The Man Behind the Shield-Sir Vincent Jones.

The Man behind the Shield.

Sir Vincent Jones was superintendent of the Grand Falls Mill and later the managing director of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. He had a long association with the region lasting over thirty years. (GFW Heritage Society)
Sir Vincent Jones was superintendent of the Grand Falls Mill and later the managing director of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. He had a long association with the region lasting over thirty years. (GFW Heritage Society)

 

Sir Vincent S. Jones was born in Burnside Westmoreland, Cumbria, in Northern England in 1874 the son of a Church of England Clergyman.[i] He came to Newfoundland around 1910 to work for the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company. Around the same time he became superintendent of the Grand Falls mills for the AND Co and was largely responsible for overseeing operations and the expansion of the mill in 1912. Jones’ professional background and education is hard to ascertain, but he was from a well to do family and was educated and had done some military service with the Border Regiment before World War One. His coming to Newfoundland might have had something to do with His Uncle, Llewellyn Jones, who was once the bishop of Newfoundland.[ii]And was consecrated Bishop of the Colony in 1878.[iii]

AND Co managers and a clergyman at a logging camp circa 1908-1911. Vincent Jones on the far right.  Vincent Jones came to Newfoundland in the very early years of the AND CO and became the superintendent o the mill around 1910 succeeding Mayson Beeton in this capacity.
AND Co managers and a clergyman at a logging camp circa 1908-1911. Vincent Jones second fro the right.
Vincent Jones came to Newfoundland in the very early years of the AND CO and became the superintendent o the mill around 1910 succeeding Mayson Beeton in this capacity.

Called to back to the Border Regiment in India at the outbreak of war in 1914-15 Jones served there during the war and on the North West Frontier and in the Third Afghan War of 1919 and on the North West Frontier of India.[iv] Sometime after he left the service Jones returned to Grand Falls and a position of importance with A.N.D. In 1931 Jones was solidified in his position as Resident General Manager and Vice President of the A.N.D Company. He remained so until the 1940’s and in such a capacity would have been one of the most powerful men on the Island.

In the absence of any municipal (or Dominion)  government as manager of the AND Co Sir. Vincent Jones would have been one of the most powerful men in Newfoundland in the 1930's and 40's. He can be seen in the background third from the left near the union jack in this 1940 photo. (GFW Heritage Society)
In the absence of any municipal (or Dominion) government as manager of the AND Co Sir. Vincent Jones would have been one of the most powerful men in Newfoundland in the 1930’s and 40’s. He can be seen in the background third from the left near the union jack in this 1940 photo. (GFW Heritage Society)

In 1941 he was named a Knight Commander of the British Empire and in Grand Falls he was named an honorary colonel of the Home Guard.

Jones seems to have had a love of sport and was a noted cricket and tennis player. He had tennis courts installed on the grounds of the Grand Falls House during his tenure and encouraged all sporting activities in the town. This support of sport culminated with his donation of the Jones Shield.

The Sir Vincent Jones Shield in it's early form. It was originally  supposed to only be played for for ten years, but lasted fro over 60.
The Sir Vincent Jones Shield in it’s early form. It was originally supposed to only be played for for ten years, but lasted fro over 60.

Jones and his Wife Mary became important pillars in the community-the proverbial father and mother of a paternalistic company town. They had two children and their son Desmond became an accomplished naval officer who served in WW2 and later rose to become the Military attaché to Argentina and later Naval Aide De Camp to the Queen.[vi]

Jones remained in Newfoundland until 1946 when he retired and returned to England at the Age of 72. He lived into his nineties and retained close contacts with the town that he was closely connected with for so many years. As late as 1966-the year before his death the AND News Log carried a letter from him. Through his tenure as manager the mill expanded a number of times and weathered the Great Depression. His memory will no doubt live on because of the trophy he donated and the 60 plus years of intercollegiate hockey rivalry associated with it.

[i] http://www.clement-jones.com/wc01/wc01_037.htm

[ii] http://ngb.chebucto.org/Wills/jones-llewellyn-11-291.shtml

[iii] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Llewellyn_Jones_%28bishop%29

[iv] http://archive.org/stream/diaryof24thbatta00carliala/diaryof24thbatta00carliala_djvu.txt

[v] Ibid

[vi] http://www.unithistories.com/officers/RN_officersV.html

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