Welcome to the International Club of Canada
"Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean "
To promote friendship and sportsmanship in tennis between Canada and other countries by hosting tennis events with other IC countries and supporting tennis development in Canada by providing mentorship for young tennis players.
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.
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.
There is no doubt that tournaments for the Windmill, Christiane Mercelis, and Columbus Trophies represent the highlights of the I.C. Movement. On these occasions many of the now 42 International Clubs meet in team competition. In these tournaments old friendships across the net and across the nations are renewed, and new ones made. Equally enjoyable are the I.C. Tours where teams of I.C. players tour other countries at the invitation of their I.C.’s, or host visiting teams.
This brief review of the Club’s history would not be complete without an expression of gratitude to the spirit behind the creation of the I.C. Club of Canada, the Late Bruce Harrison and those who have served on the Club’s executive, particularly its presidents: Laird Watt, Walter Martin, John Proctor, Jim Skelton, Frank Mott-Trille, Brian Flood and David Dimmer.
The 40th Anniversary event for the IC Uruguay marked a post-pandemic return to IC activity in full swing. The event ran over three days, from Thursday morning 31 March (with a welcome Cocktail party that evening) through Saturday 2 April (with a Closing Dinner).
There were five ICs represented - France, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay – and a lot of social tennis involving Women´s and Men´s Doubles and Mixed Doubles and combined players from different ICs. Added to all of this there was a Wheelchair and "Integrated Wheelchair Event" and an impressive presentation of the IC Uruguay´s philanthropy program with IC Philanthropy.
A distinguishing feature was the participation of Latin American great former circuit players: Jaime and Alvaro Fillol, from the IC Chile; Vera Cleto, Patricia Medrado, and Joao Soares, from the IC Brazil; Raquel Giscafre, Ricardo Cando, Beatriz Villaverde and Ricardo Rivera, from the IC Argentina; and Fiorella Bonicelli, Marcelo Filipppini, Liliana Rodriguez, Tati Ruiz, Hugo Roverano, and our own Philippe Pinet, from the IC Uruguay.
At the closing dinner, IC Uruguay were also able to pay tribute to Ukraine through a gift for the Ukrainian wife of the President of the Uruguayan Paralympic Committee, to convey the thoughts and support of the worldwide IC family.
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