The Man behind the Shield.
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]
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 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.
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.