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 42 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 the Czech Republic marked its important 90th anniversary with a spectacular event held at the I. Czech Lawn Tennis Club (www.cltk.cz) on Stvanice Island. The occasion included a tournament for both men and women, bringing together distinguished players from ICs of various countries such as Luxembourg, Ireland, Great Britain, USA, Hungary, Argentina, Uruguay, and the Czech Republic.
A total of 105 players and guests from these eight nations participated in the event, showcasing their exceptional skills and camaraderie. The competition took place over two days, featuring matches between national teams, with Friday's matches played in a mixed-nation pairings format.
In the final standings, Great Britain emerged as the winner, followed by the team from South America (Argentina and Uruguay) in second place. Team USA secured the third spot, with the international team (Ireland, Luxembourg) taking fourth place. Hungary claimed fifth place, while the Czech Republic finished in sixth position.
During an elegant dinner, in keeping with tradition the IC of the Czech Republic honored distinguished individuals by extending honorary memberships. These included Sue Bartlett from Great Britain, Henri Reiter from Luxembourg, Gustavo Herrero from Argentina, and Margaret Lumia and Jeffrey Snow from the USA. Additionally, the visiting IC of Uruguay bestowed membership upon the Czech captain in their organization, honoring Jan Michalek from the IC of the Czech Republic.
In addition to the competitive matches, participants enjoyed various social gatherings. These included a memorable dinner at Hartigovsky Palace, an excursion to explore Prague's city centre, and a golf outing near Prague.
The 90th anniversary celebration of the IC of the Czech Republic brought together players from different nations to commemorate this milestone. The event was a blend of thrilling matches, camaraderie, and cultural experiences, creating lasting memories for all involved.
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