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The Chatham Sports Hall of Fame was conceived by a group of local sports enthusiasts who believe in preserving Chatham’s rich sports history.


The Chatham Sports Hall of Fame includes area high schools and all sports. Honoured Members are not only individual athletes, teams and coaches, but anyone who has made a significant contribution to sports in Chatham.

The Chatham Sports Hall of Fame was originally founded in 1982 by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 628. In 1984, the first three Honoured Members, Keith Crummer, Ferguson Jenkins, and Joe Zimmer were inducted. In 1986, Lloyd Davidson, R.S. “Smoke” Reynolds, and Sandra Tewkesbury also became Honoured Members. For the next twelve years the Hall was not active.

In 1998, the Hall of Fame was resurrected by a committee of interested citizens from the community, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 628 and the WISH Centre. The objectives of the Hall are to honour the members of the community for their contribution to sports and to preserve the history of sport in Chatham.


Two initiatives were established – 1) a Board of Directors was mandated to run the affairs of the Chatham Sports Hall of Fame, and 2) the Board of Directors set out to involve the general public in the nomination, selection, and induction process so that it is a total community project.


  1. The Board of Directors consists of eleven members - four members from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 628, four members from the WISH Centre, and three members from the voting membership. 

In 2015, because of a lack of volunteers, the WISH Centre withdrew from the Hall’s Board of Directors leaving four Legion members and seven at large members. Also in 2015, Chatham’s two RCL Branches amalgamated and formed Branch 642. 

In 2021, because of a lack of volunteers, the RCL Branch 642 agreed to reduce their representation on the Board to 2 members. These two members must be members of the Legion. In February of 2024, the constitution was reworded to include “up to fifteen” board of director members to govern the Hall of Fame.


  1. In the spring of 1999, the first election took place by the voting membership to induct four new members into the Hall of Fame, namely Bill Atkinson (Athlete – Modern), Ches Dawson (Athlete – Old-timer), Archie Stirling (Builder), and the 1959-60 Chatham Senior Maroons (Team) were inducted. 

In 2015, a Selection Committee was established from members 

of the voting membership.


In the fall of 1999, the first annual dinner and induction ceremony was held at the WISH Centre with Fergie Jenkins as the guest speaker, who at that time was the only living Honoured Member of the Hall of Fame. 

In 2019, after hosting the annual dinner and induction ceremony at the WISH Centre for 20 years, the board approved moving this signature event to the J.D. Bradley Convention Centre.

Originally the Hall of Fame was housed at the WISH Centre but in 2012, because of a lack of space at the Centre, the Hall’s plaques and display cases were moved to the Chatham Memorial Arena where it resides to this day. The arena is open to the general public free of charge during regular Arena business hours. As of 2023, there are 120 plaques representing the Honoured Members and Teams along with displays of memorabilia.

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