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.
The IC of Croatia, formed in 2019, became the 42nd IC of the World. Like all clubs around the world, it has been hugely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, but 2020 has also brought other unfortunate and challenging circumstances.
On December 29th 2020, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck near Petrinja, Croatia, about 30 miles southeast of the capital of Zagreb. This is the largest earthquake to occur in Croatia since the advent of modern seismic instruments. The epicentre was 4 miles north of Zagreb, 6 miles above the centre of the 5.3-magnitude earthquake, which was followed by a number of smaller tremors.
The quake caused widespread damage, including to the city’s cathedral, and the evacuation of hospitals. Many buildings in the capital cracked and walls and rooftops were damaged. Streets were littered with debris. Concrete slabs fell on cars and chimneys landed in front of building entrances.
We had two parallel crises that contradict each other, the situation was complicated by the virus-related measures. "There are rules for when there is an earthquake, but when there is an earthquake at the same time when there is a global pandemic then it’s a much more complex situation." While social distancing regulations were in place, much of the population were pushed out on the streets together after the earthquake shook the Croatian capital.
Footage showed mothers dressed in nightgowns hugging their newborn babies in a car park in freezing temperatures after a damaged maternity hospital was evacuated. The women and children were moved along with incubators to a new location with the help of the army. The top of one of the two spires of Zagreb’s cathedral collapsed. The structure had been rebuilt after it toppled in an earthquake in 1880. Damage to the parliament building meant sessions would be postponed.
Today, many families are still living in temporary accommodation and the country is still struggling with the aftermath. As an IC Community, we are looking ahead to when Covid measures ease to try to organise an event or fixture with neighbouring ICs and then to participating in future IC weeks. Both will be a momentous occasion given the challenges since the IC was formed. Please do get in touch if you’d be interested in future fixtures of any kind, with IC of Croatia.
President: Predrag Stojcevic Pegi
Honorary Secretary: Silvije Hraste
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