Angus George | Brian Gilmour | Pierre Guindon | Gerry Simpson | Osie F. Villeneuve
Angus Simon "Shine" George
Angus George was among the greatest box lacrosse players in North America at the height of the game’s popularity in the 1930’s and 1940’s. A native of the village of St. Regis on the Akwesasne Mohawk Reserve opposite Cornwall, Angus spent much of his youth in Glengarry County and retained many contacts locally up to his death just short of 82 years old in 1992.
Moreover , he played lacrosse for the Cornwall Island Indians in the early 1930’s in a league that included Alexandria, and he was a hero here before becoming famous elsewhere.
Angus George was born at St. Regis in 1910. It was common practice in former times for Akwesasne families to leave the reserve in winter and spend the season trapping, logging, and making split-wood baskets and axe-handles in a rental bush.
Thus, the George family lived successively through the 1920’s on the Glen Nevis area properties of Jim McRae (13-6 Lancaster), “Little” Allan McDonald (16-7 Lancaster), and Rory Maville (15-5 Lancaster). In the spring, goods were traded door-to-door or sold at regular outlets like the old Macdonell’s general store in St. Raphael’s.
Angus and his brothers and sisters attended school at Glen Nevis, and played hockey and lacrosse locally. His sister Margaret, who died in the mid-1920’s of appendicitis, is buried in the Glen Nevis churchyard.
Angus also ranged over much of the Glengarry County in his period, working in woodlots, fishing and trapping. He acquired and retained into old age a familiarity with the county, not just the highways and sideroads, but the creeks, forests, and swamps, that few, native Glengarrians or others, could equal.
By his late teens, Angus was recognized as one of the leading lacrosse players at Akewsasne. He was a member of the Cornwall Island Indians, which played in a league in the early 1930’s with Alexandria and other area towns.
Saturday night games at the lacrosse box in Alexandria, located in Chisholm Park where the town office and utilities building now stand, were major events. And the excitement was greater- and the crowds bigger- when the Indians came to play the local boys.
Alexandria fielded a talented team. But it was the Indians, and especially the high-scoring line of Louis Sunday, Angus Thomas, and Angus George , that most thrilled the fans. “They were the Gretzky’s of our day,” said the late Alexandria barber “Paddy” McDonald.
His spirited confrontations with Alexandria’s stalwart defenceman, Big Jim Weir, were discussed for years- and laughingly recalled at the Maxville Sportsmen’s Dinner in 1990 by the two old men themselves.
Other guests at that same dinner, who as boys had seen the Indians play in Alexandria a half-century earlier, came up to talk to Angus George, then grey-haired and walking with a cane-and fluttered with excitement at seeing and meeting their boyhood hero.
In the mid-1930’s, Angus went on to play professional box lacrosse in Syracuse, N.Y., and Wilkes-Barre Pa., and in the Vancouver area with the North Shore Indians and Western All-Stars In 1938, he was a member of the Los Angeles Indians in a short-lived southern California lacrosse league.
In 1940, he joined a combined Kahnawake-Akwesasne team in the Quebec league. With the old line of Louis Sunday, Angus Tomas and Angus George reunited, playing home games at the Lachine Arena (and regularly at the Montreal Forum), the Indians dominated the league through much of the decade. Angus played his last lacrosse game, an exhibition match on a field beside The Pines at Oka, Que., in 1963.
After retiring from pro sports, Angus was employed as an iron worker on high steel and other construction projects in Quebec and Ontario (including the St. Lawrence Seaway), New York and Pennsylvania. He also worked as a mason at Akwesasne, made baskets and occasional pieces of furniture, and fished at every opportunity. In the mid 1970’s he was among the former lacrosse stars honored at a Tribute Night in Akwesasne. And in the 1980’s, the street where he lived in St. Regis was renamed Angus George Blvd.
Angus also enjoyed renewing old acquaintances. In Glengarry, these included his former rival Big Jim Weir, and Duncan Macdonell, whose family had owned the general store at St. Raphael’s, and who as a baby had been bounced on Angus’ knee.
