is thrilled to announce that the various activities held throughout the summer of 2017 have reached over 11,850 people, to date.