IAAPA Inducts Industry Leaders into Hall of Fame:
John P.C. Collins, Frederick W. Pearce Sr., and Wally Boag and Betty Taylor
(Nov. 15, 2011) – Today the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) inducted John P. C. Collins, Frederick W. Pearce, Sr., and performance duo Wally Boag and Betty Taylor into the IAAPA Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame honors legends and pioneers for their significant and lasting contributions to the worldwide attractions industry. The awards were presented Tuesday, Nov. 15 during the Kickoff Event for IAAPA Attractions Expo 2011 annual conference and trade show in Orlando, Florida.
“IAAPA is both happy and honored to induct John Collins, Frederick Pearce, and Wally Boag and Betty Taylor into the Hall of Fame for their amazing leadership, vision, and talent. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are innovators, entrepreneurs, and performers whose work has greatly shaped the attractions industry in positive ways,” said Tim O’Brien 2011, chairman of the IAAPA Hall of Fame and Archives Committee and vice president of communications at Ripley Entertainment. “They helped build businesses, improved amusement ride safety while forwarding family entertainment, and developed theatrical techniques that still set the standard for entertainers worldwide. This year’s Hall of Fame class inspired future industry leaders around the globe while achieving great success in their own rights.”
Industry Leader: John P.C. Collins, John Collins Leisure, United Kingdom
John Collins is an internationally respected icon and attractions industry leader with 30 years of experience. He started in the industry as a young man assisting his father, who was a well-known traveling showman. Following the purchase of a small amusement park in partnership with his brother, Collins used his talents to develop Barry Island Pleasure Park into one of Wales’ leading visitor attractions. His expertise was recognized by the Tussauds Group, and following the sale of Barry Island, Collins joined the company in a senior role to assist in the development of a number of visitor attractions, including Port Aventura in Spain and Chessington World of Adventures in the United Kingdom. His reputation as a loyal, honest, and conscientious individual has been recognized throughout the world. His efforts have been at the forefront of visitor attraction development in the UK, Spain, and Portugal. His expertise and knowledge of the important role public confidence would play in the development of theme and amusement parks led him to be instrumental in the creation of Health & Safety Groups in Britain. These groups continue to play a major role in maintaining a high standard of safety exercised by the industry today. Collins served 22 years as a committee member on the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers, and Attractions (BALPPA), and has twice held the position of chairman. He also served as chairman of IAAPA in 2003.
Industry Pioneer: Frederick W. Pearce, Sr., F.W. Pearce Company, USA
Fred Pearce (nicknamed “King of the Roller Coaster”) has had an incredible influence on the amusement parks and attractions industry. During his more than 50 years in the business he erected 27 roller coasters. When he built the Excelsior Amusement Park in 1925, he also had an interest in or owned parks throughout the United States in Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Connecticut, Colorado, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Texas. Pearce is credited with pioneering the use of pressure-treated creosoted lumber for coasters to protect them from decay over time. This major advancement reduced maintenance costs to a minimum and added to the structure’s stability. Pearce was a founder of IAAPA and served as the association’s president in 1928. Fred Pearce passed away Aug. 9, 1958, at the age of 73.
Legendary Entertainers: Wally Boag and Betty Taylor, Disneyland, USA
In 1955, Wally Boag won the role of Pecos Bill in Disneyland’s Golden Horseshow Revue, and five days a week for 27 years he blasted audiences with squirt guns, spit out a mouthful of “teeth,” and sculpted whimsical animals from balloons. Through his years as a comedic actor, Wally appeared on television shows such as “The Mickey Mouse Club,” “Disneyland,” and “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color.” He also was featured in several movies including “The Absent Minded Professor,” “Son of Flubber,” and “The Love Bug.” Betty Taylor began to perform at age 12 when she was in a stage production in Vancouver, British Columbia. Disney hired Taylor in 1956 to play the vivacious Sluefoot Sue, Pecos Bill’s sweetheart in the Golden Horseshow Revue. For 31 years she entertained nearly 10 million guests as the spunky leader of a Western dance hall troupe. Together Wally Boag and Betty Taylor appeared in more than 40,000 performances. The pair set the standard for theatrical professionalism that continues to inspire the entertainment industry today. Their talent gave audiences a truly unique experience with every performance. In 1995, Disneyland’s Golden Horseshow Revue was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest running stage production in show business history. Boag and Taylor passed away within one day of each other on June 3 and June 4 of this year at age 90 and 91, respectively.
About the IAAPA Hall of Fame
The IAAPA Hall of Fame was established in 1990 to celebrate outstanding achievements and contributions to the growth and development of the amusement parks and attractions industry; an industry that, like few others, depends on the imaginations, talents, and vision of its dream builders.
Since that time, dozens of industry pioneers have been honored, including: Walt Disney (Walt Disney Company); Milton Hershey (Hersheypark); Bob Rogers (BRC Imagination); Will Koch (Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari); Bo Kinntorph (Liseberg); Franz Mack (Mack Rides/Europa-Park); George Millay (Wet ‘n Wild); Jay Stein (Universal Studios Florida); Geoffrey Thompson (Blackpool Pleasure Beach); and Antonio Zamperla (Zamperla).
The IAAPA Hall of Fame inductees are not chosen by virtue of their personal success alone, but rather for significant contributions to the entire industry, their community, and the world.
IAAPA is the premier trade association for the attractions industry worldwide. Founded in 1918, IAAPA is the largest international trade association for permanently situated amusement facilities and attractions, and is dedicated to the preservation and prosperity of the attractions industry. The association’s global headquarters is in Alexandria, Virginia, United States and it maintains regional offices in Brussels, Mexico City, and Hong Kong. www.IAAPA.org
Editors Note: Photos of inductees can be downloaded at www.IAAPA.org/expos/attractions/2011/press/ImagesandLogos2011.asp.
Press Office: +1 703/299-5127
Colleen Mangone: cmangone@IAAPA.org
David Mandt: dmandt@IAAPA.org