Angus was a wonderful raconteur and spun many and varied stories, not just of sports events, but of once walking from Glen Nevis to Hawkesbury to sell muskrat skins, of doing trick falls from a horse in a backlot in Hollywood, of encounters with Glengarry’s game warden, Willy Munro.
He was a guest of honor at the opening of the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame and Sportsmen’s Dinner in Maxville in 1990. Angus George died January 8, 1992, leaving his widow, Lilian, a daughter, Lorraine Montour, and two grandsons, Mark and Hunter. He is buried in St. Lawrence Cemetery, St. Regis, Que.
Throughout his life, Brian Gilmour has achieved many extraordinary accomplishments, both academically and athletically. He has made educating and sports major parts of his life, and has played an important role in the lives of many students and young, aspiring athletes. Growing up in Lancaster and Williamstown, Gilmour was a graduate of Char-Lan District High School, where he was an active athlete. Throughout his high school career, he was part of two championship football teams and four championship basketball teams, not to mention the record he holds in track and field for the triple jump. He also played hockey for the Lancaster Dodgers, and softball for Lancaster, Kingston, Dundas and Ottawa.
Gilmour was offered a hockey scholarship to Boston University in 1963, where he graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in 1967. While at BU, he received many academic and athletic honors, including being on the dean’s list honor roll and the Service Key Award presented to an outstanding senior. He was the first athlete to be elected President of the Scarlet Key University Honor Society and he received the Outstanding Scholar Athlete Award.
Gilmour was also part of two national finalists, he was selected for the All-East Hockey Team in 1966 and 1967 and was an All-American in 1967. He established two records, one for most points by a defenceman in college hockey and another for most assists in a career.
After attending Boston University, he went on to Althouse College of Education, where he graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Education. He went on to McGill University, where he received his Masters of Education.
During his teaching career with the SDG County Board, he coached a total a number of teams, including a host of SDG championship squads, three Eastern Ontario championship teams and one provincial titleist.
Although he was involved in many sports, hockey seemed to be his prime interest. In 1961, Gilmour was drafted by the Canadiens and sent to their junior team. After that, he became an assistant coach for the McMaster University Hockey Team in 1968, following by three years of being the McGill University Hockey Coach in ‘69, ‘ 70, and ‘71. While coaching at McGill, Gilmour was the youngest head coach of a major team in North America, at the age of 23.
In 1970, Gilmour started the Canadian College Hockey Coaches Association, as well as being a co founder of the Huron Hockey Schools with Bill Maloney and Ron Maron in 1971. The hockey schools which annually instruct close to 3,000 players, currently has 273 graduates in the N.H.L. Throughout 1971-74, Gilmour was a scout for the New England Whalers, being responsible for Canadian scouting. In the 1982-83 season, he was the assistant coach for the Cornwall Royals junior hockey club.
Glimour began teaching at St. Patrick’s Jr. High in Galt, Ontario in 1967, where he then went on to be both lecturer and coach at McGill University until 1971. He spent the next seven years teaching Physical and Health Education and Geography at General Vanier Secondary School, followed by another four years at GV being administrative assistant, then became Head of physical education.
In 1982, Gilmour moved on to St. Lawrence High School, where he was vice-principal until 1987. He then became Curriculum Coordinator of Technological Studies and Physical Health Education until 1989, going on to be the Principal of Char-Lan District High School. In 1994, Gilmour left Char-Lan, and he is now working at the alternative school in Cornwall.
Joseph Antoine Pierre-Marie "Pierre" Guindon
Pierre Guindon may have had a short-lived CFL career, but his ability to realize that many professional careers are short enabled him to enjoy the time he had while playing for two different CFL teams. His will and determination to pursue a law degree while playing also reveals the spirit Guindon possesses.
