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.
A great start to the week with some exciting and close matches. Top seeds Italy came through with a win against India but not without several individual matches going to tie breaks.
The other two matches were extremely close and the overall results in the balance through to the doubles matches. In the match between Uruguay and South Africa it was Uruguay who took a 3-1 lead after the singles but only after the top two boys went to a third set tie break which Uruguay won. This meant the doubles were critical with the Uruguay girls coming through to give them their fourth win and so the overall match.
Meanwhile a long match between USA and Japan was again very closely fought. After the singles it was tied 2-2 with the USA girls then winning their doubles to go up 3-2. Then there was a great boys doubles in which they split the first two sets with the USA boys eventually coming through in the third set tie break to give the USA the team win. Photos from Monday can be seen here
Tuesdays match ups in the round robin are:
Italy v Uruguay
India v USA
South Africa v Japan
In a superb IC tradition the Welcome Dinner at The Grand Hyatt was an outstanding occasion with Imperial Highness Princess Takamado in attendance and giving an inspiring speech to the juniors. At the event were many sponsors, IC members, organisers , Japanese tennis dignitaries and the Ambassadors of India and Italy. In total 187 attendees. Everyone was treated to a fascinating performance of traditional Japanese drumming with the juniors being invited afterwards to try their own hand at it which was much more difficult than it seemed! On a large screen photos from Sunday of the junior teams and their participation in the clinic for the handicapped kids were shown in rotation. This was a good demonstration for all those present of this philanthropic element that the IC encourages. It was also a great demonstration of the IC motto of "Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean". The IC of Japan is to be congratulated on putting on an event which has already become a very memorable one for all involved.