Samuel J. McLeod
Samuel J. McLeod was born on the 8th Concession, Lancaster Township on the sixth generation McLeod dairy farm. His early farming experience, his sports activities at St. Margaret’s Parish School and hockey and lacrosse at Glen Nevis prepared him to compete athletically at the college level.
After graduation from Upper School at St. Margaret’s, McLeod attended the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC). At OAC, he participated in track and field, boxing and wrestling. McLeod was a member of the OAC boxing, wrestling and fencing (BWF) team from 1938 to 1940. He is described by two contemporary teammates as “a small and strong, friendly but competitive runt.” His fighting weight was 86 lbs. In intercollegiate competition against the University of Western Ontario, McMaster, Toronto and McGill, OAC won the BWF title in 1939. McLeod won the Gold Glove as a member of that team.
In 1940, McLeod was one of only two OAC wrestlers to win his bout at a university meet in Rochester, N.Y. At the 1940 BWF championships at McGill, he reached the finals in the 100-lb. wrestling class. In his graduation year, McLeod won the prestigious OAC Athletic Award (sweater and university letter) as the top athlete. Graduation from Guelph in 1940. Enlisting in the RCAF Bomber Ferry Command ended his boxing and wrestling career. After World War II, McLeod played first base for the Martintown softball team in a league which also included Apple Hill, Finch, Lancaster and Bainsville. He retired from the sport after breaking his leg in the early 50's.
He maintained a keen interest in sports at the school level as a longtime school board trustee. He was also involved in having Glengarry Farmers Mutual Insurance (of which he is past president and a veteran director) sponsor the Scottish heavy events at the annual Glengarry Highland Games.
Sam and his wife, Penny, have five children - Hugh, Rod, Jim, Sammy and Marlene. McLeod received the Harry Paikin plaque as the top school trustee in 1991. The Lancaster school has been renamed the S.J. McLeod Public School in his honor. In the spring of 1997, McLeod was inducted into the Glengarry Farmers Hall of Fame.
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