Born in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Bob Dawson, an all-round athlete, excelled in baseball, basketball and hockey. On the latter, he was the “first black” in 1967 to play in what was then the Atlantic Intercollegiate Hockey League (AIHL) with Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.
Rather than pursing a career in hockey, Bob went on to Dalhousie University where he graduated in 1973 with a Masters Degree in Social Work. After graduating, he joined the Public Service Commission of Canada, an agency in the federal Public Service, where he was tasked with the important responsibility of establishing and managing the “Black Employment Program”, which was intended to improve the representation of blacks in federal government departments in Nova Scotia.
When not working, Bob played in the Halifax Intermediate Hockey League with Speedy Print where he was selected a First Team All-Star in 1978-1979. He also played in the Nova Scotia Senior Hockey League for the Truro Bearcats and was regarded as one of the top defensemen in the league.
Bob continues his passion for hockey and plays in the Ottawa Senior and Kanata Masters Hockey Leagues. He is a member of the Ottawa Independent Writers and the North American Society for Sport History. In addition, Bob is on the Executive Board of SONAHHR as well as the organization’s Black Ice Project. He is also one of the founding members of the Black Ice Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame Conference in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.
Bob serves as a “family advisor” to aspiring black hockey players and is available as a consultant in the areas of diversity and inclusion, community development and sport, and black hockey history.