Canada's Sports Hall of Fame Canadian History and Society: Through the Lens of Sport Virtual Museum of Canada


If there is one person who exemplifies the value of sheer hard work mixed with a progressive, forward-thinking determination, that person was Daryl 'Doc' Seaman.

Growing up in the depression, Seaman developed one essential attitude: it takes hard work and long hours - 'dawn until dark' - to create success. Seaman joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1941 and with this natural aptitude for hard work, soon proved to be an outstanding leader, commanding men more senior in years. As is so often the case with talented people, the greater capabilities Seaman demonstrated the more dangerous his missions became. On one mission, Seaman's plane was hit, killing the pilot and badly injuring Seaman's leg. As the only pilot left on the plane, Seaman had no choice but to fly the damaged plane with his shattered leg. Unable to move very well, the crew tied his leg to the rudder and he gradually guided the plane back to safety; a moment of immense bravery for which the whole crew earned a Citation from the French Government.

Equipped with his 'depression-inspired' work ethic and his wartime service, it was only natural that Seaman would grow a business from the ground up. By 1949, he and his brothers had graduated as mechanical engineers and started their own company, Bow Valley Industries that when he sold it in 1992 was Canada's largest financial transaction at the time. Seaman was also driven by both a love of community and a love of sport and he was a driving force in bringing professional hockey to Calgary when he bought the Calgary Flames and became the founding Governor of the Hockey Canada Foundation. He also served as Governor of the Olympic Trust of Canada and was part of the drive that brought the 1988 Olympic Winter Games to Calgary.

Applying the same approaches that served him in the military and in business, Seaman believed that work was never finished, it was always in progress. As a result, he never officially retired. It was critical, he believed to be intellectually and physically challenged as often as possible not just for its own sake but in order to have fun!

Photograph of Daryl Seaman on horseback
Daryl 'Doc' Seaman was a well-respected business man and philanthropist. He was known for giving his time, money and effort to many charitable efforts. Yet he remained a humble man who preferred action to talk and through his actions benefited his community and the country
Collection: Bob Seaman Family

group of six military medals
Seaman flew 82 combat missions over Italy and North Africa during World War Two as a sub-hunting pilot. His medal group included the 39-45 Star, the Africa Star, the Italy Star and the 39-45 War Medal, testifying to his outstanding service and ability as a pilot.
Collection: Bob Seaman Family

brown leather doctor's bag
Daryl Seaman played amateur baseball in his youth. He carried his sports equipment in an old, much used doctor's bag, which gave him his nickname 'Doc'. He was a life-long advocate for sport on both the amateur and professional level. His strong sense of community led him to create the Seaman-Hotchkiss Foundation, a charitable organization that seeks to improve all aspects of hockey across Canada.
Collection: Bob Seaman Family

Photograph of Daryl Seaman standing beside an airplane
Daryl Seaman was known as an outstanding leader, starting with his military career in World War Two and continuing throughout his life. As an owner of the Calgary Flames he often visited the team locker room and provided encouragement to the players. His mentoring of the team was inspirational to the players.
Collection: Bob Seaman Family

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