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.
THREE PLAYERS TO REPRESENT THEIR PROVINCE.
It was a case of on, then off now it is on again!
Such has been the effect of Covid that Tennis SA were forced to postpone the SA Schools inter provincial tournament until the end of September but with the government downgrading us to level 3, the event was re-instated for this coming weekend. It normally would see all 11 provinces competing at one venue, but to minimise the risks and to reduce travelling, it has been regonalized with the inland provinces meeting in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Although this is not like a normal inter provincial we are not living in “normal” times but at least the kids get the opportunity to play competitive tennis and represent their province and obtain their colours. Originally, we had four of our development players selected to play for Gauteng East, but one suffered a broken arm playing football and had to withdraw.
We were able to supply additional kit to the three players where they were in need to ensure that they were fully equipped for the event. The picture shows our three “stars” Thando Xolo, Nkosikhona Ubisi standing and Wandile Tshabalala in front together with their coach Michael Lelosa.
We congratulate them on their selection and wish them all the very best as they step up to another level in their tennis career.
For more information about the Vosloorus Development Programme in South Africa, see the IC Philanthropy page here.
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