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Inspiring Canadians - In Sport and Life

Honoured Member

SYLVESTER 'SILVER' QUILTY

Inducted in 1975

Member Details

Date of Birth: Ontario, February 8. 1891
Place of Birth: Renfrew, Ontario
Date of Passing: December 2, 1976
Sport: Football
Member Category: Athlete

Career Highlights

1907

Yates Cup - Ottawa College

Honoured Member SYLVESTER 'SILVER' QUILTY
Inspire

Story

Born in Renfrew, Ontario in 1891, Sylvester Quilty was known throughout his life as 'Silver'. And for much of that life he was a famous football player and a dedicated proponent of amateur sport. As the Globe and Mail recalled in 1930, "In his playing days before the war, Quilty was the Lionel Conacher of his time." After finishing at Renfrew High School, Quilty enrolled at Ottawa College (the University of Ottawa) in 1907. He played outside wing on the team that captured the Yates Cup that year as senior intercollegiate rugby champions. He played for the school until 1912, handling the team's kicking duties in 1908-09 and captaining the squad in 1911. After graduating in 1912, Quilty joined the Ottawa Rough Riders of the Inter-provincial Rugby Football Union (better known as the Big Four). He spent one season with the Rough Riders before enrolling at McGill in 1914 and playing one final season of intercollegiate football. Following his playing career, Quilty was active as a coach and referee. He spent two years actively refereeing intercollegiate football and three years in the Big Four. However, he would continue to referee the occasional game until well into the 1920s, often being requested as the game official by the competing teams. Quilty also spent a number of years coaching Ottawa football teams. He began coaching St. Brigid's—Ottawa's Ontario Rugby Football Union team —in 1917, a position he still held when called upon to also coach Ottawa's entry in the Big Four—then called the Senators—in 1920. As late as 1920, fans and the media were still urging Quilty to suit up and join his charges on the field. Quilty continued to be involved in the administration of amateur sport after his playing days. He assisted in the organization of the Ottawa and district branch of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association. In 1922-23, he served as vice-president of the CAHA, and from 1924 to 1926 he was the association's national president. In 1930, he served with the Amateur Athletic Union, which governed all amateur sport in Canada at the time, chairing its affiliations and alliances committee. Sport was a family affair for the Quiltys. His son, John, whose hockey career was interrupted by the Second World War and military service, was the NHL's rookie-of-the-year in 1940-41.


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