1956 Award Winners

Major Award Winners


John Clifford, Skiing

They weren’t thinking of him as a builder, said John Clifford, 1956 winner of the athlete of the year award, even though his credentials to that end are gilt-edged.

But so are his athlete qualifications.

“I think they were thinking of the fact that I won both the Canadian alpine and Canadian senior water skiing titles in a six month period between 1955 and 1956.”

One can’t very well argue with that.

The alpine ski triumph (daughter Betsy was to win eight down the road a few years) was his second in seven years; he was also an alternate for both the 1948 and 1952 Olympic teams; he won the Ski Union of the Americans back in 1946 and has his name on several Chilean ski awards as well.

But despite his athletic ability, he will be remembered for a stroke of genius if nothing else. That was the introduction of snow-making equipment, a move that revolutionized the industry.

Top Amateurs

Baseball — Pat Presley
Bowling — Nick Blonar
Basketball — Ken Tinsley
Cricket — Ken Mayhew
Curling — Gord Perry
Equestrian — Frank Ryan
Football — Ed McIntyre
Golf— Frank desRivieres
Hockey — Ralph Backstrom
Paddling — Ross Hadwen
Rowing — Tony Biernacki
Softball — Shirley Kehoe
Skiing — John Clifford
Soccer — Stu Stenholm
Sailing — Bruce Kirby
Track and field — Ron Wallingford
Tennis — Gene Robillard
Water skiing — Dave Hyman

Notes on a Cuff

Another of those versatile athletes, Gene Robillard, was the pick of the 1956 tennis crop… The Sir Robert Borden High School vice-principal was a capable quarterback at Tech, McGill and with Ottawa Seconds, but Borden gridders know all those details as he continues to wear his coaching hat on occasion… Hockey had an able representative in Hull-Ottawa Canadian’s Ralph Backstrom, who would win the NHL’s Calder Cup as top rookie before the decade was out… Another Bert Marshall winner, Ken Tinsley, was city basketball’s top choice… The last of the McIntyre clan to attend St. Pat’s, Ed, won football honours. He played fullback on offence and tackle on defence as St. Pat’s won city high school honours under Jack Kinsella and then moved on to St. F. X.