Alexandria Lacrosse Team | Henry Dumouchel | Clarence MacGregor | John D. MacLeod | Gordon MacNeil | John Sandilands
1913 Alexandria Lacrosse Team
In 1913 the Alexandria lacrosse team defeated Ottawa in the Eastern Ontario finals. An Ontario championship was arranged between Brampton, the Western Ontario champions, and Alexandria.
Neither club had the necessary funds for travelling expenses so the home and home total goals series had to be cancelled.
That Alexandria club of 1913 has been inducted in to the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame to share a niche with the Martintown tug-of-war 1924 champions of Eastern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritimes. In the wings waiting their induction turn is the Williamstown Hockey Club, 1912 and the Alexandria team also of 1913.
Members of the Alexandria Lacrosse Club 1913 Lower Ottawa Valley champions are: John McIntosh, brother of Dr.D. D. McIntosh; John ‘Danny Kenneth’ McDonald; Archie McPhee, later Dr. McPhee, Killaloe; George McKinnon, the McKinnons lived on Harrison Street; Gordon ‘Donald Roy’ McDonald; Hugh Allan Gauthier, brother of Father Gauthier; Donald John ‘Little Archie’ McMillan. Edgar McRae, Glengarry ag-rep; Jim McCaffrey, Ottawa-Alexandria; Joe Marcoux, later Marcoux and Gagnier; Alex Cameron, later Father Cameron; George ‘Zic McIsassc’ McDonald; George Robinson, grand uncle Brookes Robinson, Baltimore Orioles and U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, N.Y.; Joe Grant, uncle of Mrs. Helen Kaufmann and Marguerite Seger; Neil McCormick later Father McCormick. Charlie Gauthier, coach, later Father Gauthier; Felix DaPrato, manager, grandfather of Allan DaPrato and Mrs. Ken Oma; Dave Courville, comm. hardware merchant; D.A. Grant father of Rae MacCulloch and Sybil Cameron; Dr. J. T. Hope, honorary president, Alexandria’s ‘Country Dr.’ and all round sportsman. Among the many next-of-kin are Jim Graham and Mrs. Doug Baxter; F. Massey, bank manager and president; Dean Rowe, comm. Scheels Mfg.; Eddie McGillivray, secretary and noted sportsman.
The Glengarry News in front page reporting of the Ottawa-Alexandria series related that on Saturday, September 5, 1913, a special train conveyed Glengarry lacrosse fans to Ottawa by the hundreds. Ottawa won the first game 3-2 but the Alexandria players were neither out-played nor out-classed by the strong Ottawa team led by Cecil Duncan. Prominent for Alexandria was Alex Cameron, Joe Marcoux and Dr. Tallon (Cornwall import allowed).
In the return game at the Alexandria Fairgrounds (opposite the Monastery) Alexandria held Ottawa scoreless mainly due to superb goalkeeping by Jim McCaffrey, winning the game 2-0 and the round 4-3.
Playing with Alexandria juniors the next year the team met with an unfortunate incident in the playoffs with Finch while Winchester and Metcalfe were settling their semi-finals round. Henry and his Alexandria team defeated Finch in the seven game series earning the right to the league final, ODHA officials noted that Alexandria inadverently omitted filing Jim Maville’s playing card hence the team was disqualified. But Henry’s disappointment didn’t end with that error. Henry was chosen along with Kent MacSweyn and Claude Lanthier to play with Finch in the league final. But again the offcials ruled the three players ineligible due to the previous suspension.
Henry Dumouchel played box lacrosse the “pickup” brand with the youth of his era which is another example of his interest both as a player and organizer of athletics.
When broomball became a popular winter recreational sport again Henry was in the forefront among the Alexandria leaders. The next winter when Gerald McDonald entered his Greenfield team in the Cornwall City League, Henry played with Greenfield.
The closest Henry Dumouchel got to his favorite game of football was to play “touch football.” He helped to organize a four-team league and played with Alexandria. The other clubs were Williamstown, North Lancaster and Lochiel. Tow years later Alexandria folded the were replaced by Loch Garry.
As a result of Henry Dumouchel’s skills leadership and intense interest in sport activities he was appointed sports officer to the local Col. A. G. F. Macdonald Canadian cluded in particular table tennis, shuffleboard and horseshoe pitching tournaments.
Since 1983 it has been back to hockey again as an organizer and player, too, donning the blades after an absence of 15 years. Henry organized the area Old Timers’ Hockey League comprising six teams six years ago. They play every Saturday in the Maxville and District Osie Villeneuve Arena. Among the reasons Henry Dumouchel has played a leading role in Glengarry’s realm of sport is heredity. His grandfather Sandy Dougall McMillian in the pioneer era of Glengarry football, now soccer.
Gordon McNeil, son of Peter McNeil, was born on the family homestead located south-east of Branch Corners now the area of Kraft cheese factory. The McNeils are direct descendants of Sir John Johnston one of the founders of Mill Town later named Williamstown.
Much of Gordon’s success is due to heredity. His father Peter McNeil, in 1916, travelled to Scotland and bought a Clydesdale horse for breeding exclusively by the United Farmers of Glengarry. In England he also bought a Hackney stud to improve his own stock of show horses. That was evidence of Peter McNeil’s judgement of horses on the hoof. Son Gordon absorbed the knowledge and added his own skills thus becoming one of the masters in the show ring.
