Memorable Manitobans: Gordon Alexander Mackie (1922-2014)
Athlete, trainer, therapist.
Born at Winnipeg on 17 January 1922, his athletic ability became evident when, at the age of 15, he pitched two no-hit games to win the Manitoba baseball championship. He was introduced to boxing, a life-long passion, two years later. During the Second World War, he served in the Canadian Navy, after which he boxed professionally from 1945 to 1949, winning all but one of six provincial and national bouts. After returning to amateur status, he became a boxing trainer and instructor at the Montreal YMCA. He returned to Winnipeg as Assistant Health Director at the YMCA and, in 1951, he completed studies in physiotherapy in Chicago, Illinois. He was Physical Education Director at St. Paul’s College, opened the Madison Boxing and Health Club in St. Boniface, and was head trainer for the St. Boniface Legionnaires football team.
He worked for two years as a trainer at the West Point Military Academy then returned to Canada as head coach of the Canadian boxing team for the British Commonwealth Games at Vancouver. He launched a professional physiotherapy career in 1954, working for the Winnipeg Goldeyes baseball team in the summer and the Winnipeg Warriors hockey team in winter. He joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1959, working behind the scenes to foster their Grey Cup appearances in 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, and 1965. He became head physiotherapist for the University of Manitoba Bisons in 1969 and he co-founded the Canadian Athletic Trainers Association. He was involved in numerous international sporting events during the 1970s for which he received awards and accolades. He served as President of the Manitoba Boxing and Wrestling Federation from 1974 to 1978, and was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in the late 1980s.
He died at Winnipeg on 27 April 2014.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 3 May 2014, page B15.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 2 May 2014
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