Born and raised in Apple Hill, Guindon and his family moved to Cornwall when he was eight years old. It was there his father Fern involved himself in the oil business. It is the move to Cornwall which set off the series of events which lead Guindon to the brief success he experienced in the CFL.
Once in Cornwall, Guindon attended St. Lawrence Classical College, a private high school. He became interested in football and played in the Quebec College League where St. Lawrence won the league championships in 1964.During his high school career, Guindon played both offensive guard and defensive tackle. Later on, when the solid six-footer played for the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees, Guindon handled the place-kicking duties.
Because the private high school was part of Ottawa University and enabled a student to get a university degree, Guindon transferred to Ottawa U. in 1966, where he played with the Gee-Gees until 1968.
Guindon graduated from the Ottawa U with a Bachelor of Arts in 1968, and in February of the same year, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers made Guindon their first selection in the draft and the first pick overall.
As part of his deal with the Bombers, Guindon agreed to report to training camp if he was accepted into law school at the University Manitoba.
The university accepted him, and he signed a one-year contract with the team, which included a $1,000 signing bonus and an annual salary of $5,500. In his second season, he earned $7, 000. During his two seasons with the Bombers, Guindon led the club in scoring – in 1968 with 68 points, and again in 1969 with 64 points.
Following his second season with the Blue Bombers, he was traded in 1970 to the Montreal Alouettes, where he was released after only a few games. After the release, Guindon returned to the University of Ottawa for his law degree while playing for the Ottawa Sooners. The Sooners were a junior team mixed with seniors, and played in the Ontario Senior Football League. They played against London, Toronto, St. Catharines and a team from Michigan. Guindon also experienced success with the Sooners, as they went on to win the Ontario Rugby Football Union championship.
In 1971, Guindon graduated from the University of Ottawa with a degree in law. He returned to Cornwall in 1975, and is now the senior partner in the law firm Guindon-MacLean-McDonald. He is involved in civil law and is sometimes an active judge in small claims court.
When he retired from football, he didn’t abandon the sport entirely. From 1974 to 1978, Guindon was a color commentator for radio station CJRC, which broadcast the Ottawa Rough Rider games in French. In 1977, he joined Radio Canada, where he was a color commentator during the French telecast of the Grey Cup games.
Although Guindon may be known for his career in football, he is also recognized for hockey. Guindon – a goaltender- received MVP honors in the Cornwall City Jr. B Hockey League in 1964.
Gerald "Gerry" Simpson
If TSN opted to cover the Glengarry Sports scene with a unique program, Gerald J. Simpson would be the anchor with the telecast out of the Shepherd Motors Sports shop. Few other Glengarry could capture the local sports scene and history like the friendly storeman, Gerry. Even fewer can tell a yarn and crank out a story on slow news days. Gerry arrived in the Glengarry sports scene in 1957, finding employment with the local Highways detachment. His first lodging found him in the Glen Sandfield rectory, a guest, along with Ron Wallace, of the late Reverend William Reid. Soon after, Gerry was instrumental in the foundation and establishment of Glen Sandfield’s first senior men’s soccer team and a Saturday afternoon boxing club. It was a passion for soccer, fostered from his early days in England, and a willingness to develop the game in Glengarry that has led to Gerry’s upcoming induction into the hall.
Gerry was a good, versatile soccer player having played matches on club teams throughout Europe before returning to Canada, but his main contribution to the game was in the roles of coach, organizer, manager and administrator. For MacSimpson – as he is fondly referred to – is the father of minor soccer in Alexandria.
Gerry established the first town minor soccer entry, the Alexandria IGA Bantams, in the early 60’s which dominated the Glengarry Soccer League for several seasons. Mr.Simpson went on to establish an Alexandria boy’s soccer minor league program run solely by himself where some 50 boys would meet on a Saturday afternoon to play with Gerry serving as referee, coach and league president. For many boys it was their first exposure to the game. Gerry’s legacy, which is being recognized by the Hall of Fame, will be all those young men who have in turn contributed to the county’s minor soccer programs as coaches, referees and league administrators.
