Angus Simon George
Year Inducted: 1995
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.
He was a guest of honor at the opening of the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame and Sportsmen’s Dinner in Maxville in 1990.
And now, in 1995, he is one of five notable athletes to be honored Wed., August 30, at the Williamstown Arena with induction into the Hall of Fame itself .
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.
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.