Presentation Title

Philip “Ponsonby” Granville, A Pioneering African Jamaican/Canadian Athlete - Lost, Found and Celebrated?

Location

Room 306, School of Social Work

Start Date

29-9-2018 10:15 AM

End Date

29-9-2018 12:00 PM

Presentation Types

Abstract

Abstract

Athletes nominated for Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame can reappear for consideration after being essentially lost. Their lives are resurrected only by a chance encounter with a later chronicler surprised at how persons, prominent in their day, have vanished from the historic record.

Few better fit this characterization than Philip “Ponsonby” Granville of Hamilton Ontario. In a ten year period of the 1920s through the early thirties he was a world class ultra-marathoner in three distinct long distance formats, walking, running, and snowshoeing. He set records, won championships and had top three finishes in each. In so doing he not only helped legitimize sports like ultra marathon running, but, by virtue of his personal history, was a pioneer for minority athletes in a troubled time.

His ability to go long distances was recognized as he competed for Canada in the 10,000 metre walking event at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games. Afterwards he was a superior ultra-marathoner in the cross-America “Bunion Derby” runs of 1928 and 1929. His combined performances ranking him, if such had existed, as the world’s third best competitor. In doing so he enhanced the profile of ultra-marathon running as it gradually transitioned from its carnival-like, voyeuristic appeal to one with contemporary athletic legitimacy. Finally this Jamaican born, and raised, track specialist competed in Quebec snowshoe races against the best long distance performers of the era and succeeded in a manner possibly surprising for an athlete who likely never saw snow until he came to Canada in 1919.

Bio Statement

William Humber is author of 12 books on sports history and urban environmental topics. He is President of Valleys 2000 a noted ecological river system in his hometown of Bowmanville, Ontario, Secretary of the Jury Lands Foundation a recognized national historic site, a contributing member of the Canadian Baseball Research Centre in St. Marys Ontario, and columnist on bicycling history for Pedal magazine for over 25 years. He is included in the Canadian Who’s Who.

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Sep 29th, 10:15 AM Sep 29th, 12:00 PM

Philip “Ponsonby” Granville, A Pioneering African Jamaican/Canadian Athlete - Lost, Found and Celebrated?

Room 306, School of Social Work

Athletes nominated for Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame can reappear for consideration after being essentially lost. Their lives are resurrected only by a chance encounter with a later chronicler surprised at how persons, prominent in their day, have vanished from the historic record.

Few better fit this characterization than Philip “Ponsonby” Granville of Hamilton Ontario. In a ten year period of the 1920s through the early thirties he was a world class ultra-marathoner in three distinct long distance formats, walking, running, and snowshoeing. He set records, won championships and had top three finishes in each. In so doing he not only helped legitimize sports like ultra marathon running, but, by virtue of his personal history, was a pioneer for minority athletes in a troubled time.

His ability to go long distances was recognized as he competed for Canada in the 10,000 metre walking event at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games. Afterwards he was a superior ultra-marathoner in the cross-America “Bunion Derby” runs of 1928 and 1929. His combined performances ranking him, if such had existed, as the world’s third best competitor. In doing so he enhanced the profile of ultra-marathon running as it gradually transitioned from its carnival-like, voyeuristic appeal to one with contemporary athletic legitimacy. Finally this Jamaican born, and raised, track specialist competed in Quebec snowshoe races against the best long distance performers of the era and succeeded in a manner possibly surprising for an athlete who likely never saw snow until he came to Canada in 1919.