The Alexandria minor soccer programs now boasts more than 300 registered soccer players. In the late 60’s, Carman MacMillan and Gerry Simpson decided it was time to expand the soccer horizons of the local teams and established the Glengarry Stars soccer club which competed in the Ottawa and District League and consisted of various players from throughout the GSL Men’s League. The team marched to league titles in the Third Division and Second Division. After promotion to the First Division, they won the title twice, in 1971 and 1975. The respect for Glengarry soccer was reestablished.
During the 1980’s and 90’s, Gerry continued to coach various Alexandria minor teams, the Alexandria senior men’s team for seven years, and served on the League’s Board of Directors in various capacities including Vice-Chairman. In addition, Gerry served on the Ottawa and District Soccer Association as the Glengarry representative.
More recently, Gerry established the under 19 SD&G Blazers, a team which competes in the Ottawa League and plays their home games out of Alexandria. He recognized the need for our young players to compete against stronger opponents.
In the past several years, Gerry as become an international soccer groupie, traveling throughout the USA for the America Cup and World Cup and already has his tickets for the upcoming European Cup in England. His soccer knowledge and interest has educated many a soccer fan in Glengarry on the international scene. He generously lends out videos of matches he has taped or purchased.
Beyond the summer season Gerry has found a Canadian sport which he quickly took to! From 1965 on Gerry was involved with the Alexandria Minor Hockey Association and in addition he was instrumental in the establishment of the Glens Jr. B. franchise and became their second general manager. Over the past 30 years, Gerry has held various roles on the club from manager to coach and other administrative duties. In that stint the club has claimed four St. Lawrence Valley championships. As a minor hockey manager, and again teaming up with Carman MacMillan, the tandem led the Alexandria Midgets to the ODHA crown in 1967.
Just to make sure the boys had no time to be on the street during the summer afternoons, Gerry established the Boys’ Baseball League in 1968 for the Alexandria youth. In addition, he fielded a competitive team in the Cornwall Baseball League, called the Alexandria Blues.
In reflection, Gerry said it was the late Father Charles Gauthier who encouraged his participation in minor soccer and Alex Dapratto who recruited his coaching services for the minor hockey program in Alexandria. He is grateful for their active recruiting. “I have had a the opportunity to work with some good young kids, and enjoyed every minute of it,” reports Gerry. “In coaching all those sports I was really a jack of all trades but master of none.”
Born in the harbor city of Sarnia in 1928, Gerry deserves a spot on the sideline as the local critic – a role he occasionally enjoys, but his threats to retire are just that. Last summer Gerry coached two soccer clubs and assisted in the running of a third minor team. In addition he has the daunting task of keeping the Shepherd Bros. on the job and planning for his upcoming televison premiere on TSN – Getting A Kick Out Of Life.
As Gerry’s good friend and fellow Hall-of-Famer, the late Gerald MacDonald would say, “I’ve been around the world from Vinegar City to Breadalbane and I never met a man like him!” There are in a countless number of Glengarry youths who have benefitted from Gerry’s volunteer efforts and who were very fortunate to have crossed paths with this affable sportsman.
From an article in The Glengarry News by Margaret Caldbick, February 23, 2011
Gerry Simpson didn’t want a funeral. Instead, he asked that his passing be celebrated, and a celebration it certainly was on Saturday when over 130 people, some travelling from Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, gathered at the Glengarry Sports Palace to reminisce about MacSimpson, as Gerry was affectionately known, “the father of junior soccer in Alexandria.” Gerry Simpson, a lifelong bachelor, died at Glengarry Memorial Hospital on February 5, 2011 at the age of 82.
Ernie MacMillan shared memories of Gerry’s early years and the many teams in many sports that Gerry would coach or manage or help or support over the next fifty years. “Gerry loved team sports, especially soccer, he loved the competition, the team spirit, the camaraderie, the excitement and the drama. Hundreds of young players will go on with sports involvement because of Gerry.”
