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Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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SPRATT, JOHN CANTIUS (1890-1981)

SPRATT, JOHN CANTIUS, Catholic priest of the Basilian congregation and teacher, athlete, and coach, St Thomas College, 1920-21; b. Lindsay, Ont., 20 Oct 1890, s/o Richard Patrick Spratt and Mary Podser; ordained 1920; d. Toronto, 2 Jun 1981.

John C. ("Jack") Spratt received his education at St Michael's College School in Toronto and Assumption College (BA Western 1914). He entered St Basil's Novitiate in 1915 and was later trained for the priesthood at the congregation's seminary in Toronto. Ordained in 1920, his first position was on the staff of St Thomas College.

Spratt had been a "hockey flash" on the St Michael's College team when it won the amateur championship of Canada, and it was said in 1920, when he was captain and manager of the Chatham Hockey Club, that he was the fastest player seen in action on a Maritime rink in fifteen years. "His is a legendary name in hockey in Chatham," a local reporter stated, more than sixty years later.

After leaving Chatham, Spratt taught and coached in many schools and colleges. His last and lengthiest position was on the staff of the Aquinas Institute in Rochester, N.Y. He returned to Chatham from there in 1955 to take part in the opening of the Beaverbrook Arena. He retired in Toronto in 1965 and was a familiar figure at the residence of the Basilians in the years preceding his death in 1981, at age ninety.

Sources

[b/d] Basilian Newsletter #10, 18 Jun 1981 / Advocate 10 Feb 1925; Fraser (STC); News 24 Jun 1981; Whitty files


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