Vernon is probably the most talented and versatile athlete ever to come out of Belleville. He has excelled at hockey, baseball, softball, and football, as well as an official and as a coach. After a stint in the Royal Canadian Navy, where he played football and hockey for forces teams in Halifax, Vern joined the Toronto Argonauts in 1945, the year they won the Grey Cup. In that final game, he played both offense and defence, and was on the field virtually every minute of the game. The professional game was not for “Jumbo,” however, and he moved on to play for the Galloping Ghosts in Cobourg. He played for many local teams: hockey: the Redmen, Hawks, ANAF and Diesel-Electrics; and in baseball: the Batas and the Redmen, to name a few. In 1953, he was named Belleville’s first Athlete of the Year. As an official, Vern was very well-respected. In recognition of his talents, he was named to the Ontario Hockey Association Honour Roll in 1985.