Gordon recalls in al interesting interview of the McNeils pioneer travels to Ormstown and Ottawa fairs. The team of Hackneys, buggy, harness and tack room supplies were loaded on the scow (barge) “Chaffee” at South Lancaster wharf. By tug boat to Valleyfield and then the drive to Ormstown.
George Shepherd, Gary and Rodney’s grandfather, Alexandria station agent, arranged a cattle car at the local stockyard siding. Along with the McNeil horses and equirement they loaded the Cumming, Glen Gordon and Jack Thompson, Bainsville, show cattle, then by way freight to Bank Street yards and the few blocks to Lansdowne Fairgrounds.
Despite his boyish age, six, by this time Gordon McNeil was showing the first ritual signs of driving a pony in a show ring. So much so that his father bought pony “Nellie,” harness, buggy and cutter, from Jack McArthur, Lancaster, Jim’s father. The McNeils were then off to the Avonmore Fair and Gordon that evening proudly came home with his first “red” ribbon.
Again using that ancient sport cliche, “From that day on Gordon McNeil never looked back.” As a teenager and in maturity he drove in fair rings at home, Willaimstown, Alexandria, Maxville, Avonmore and moving on to top class competition in Ormstown, Lachute, Ottawa and the Royal in Toronto.
Distinctly recalling a Lachute Fair we attended way back about 1946 we asked Gordon why was he late that afternoon driving into the show ring just as the final call was made over the p.a. system. He leaned back in his chair and chuckled heirtily. And then told us a “horse tracing” story that is unique in equestrian sport history. “I knew my horse Clementine would be out-classed by “Red” McEwen’s horse from Russell,” Gordon told us and continued, “But I noticed as McEwen drove away from the barn that, in my judgement, he left his best horse in the stable.” I ripped the harness off my horse, hitched “Red” McEwen’s other horse to my buggy and that delay caused me to be alone too late.” My horse and Red’s looked alike and Red didn’t notice me driving his horse. The judge signalled me out first, pinned the red ribbon on the bridle and I drove back to the barn. McEwen’s other horse was classed third. When he discovered on his return to the barn that my judgement of horses was better than his, he was furious. However,” Gordon concluded, “After a couple of drinks of rye our friendship and rivalry was restored.”
Gordon McNeil was among the horseman competing at the Kenyon Agriculture Society’s centennial exhibition in Maxville this year. His reinsman record extends from 1916, age six, to 1989, his 79th year – a period of 73 years, A record that extends far beyond the Glens of Glengarry.
After graduating from public school, S.S. 14, Charlottenburgh, John Sandilands attended the village high school where, in addition to matriculation studies, he was taught the basic fundamentals of hockey, football, basketball and track and field. His tutor was Glengarry Hall of Fame member “Wellie” Barrett, who was for many years, the principal of that historic seat of learning, Williamstown High School.
John William Sandilands embarked on a teaching career following his graduation from Ottawa’s Normal School. Like many of his pioneer predecessors, his first teaching assignment was in a concession public school. This was in Lochiel and it was logical that he would join the football (now soccer) team that played their home games on the Father Gauthier field beside St. Alexander’s church just a jog west of Quigley’s.
He next taught and played football closer to home at Glen Gordon. John recalls that Glen Gordon was eliminated that year by Greenfield in the Glengarry finals.
From Glen Gordon, John Sandilands spent four and a half years in the RCAF and RAF air crew, taught two years in Lancaster, seven terms in Simcoe, tow in Malartic and, in the role of principal, 26 years at the combined high school, St. Hubert, Que.
During all those years, John Sandilands was active in the realm of sport. He excelled in curling where he was highly rated among the masters of the “stane and the broom” in the dual role of skip and as an executive member.
Apart from curling in all branch events for the St. Hubert curling club, John Sandilands was a member of the Canada vs. U.S. team five times in the Cordons International bonspiels. However, among his cherished curling memories is twice winning the prestigious Edinburgh Trophy and the Tri Service competition three times.
In mixed curling, John Sandilands played and won in area bonspiels at Loraine, S. Sauveur (twice), St. John, Belaire, Otterburn, St. Hubert (twice), Longue Pointe, St. Lambert, St. Bruno, Lancaster and South Shore.
Among the many other bonspiels, John Sandilands vividly recalls the men’s competitions at the Alexandria Moose, Lancaster Fisherman’s (twice), St. Hubert, St. Bruno, and the seniors at Smiths Falls, Glenmore and St. Hubert. Add Quebec Seniors championship three times, Quebec City (twice) and Asbestos.
After retiring and returning home to Lancaster, John Sandilands competed with the Lancaster Legion Branch team six times.
In addition to his curling awards over the years, John Sandilands competed an equally distinguished education career. He was a reserve Cadet Officer for seven years and during that time founded the St. Hubert Air Cadet squadron. He is a life member of P.Q. Retired Teachers Association; member of Quebec Association School Administrators, and he served a term as president, received the Distinguished Service Award in 1978, served on Comite du Plan under the ministry of education, he was a past president of the South Shore Principal’s Association, he was a past president of the interscholastic Athletic Association, and a summer school instructor at Bishop’s U. for seven years.
John Sandilands executive skills included leadership at the provincial command level of the Canadian Legion in Ontario.