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.
Download the 2019 Events list
From the Chairman:
Paul lost his brave battle with ALS last week. We'll miss him.
His exceptional tennis career has been and will be the subject of many glowing tributes, first as a player and then giving back to the game in significant ways: grand slam tennis player, Davis Cup captain, head of men's tennis at the LTA...
He made a particular and lasting contribution to the International Club.
We searched the archive for a picture we knew we would not find: Paul in an IC tie, Paul in any tie...
Most of the photos we have of Paul show him giving that careful attention he always gave to everything he did, however grand however un-grand. We turned to Paul when we knew we needed to launch something big that had to be sustainable: the now world-wide IC Junior Challenge (16s and under). He set the gold standard for us as our first Tournament Director at European regional finals at the Vincennes Club in Paris in 2005.
We turned to Paul when we knew we needed to bring the International Club, at the Council level especially, into the modern world - more professional, more in tune with the modern game, but which still respected the sporting spirit of the game which was ingrained in the history and traditions of the IC. It was Paul's role, for several years on the Executive Committee of the Council, to ask us all those difficult questions about governance and participation: what value did the IC add for its members, what value did the IC add to the game of tennis? These were difficult questions. We didn't always have the kind of answers that satisfied Paul: he was persistent in his search for something tangible. It kept us honest and it keeps us honest to this day.
At the end of our, often long, discussions, Paul's serious face would break into a smile (the one in the photo we’ve chosen), and he'd say: "OK, Peter, but you can see why I am asking, can't you?" I could. I'd then go off to host the lunch in my jacket and tie; and he, in his smart tracksuit, would disappear into the stands quickly to watch and mentor new British talent.
Paul also gave the International Club Shali and their wonderful family full of IC members to whom our hearts go out.
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