Born in Charlottetown on June 11, 1923, Earl Frederick Smith would become one of the greatest all-round athletes developed on Prince Edward Island. Smith would win an unequaled 38 provincial championships (and one Maritime championship) in nine different sports in five different decades.
The Earl Smith record is impressive, approached sport by sport. At the 1956 Maritime Bowling Championships, despite a painful hand injury, Earl would set a Maritime record with a 1042 high triple, rolling games of 332, 343 and 367. He would also capture the high triple and high average at the 1957 Maritime Championships.
In 1945, Earl Smith pitched for the Charlottetown team which defeated Summerside for the provincial softball championship.
In badminton, he would win five singles titles (1956, 59,60,61,63)and be part of two provincial double championship teams (1959,60). He was also coach of the team at the 1979 Canada Winter Games held in Brandon, Manitoba.
On the tennis court, Earl would win two provincial single titles (1949 and 1950) and be part of the 1953 mixed doubles champion team, as well as the 1949, 1950 and 1951 provincial doubles championship teams. He was a four-time runner-up in singles and between 1945-1953 he won 13 tennis tournaments.
Winner of the 1947 and the 1967 provincial billiards titles, Earl would also win the provincial table tennis singles title in 1966, enabling him to represent P.E.I. at the first Canada Winter Games, held in Quebec City in 1967.
A member of the 1949 P.E.I. volleyball champions from Summerside, Earl would achieve even greater success in basketball, winning a provincial title in 1949, and several league individual scoring titles, as well as playing with an Island All-Star squad against the legendary Harlem Globetrotters in Summerside on October 26, 1953.
Well known in Canadian boxing circles, Earl Smith has officiated in many major cities across the country as an amateur boxing judge and in 1974 was classed as an international boxing judge capable of judging amateur boxing anywhere in the world.
Vice-President of the Canadian Amateur Boxing Association from 1974 to 1977, Earl would become the first Islander inducted into the Canadian Boxing Hall of Fame in 1973. In 1974 he would be selected to manage the Canadian team at the fourth International Amateur Boxing Championships, held in Holland.
In total, Earl spent over 50 years of his life in boxing.
Among Earl’s golfing achievements, he represented P.E.I. five times at he Canadian Senior Championship (1978-80-82-84-85). At the 1984 Seniors, “Smitty” would finish in a tie for 15th among the nation’s top golfers, winning a plaque for top net score in his age group (60-64). The 1972 champion at the annual Belvedere Pro’s Tournament, Earl would pair up with son Dylan to win the Island Father and Son Tournament in 1980 and 1983.
In total he won 10 badminton titles, 7 golf, 6 tennis, 6 basketball, 3 table tennis, 2 bowling, 2 billiards, 1 volleyball, and 1 softball.
A man literally driven to succeed, despite any injuries or setbacks, Earl Smith embodies the intense fire and desire of the Hall of Fame athlete. No man has savored this moment more deeply than he, no man has cherished this ultimate prize of Island sport more proudly than he.
Earl Smith passed away on February 16, 2008. He was 84 years old.
Updated: February 2008
Updated: October 2015
File Contains: Canadian Boxing Hall Of Fame patch; board composites including photos; biography; 1975 Canadian Amateur Boxing ribbon; photocopied press cuttings; tennis trophy 1946 (on display);