This portrait of George Springate was published in the Montreal Gazette on June 13, 1981, just days before he was to be honored at a roast “limiting their careers so far as a police officer, professional football player, lawyer, teacher, politician, and unrivaled self-promoter.” , we write.
Springate had just finished three terms as a Liberal member of the National Assembly, having decided not to run in elections held two months earlier.
The $50-a-course dinner was sold out, we reported, and was expected to raise at least $35,000 for Shriners’ Hospital.
Our story recaps Springate’s career up to that point: he joined the Montreal police force at age 20, earning 13 citations for bravery and exceptional arrest. He went back to school while continuing to work, earning a psychology degree from Sir George Williams (a forerunner of Concordia University) and then law degrees from McGill. He joined the Montreal Alouettes as a placekicker and played for three years, including on the Gray Cup winning team in 1970. In 1974, he broke ranks to vote against his government’s language legislation Bill 22, a precursor to Bill 101, later presented by the Parti Québécois, for which he was suspended from the party bench. At the time of the article, he was teaching at John Abbott College, where he helped found the police technology program.
This photo by John Mahoney, which shows Springate outside his childhood home in Pointe-St-Charles, appeared with the story.
An Order of Canada recipient, Springate would go on to work in a variety of positions, including as a sports commentator for CBC television and ultimately as a citizenship judge.
He died in 2019, aged 81.
History Through Our Eyes: Photos of People and Events That Shaped 20th Century Montreal, which compiles the original 2019 series into book form, is available online at montrealhistorybooks.com and at local bookstores. A part of the income of the books sold online will go to the Gazette Christmas Fund.
The uncropped photo:
More history through our eyes
History Through Our Eyes: May 28, 1995, Lucille Teasdale