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 34 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.
Dear IC Friends,
I hope you, and those closest to you, are well and safe in these worrying and uncertain times. I’m “locked-down” at home in Washington DC with Annegrethe and two of our children, who are now at home in a Google Classroom; and I’m seeking constant updates from the rest of the family on the other side of the Atlantic. I am writing, phoning, texting, emailing and skyping with friends, most of whom I’ve not spoken to for far too long. I know that the situation is far worse in many parts of the world, and where we have ICs: Italy, Spain, the UK, Hong Kong, US (IC members in Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans and New York), and the list grows. We want to know how you all are.
We must be prepared for bad news, too; and death from COVID-19, because of the isolation required during the illness and after death, will be especially traumatic for families. Thierry has informed me today of the sad passing of André Desselas, of the IC of France, and an honorary member of the IC of US. Our sympathies go out to André’s family.
Communications and Support Networks
Communications - at a safe distance - will be an important aspect of managing, and surviving, the COVID-19 crisis. Please consider making arrangements in your ICs for your members to stay in contact with each other, by phone, email or video conferencing/messaging. Set up support networks to make sure that your older members, particularly, and those you know who’ve been unwell, know they have someone they can contact if they find themselves in a difficult situation. You’ll know how best to create these networks in your countries in a way which works with your membership. I’m kicking-off an email with the Executive Committee in which I’m asking them to check in with me by email (copying in the others); and if I don’t hear from each of them by the end of the week, I’ll give them a ring, or arrange for someone in their time zone to do so.
Postponement and Cancellation of Events
We, too, have had to cancel or postpone events. The cancelled IC Council-supported events this year include so far:
The Legends Event in South Africa
The Potter Cup in Barcelona
The 4-Nations Event in Prague
Please look out for the notices that host ICs are sending out to you about their events. There are actions for you in some of them – for example, in the IC of Spain’s (Berta’s) notice about the Potter Cup.
Major tennis events, some with which we have been associated closely for nearly 100 years, are also being cancelled or postponed. We will adjust our calendar to the changes. The EC Meeting at Roland-Garros will move to September. We are waiting still for news on The Championships at Wimbledon. We will take a decision on our AGM, which takes place on the middle Sunday of The Championships, when we have news from the AELTC.
Many of our IC of Japan members have been very engaged in the preparations for the now postponed 2020 Olympic Games. We look forward to Tokyo hosting the Olympics in 2021.
I know a lot of ICs have invested a lot of hard work, and precious funds, in Events they’ve had to cancel or postpone.
Other events are under consideration and we’ll try and keep the IC Council Website up to date on postponements and cancellations of our Events. Please keep Kit copied on your emails.
CQS Jean Borotra IC Sportsmanship Award 2019: Rafael Nadal
One of the major tennis events that was cancelled was the Monte-Carlo Open. The Director of the Open, and the IC of Monaco, had agreed that we could present our CQS Jean Borotra IC Sportsmanship Award during the Open. We were about to announce the new laureate to ICs: Rafael Nadal. I’ll write separately with news of when and where we might now make the Award. We’re delighted he has accepted; and he seems to have been as delighted to be asked.
To Do Lists
These are bizarre times. Some of us, now working from home, will have more time to read and write and to work through long ‘to do’ lists.
You should have all received the inaugural IC e-News email last month. IC e-News will be an important way for ICs around the world to keep in touch: on upcoming fixtures, recent results, news and uplifting stories. In a year like this one, it will be a way for us to report IC stories from the COVID-19 pandemic. Please share with us what you’re doing in terms of support networks and we’ll feature that in the next IC e-News. Please visit the IC Council website to view the IC e-News – www.ictennis.net.
We are aiming for three or four editions of IC e-News each year. Contributions to Tash Starling – firstname.lastname@example.org
Would all Honorary Secretaries please forward IC e-News to every member of your IC – Now!
2019 Business Returns
ICs who haven’t replied yet, would you please try and do so. We need this data to be annually updated if it is to be useful to us in understanding the membership, activity and other trends in the IC. Please send Returns to Tash – email@example.com
We are not good at collecting this type of data and keeping in touch with alumni who’ve had wonderful shared experiences at some of our more outstanding events. I’ve asked ICs to collect lists of their members who have played in the Potter Cup and gather their contact details. We have begun the planning of the 50th Anniversary of this prestigious event and alumni will play an important role.
I’ve also asked ICs to collect a similar list of those juniors who have represented their ICs in regional and world finals of what is now named the Rod Laver IC Junior Challenge.
Please send these lists to Tash.
Juan Maria Tintoré
I have mentioned the Potter Cup a few times in this letter. Before the world became submerged in this pandemic, I had the sad, but at the same time honourable, duty to write an obituary for our good friend Juan Maria Tintoré, President of the IC of Spain. Our condolences go out to his sweet wife, Berti, and to their wonderful family.
Look after yourselves and each other,
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