The first meeting of Active Members of the International Lawn Tennis Club of Canada was held at the Albany Club in Toronto on Wednesday, August 11, 1965, at 12.30 p.m. Laird Watt, the first president of the Club, was unable to attend and Gilbert Nunns chaired the meeting. In addition to Gilbert those attending the meeting in person or by proxy were familiar names in Canadian tennis history: Peter Barnard, John Bassett, Bob Barnard, François Godbout, Bruce Harrison, Sydney Hermant, Jim Macken, Harry Marpole and Walter Martin. Don Fontana, captain of the Club, agreed to approach the I.C. of the USA for a match in 1966. There were discussions of a black tie dinner, a match against a touring team from England and plans to participate in I.C. matches in Holland.
The Canadian I.C. was up and operating. It had officially received “International Club” recognition just six weeks before, at the annual meeting of the Council of I.C.’s held each year during the fortnight of Wimbledon. It joined thirteen other nations with International Clubs, all existing with a common interest in the game of tennis.
According to Bruce Harrison, the idea for the creation of a Canadian International Club came from Bob Barnard, Peter’s father. Peter had been made a member of the I.C. of Great Britain in 1962. His experience with the I.C. Clubs in Europe led Bob Barnard, encouraged by Monty Ganger of Cleveland, who Bob had met in a Gordon Trophy match, to speak to Bruce Harrison about the formation of a Canadian I.C. Bruce then helped to spearhead the creation of the Club, for which he was later made a life- time Vice-President.
With Bruce’s encouragement the Club took life at a meeting in early 1965 at the home of Sydney Hermant. At the meeting Gilbert Nunns, Bruce Harrison, and Laird Watt worked with Sydney in starting the process of drafting a constitution and obtaining accreditation from the Council of I.C.’s. An executive was appointed with M.L. Watt as Honorary President, Walter Martin and Gilbert Nunns as Vice- Presidents, Don Fontana as Captain and Bruce Harrison as Secretary, Sydney Hermant as Treasurer and a Committee consisting of Peter Barnard, John Bassett, Bob Bedard, Francois Godbout, Paul Haynes, Jim Macken, Lorne Main, Harry Marpole and Bob Winters.
Since that time a lot of tennis has been played. On June 11 and 12, 1966 the first annual match against the United States International Club was played at the Donalda Club in Toronto. Canada won 14-4. A black tie dinner was held on the Saturday evening. At the dinner it was agreed that the match should become an annual event and John Proctor offered to donate a permanent trophy to be presented to the winners of the annual match.
The annual match with the USA Club has been the main regular event of the Club since that time, with matches alternating each year between the Donalda Club and various locations in the USA. The Piping Rock Club on Long Island, The Merion Cricket Club in Philadelphia, The West Side Tennis Club on Long Island. In 1971 the matches were divided in an open event competing for the Proctor Cup and a seniors event for the new Lawrence Baker Trophy. Women’s matches were included in the late 90’s and starting in the year 2000 teams will play for the Carole Graebner Trophy.
At the same time members of the Canadian I.C. in Western Canada were also holding matches against USA I.C. members from the Northwest United States, although these matches have been held on a less