During the 1940’s and early 1950’s, George "Ted" Gillies established himself as one of the finest track and field athletes the province has ever produced. He was the best in the 100 yards and 220 yards dashes, anchored the highly successful St. Bon’s relay team and enjoyed success as a high jumper. These accomplishments were in addition to his great careers in hockey, baseball and soccer.
Always in top physical condition, he brought a quiet but confidence to every sport and was especially effective as a leader in track and field. His positive attitude was of great benefit to any team of which he was a member and that was especially true during his track and field career.
His track and field career started at the annual sports day held at St. Bonaventure’s College during his high school days as he emerged as victor ludorum champion in every age group. This outstanding achievement continued when he attended Loyola College in Montreal as track and field victories and yet another victor ludorum were earned.
During his career the major track competition was the provincial championships held in mid-August on Bell Island. It was his victories at these championships that moved him well into the sports history of the province. In the 100 yards dash from 1948 to 1952, he was first four times and second once. In the 220 yards dash from 1948 to 1953 he was first five times and second once. From 1947 to 1953, he anchored the St. Bon’s relay teams to first six times while winning the high jump in 1948 and placing second in 1950 and 1952.
These athletic performances were accomplished while he played baseball and soccer on a regular basis. On several occasions he hurried home from the track and field championships on Bell Island to don a baseball or soccer uniform for a regular season game.
He was twice voted St. John’s Athlete of the year, for 1952 and 1953.
Ted Gillies has been inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame, the Newfoundland and Labrador Hockey Hall of Fame, the Newfoundland and Labrador Baseball Hall of Fame and the St. John’s Baseball Hall of Fame.
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