Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Doral Pilling in London

I have just spent the last hour scanning parts of Doral Pilling's autobiography into a computer.  I am in the process of sending this information to Dr. Bruce Kidd who is a professor at University of Toronto and researcher the history of athletics, amongst other topics.  He was at the University of Manitoba several months ago and I went to his presentation then provided him with the family story of Doral helping Percy get through his Olympic events without throwing up etc.  When I read the account in his history (thanks Arta for all your transcribing and work on that book), I can't help but think that Grandpa Doral was using sport psychology techniques with Percy long before the term was even identified.  A forward thinker for sure.

Having just taken a peek at a website dedicated to Percy Williams created by Samuel Hawley, I came across several pictures of Grandpa Doral that I have not seen in any relatives houses.  Once again, I look at these pictures and wonder why my brother Trent is there (or several of the Wood's boys), give my head and shake and remind myself I am looking at Doral.  Here is my favourite shot mostly because many of us have now been in London and here is Doral in the same city long before the rest of us even existed in the flesh.

Taken from website:  http://www.samuelhawley.com/percy1928olympics2.html
From left to right: Doral Pilling, Percy Williams, Stanley Glover

Two dollars to the first family member who can name the place in London where this picture was taken?

I just love this shot!  Take a look at the website to find even more information and amazing pictures about Percy Williams, with Doral Pilling often hanging in the background.


  1. Well it turns out Arta already talked to Mr. Hawkley, he has read the autobiography and Doral is in his latest book about Percy Williams. Am I 1 or 2 years late in the uptake on this one? Oh well. Good work Arta!

  2. Duncan yells out "Trafalgar Square! just below Lord Nelson's column! Now give me my money!"

  3. Done Duncan.
    Shall I give it to you or your mother?

  4. That picture of Doral looks just like Trent to me. The olympics were in Amsterdam so Doral must have taken a side trip to Trafalgar with his friends or the ship they took went to London. Wouldn't it be nice to sit with Doral and/or Wyora in Trafalgar Square. They both lived here for six months together and Arta was in utero. I know I was watching from somewhere.

  5. I had not idea they lived in London briefly. I keep meeting people who have done their stint in London too. Perhaps it is a life passage, a lovely time lived in London.

  6. I will return to London tomorrow and check out this lion. I wonder if I can climb up there and have my picture taken.