Inducted October 13, 1973
James I. (Hooks) Vinicombe was born in St. John’s in 1874 where as a youth he gave notice of a promising athletic career. This promise was realized to the fullest. “Hooks” Vinicombe was, by far, the most versatile athlete in Newfoundland throughout the first decade of the present century.
There seemed to be no limit to “Hooks” ability in sport. He excelled in football, hockey, rowing, cricket and track and field. He was captain of that famous Star of the Sea Football Team which ran up an impressive string of victories in the early 1900’s. He was captain of the Terra Nova Hockey Team which in 1904, won the first victory on the Boyle Trophy. In track and field “Hooks” Vinicombe was hailed as the foremost track star of his generation if not of all time.
The greatest compliment that can be paid to any athlete is to say “he has class”. It is an all-embracing phrase to describe the athletic ideal of sportsmanship and meritorious achievement through brilliant performance. To bring off all that with dignity and humility is indeed “class”. Jim Vinicombe does – and deservedly so.