Lt. Col. John Steele

John Steele

Portrait by Robert Howson

The Dominion of Canada Rifle Association was founded in 1868 to promote and encourage the training of marksmanship throughout Canada. It was started because the British garrisons set-up to protect Canada were being disbanded and they wanted sharp shooting Canadians ready to take up arms and defend our country.  

Lt. Col. John Steele of Guelph became one of the best shots in the British Empire. Approximately 3,000 competitors from Canada, the United States, Britain and Australia would gather each year for this prestigious event at the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association’s competition site in Rockcliffe Ontario.

Steele was an expert with many different firearms but his specialty was the full-bore rifle. He shot distances up to 1000 yards and was the Canadian champion once, second twice and third on another occasion.

His marksmanship also won him the coveted Governor General’s prize. The best competitors from that event were selected to participate on the Canadian Rifle team at Sisley, England. Steele was selected 14 times between 1913 and 1948. The top competitors were awarded the King’s Prize and he won that on three occasions. And he was steady until the end coming second in the King’s prize during his final year of competition in 1948.

Lt. Col. Steele was later elected to the Dominion of Canada Rifle Association Hall of Fame.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Veteran Athlete category – on October 23, 2013