Bruce MacCuaig first met Gerry in 1962 also spoke. “He did so much for so many kids in Alexandria and indeed in all Glengarry. He brought a lot of dreams here and coached many kids who might have had no chance to play sports otherwise.”
Saturday’s memorial included a large display area created by Ann McMillan and Laurie Filion consisting of hundreds of memorabilia items, most of them from Mr. Simpson’s room at The Foyer in Alexandria. Those who visited Mr. Simpson at his apartment in the residence recall that it was a small museum dedicated to youth sport in Alexandria and to Gerry’s favourite soccer team, Brazil.
Glen McMillan made sure to bring along some quotes from Gerry that filled the room with laughter. To end off, here are a few of them. Asked how the Glens game went,” “Garbage Glen -- garbage!” “Good run McCormick, good run -- next time, take the ball with you.” Asked how a player did: “Glen, like a kite in a wind storm,” or “Oh terrible -- like a bus out of control.”
Osias F. Villeneuve
As an athlete, builder in the field of sports and community leader, Osie F. Villeneuve richly deserves the recognition being accorded him posthumously by the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame. Born June 28, 1906, he was the son or Mr. and Mrs. Frank Villeneuve. He was educated at Maxville Public School and district high schools. Like his father, he became a drover or dealer in cattle, giving up this business when he entered provincial politics.
As a young man, Osie was a fullback on the Maxville soccer team which won the Glengarry championship in 1922. Also, he played hockey on a team dubbed the “Ragged Pants Six” on an outdoor rink which was located just west of the Maxville CNR Station. By the early 1930’s, Maxville was producing so many good hockey players that community leaders decided to build a covered arena. Osie, and other sports-minded village residents, jumped into the cause. And the Jubilee Rink rose despite the Great Depression.
From that effort, he moved on to coach the Maxville Millionaires in 1939 and 1937 and to manage them in 1938, 1939, and 1940. Those were the glory days of a homebrew team that won the Citizen Shield as Eastern Ontario Intermediate champions three times over a span of four years. Crowds of up to 1,600 were common in that age, before television. Some thought the best seats were up in the wood-laminated rafters.
It was in the early 1930’s also that politics beckoned Osie. He served on Maxville village council from 1934 through 1938, served on the Maxville School Board in the early 1940’s, and took his first plunge into provincial politics in 1945. He was defeated, but emerged as reeve of Maxville in 1948. Later that same year he ran again under the provincial Conservative ticket. He won and was re-elected in 1951 and 1955. In 1957 he resigned his provincial seat and was elected federal MP for Glengarry Prescott, remaining in federal politics until 1962. A year later he was back in provincial harness; he was re-elected in 1967, 1971, 1975, 1977, and 1981.
He served on many committees and was a strong voice for local farmers. He was dean of the Ontario Legislature, its longest serving member, when he died suddenly of a heart attack on September 25, 1983. It is ironic he was being honored at a testimonial dinner in a Toronto hotel at the time of his death.
With the old Jubilee Rink condemned, Osie was a prime mover and shaker in securing grants toward construction of the Maxville and District Sports Complex. The arena part of the complex is named in his honor.
Osie married Alma MacLeod of Maxville on October 20, 1930. It was a marriage linking all the best of the French and Scottish cultures, which was to prove beneficial to the couple and the community. Alma, now a resident of Maxville Manor, ran Osie’s local constituency office, drove him to meetings when he was tired and campaigned actively on his behalf. Their three sons are Ronald, Bernard (F.B.) and Brian.
Osie served as president of Kenyon Agricultural Society from 1946 to 1948 and was a founding member of the Glengarry Highland Games organizing committee in 1948. He belonged to Maxville Lions Club and Maxville Curling Club.
His sons confide that although he never played baseball, he was a great fan of the game. He began following the Detroit Tigers while working in the Motor City in the 1920’s. He switched allegiance to the Montreal Expos, however, after they were granted a franchise. He attended every game he could get to in Montreal.