Aurora Sports Hall of Fame Continues Educator’s Legacy November 8, 2016

(AURORA, ON) November 7, 2016 – The Norm Johnson Hall of Education has officially opened in the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) at the Stronach Arena & Recreational Complex (SARC).

In October, ASHOF initiated a contest to name the new Hall of Education. The Norm Johnson Hall of Education was recently approved by the ASHOF Board of Governors and they dedicated it to Aurora’s youth.

“It was an easy decision to nominate Norm Johnson for the Education Hall’s naming,” said Bob McRoberts, Chair of the ASHOF Collections Committee and member of the ASHOF Board of Governors. “Having been an athlete as a student, followed by a 40-year career in education as a teacher and principal, and coaching sports teams for most of those years, Norm’s contribution to sport in Aurora is worthy of such recognition.  A key step to being inspired is being aware.  Hopefully, this tribute will provide inspiration to sport participants and educators in future generations of Aurorans.”

Born in 1897, Norman Francis Johnson grew up on a farm along Bathurst Street just outside Aurora.  He attended Snowball Public School, Aurora High School (now Dr. Williams Secondary School), and the University of Toronto.

Throughout his life he demonstrated a keen interest in sport. As a high school student, attending Aurora’s first high school building on Wells Street, he played soccer and basketball.  In 1914, his basketball team won the county championship. At university, he played on a soccer team that won the intercollegiate championship in 1920, in addition to receiving a Bachelor of Science degree with a focus in Engineering.

Norm and his wife, Ada, were married in 1923 and moved into their home on Connaught Ave. in Aurora.  The following year, he became a science and physical education teacher at Aurora High School.  He went on to coach a multitude of teams and won numerous championships in basketball, soccer, and track & field.  The majority of old team photos at Dr. Williams Secondary School show him as the coach.  In 1958, he became principal of the school.  He retired in 1963 as a highly respected educator.

In addition to teaching and coaching, he served in both World Wars.

“A teacher’s goal is to inspire life-long learning,” said Ron Weese, President, Aurora Sports Hall of Fame. “It’s very fitting that ASHOF celebrates the accomplishments of Norm Johnson, an Auroran educator with four decades of sport history, as the person to help us inspire physical literacy and engage people of all ages about Aurora’s sport culture and heritage now and into the future.”

The newly-located ASHOF entailed the services of exhibit coordinator Michelle Johnson with Aurora Museum and Archives. The Norm Johnson Hall of Education will provide a permanent place to view the Photo Essay Contest winners and Future Hall of Famers in addition to providing ample space to display content related to physical literacy and athletic excellence.  Other new elements for the expanded Aurora Sports Hall of Fame include an interactive wall, inductee profiles, artifacts and an expanded sport heritage display.

About the Aurora Sports Hall of Fame

The Aurora Sports Hall of Fame was established in November 2013 by Sport Aurora with the financial support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Aurora Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) is a celebration of sport history and excellence, dedicated to the recognition of the important place that sport has assumed within the fabric of Aurora. Every person who values the contribution of sport to our Community and Country is a part of that commemoration.


For more information, contact:
Carol Gravelle, or (416) 427-9795