Portrait by Robert Howson
Douglas Brill was at home with a whistle on his hand, skates on his feet and a striped shirt on his back. He was the founding member of the Guelph Hockey Referee’s Association back in 1949. Brill and a few others saw there was a real need for a referees association because, at the time, referees worked strictly on a volunteer basis, and without someone organizing them, games often went unofficiated. It became a 7 night-a-week commitment and a real labour of love. From those humble beginnings Guelph has become a virtual referee and linesman factory for the NHL.
Brill refereed hundreds of games from 1949 to 1965 and was the man who dolled out the assignments for the GHRA from 1949 to 1984 as their assigning secretary.
For his tremendous dedication to the game of hockey he was given the Guelph Minor Hockey Association’s Presidents Award in 1964 and was named a lifetime member in 1972.
Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Athlete and Builder categories – May 6, 1998