The Paithouski Prize

Donor Story

The Paithouski Prize honours the memory of Nicholas (Nick) J. Paithouski (Sc’40), rewarding the kind of drive and desire in academics that Nick Paithouski exhibited in his athletic career at Queen’s. As a football player, Nick spent his first season (1936) on the junior team because he was viewed as too small for the senior squad. He won the Trophy that year as the teams’ Most Valuable Player, and was a regular on the senior offensive and defensive line for the following three years, winning the Johnny Evans Trophy as the Most Valuable Player, as a lineman in 1939.

Nick was coached (1937-1938) by his lifelong friend, the legendary Ted Reeve (Sports Columnist for the Toronto Telegram and later the Toronto Sun) and in his final season at Queen’s 1939 by Frank Tindall who said that Nick was always one of the tops in his book – not big, but loaded with desire. Nick graduated in Engineering in 1940, the only one of five children from a Ukrainian-Polish immigrant family to receive a university education. He went to play professional football with the Regina Roughriders in 1941 and after the Second World War with the Hamilton Tiger Cats while working at Stelco.

During World War Two, Lieutenant Paithouski’s military service record was acknowledged with the presentation of the Bronze Star from U.S. President Harry Truman, an honour bestowed on a very small number of non-American servicemen for supplying bridging parts and equipment to Allied Forces in North West Europe. He was chosen to play centre in the Tea Bowl (30,000) for the Canadian football army team against American army team at White City Stadium on February 13, 1944 in London, England. The Canadians won!

Nick Paithouski spent his boyhood in Sarnia, Ontario, in the south end, on the other side of the tracks with Mary and his brother Mike (HMCS Shawinigan sunk in November 1944, not survivors). In later years, Nick worked as a civil engineer for the Federal government, living in Ottawa with his wife Barbara (Paul) Paithouski (1917-1976) and their two children, Janet Baker(1951) and Joe Paithouski (1953), Sc’80. He returned to Sarnia in 1984 to be inducted into the Sarnia Lambton Sports Hall of Fame. Trip Trepanier, the Hall of Fame Director, former teammate and long-time friend of Mr. Paithouski, described him as “one of the best centres in Canada, not for just one, but for a couple of years…He never bragged about anything; he just took everything as it came”.

When his natural talents were allowed to shine, they did. He died on September 15, 1985. Thanks to Ding McGill, in the autumn of 1987, Nick Paithouski was accepted into the Queen’s University Football Hall of Fame.

Fund Description:

Established in memory of Nicholas J. Paithouski (B.Sc.'40) by his son, N. Joseph Paithouski (B.Sc.'80) and friends and awarded to the graduating engineering student who has demonstrated the most consistent improvement in academic performance. The cumulative annual point spread in sessional average over the most recent eight terms will be used as a basis for determining the winner.