The team, a brain child of Gerry Livingston who contributed much of the progress of sport in town, originally operated as an International Club. Gerry then began to look afield for his basketball players and within a couple of years he had assembled a team of highly skilled performers. The year 1952 stands out in [the] history of sport as the Livingston basketball team made the whole country stand back and take notice of Tillsonburg.
The group of players included Harry Wade, Chuck Dalton, Tommy Gibbons, Paul Thomas, Bill Coulthard, Bob Phibbs, Red Curren, Bobby Simpson, and Woody Campbell. The Livvies began their march with Windsor, and with machine-like precision overran Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie and Montreal to find themselves facing Winnipeg in the Dominion finals.
The team had by now captured the fancies not only of the community, but of the entire province. After a thrill-packed final series in which the Tillsonburg arena was jammed, the boys came through to carry the team and the whole town to a Canadian championship. [They] then took on the Canadian college champs, University of Western Ontario, for the right to go to the Olympics. Having won the right to represent Canada in the Olympics, the Livvies journeyed to Helsinki that summer proudly displaying the Maple Leaf on their jerseys. Despite the fact that the team was eliminated in World play, Gerry Livingston and his courageous ball club lost not one iota of the respect and admiration they had captured from the people of Tillsonburg.
In 1960, another World Olympic year rolled around and once again Gerry Livingston took up the challenge as he began recruiting for a second run at all Canadian honors. Once again the Livvies went on a rampage and began the play downs by knocking off Toronto and Ottawa in short order, [at] the Olympic trials in Montreal. For the second time in less than a decade the Tillsonburg crew formed the nucleus to carry Canada's hopes in world play, this time to Italy. Entered in a qualifying series at Bologna, the team made it to the finals of the trial set but just failed to qualify for the Olympics proper.
Members of the Tillsonburg Livvies in 1960 who carried Canada's Olympic hopes were Barry Agar, Bob Gardner, Ray Monnott, John McKibbon, Warren Reynolds, Fred Ingaldson, Ambi Gardner and Don McRae. Elmer Ripley coached the club and Alf Shrubb was the trainer. The team was complemented by several players from other Canadian clubs."
Source (by Debbie Howard:
- Tillsonburg Centennial Newspaper, 1876-1976