George Lyon was born in 1858 in a small town, named Richmond, just outside of Ottawa, Ontario.
It was a large family with a strong lineage. His grandfather, after whom he was named, had fought in the War of 1812 and his father was Mayor of Ottawa in 1867, the year of Canada’s Confederation.
George Lyon was a natural athlete with a body hardened by his time as a soldier serving with Canada’s Queen’s Own Rifles in 1885 during the Northwest Rebellion lead by Louis Riel. He settled in Toronto and had a successful life in the insurance business, married the love of his life and had 5 children.
There was no sport at which he was not dominant – baseball, hockey, curling, football, tennis, and especially cricket – he even set a record for pole vaulting at age 19. However, it was not until he reached the age of 38 that he was persuaded to put down his cricket bat and try golf. That October afternoon at Rosedale Golf Course in Toronto he fell in love with the game and dominated the sport in Canada.
Over his life, in addition to numerous wins and awards, he captured eight Canadian Amateur Championships and – his greatest sports achievement - won the Olympic Gold Medal in 1904.
Lyon went on to found the Canadian Seniors’ Golf Association and was elected President of the Royal Canadian Golf Association in 1923. In 1971 he was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
He died in Toronto May 11, 1938 and is buried beneath a very modest stone marker at Mount Pleasant Cemetery.
His legacy to Canada and the sport of golf in Canada must not be forgotten.