History of Lachine Curling Club


A.Dawes
President

1894-1896
The history of the Lachine Curling Club began when Canada was celebrating its first quarter century. Socially and economically those first twenty-five years of Confederation were filled with uncertainty and turmoil: Irish-American radicals were attacking rural Canadian villages; racial and religious intolerance worsened with the execution of Louis Riel; and Canadians suffered from the 19th century's worst economic depression. By the 1890s our young nation was starting to show signs of economic improvement. Industrial development along the Lachine Canal brought a degree of prosperity to the Montreal Region. A new railway bridge at Lachine was a key part of the new transcontinental railway from the Atlantic to the Pacific. New settlers significantly increased the population of the six provinces of Canada and these new Canadians provided the work force that permitted agriculture, mining and lumbering to become exciting focal points in the economic development of Canada.

The enterprising men who were establishing the industries and companies that would bring Canada into the 20th century needed ways to relax and many of them enjoyed skating with their families during the long Canadian winters. At Lachine, a popular spot for this winter recreation was the ice on a creek that flowed through the present site of the Lachine General Hospital. When community leaders recommended that a skating rink be constructed, Albert Dawes, owner of Dawes Brewery, offered them a piece of land east of 32nd Avenue so that the Lachine Skating Club could be founded in 1887. By 1891, a club house was built where skaters could warm their toes and a year later, evening skating became more popular when coal oil lamps were replaced with ten incandescent electric lights. The Club's afternoon teas became so popular that they were advertised at the Grand Trunk Railway station at the Lachine Wharf.

In 1892, some of the Club members, led by a Mr. Philips, recommended the addition of the Scottish sport of curling to the winter program and a resolution was passed "that a portion of the ice be added to the resources of the rink and kept in order for curling". Mr. Philips must have been an ardent curler because at the meeting of November 8th, 1893 he moved that the Lachine Skating Club buy eight pairs of curling stones. Eight days later he moved that "electric light fixtures be erected at once including posts for the lights over the curling space".

As the Lachine Skating Club was becoming a nucleus of curling on the West Island, the L.S.C. applied and was accepted into the Canadian Branch of the Royal Caledonia Curling Club. With this acceptance, the club changed its name to the Lachine Skating & Curling Club.

In August 1894, the executive of the Lachine Skating & Curling Club learned that the land where our club house now stands was for sale. Funds to buy the property were raised by the sale of $10 shares to residents and on December 29th, 1894, Dame Mary E. Bagg, wife of Samuel Shackell, sold our present site to the LS & CC. To guarantee access, a passage 20 feet wide from Union Avenue (present-day 42nd Ave.) was written into the deed for sale. In those days the entrance to the club house was adjacent to the backyards of houses facing present-day Broadway. At the Annual Meeting, at Harvey's Hotel on November 7th, 1894, it was moved and passed "that the assets of the Lachine Skating Club be transferred to the Lachine Skating & Curling Club, provided they assume the amount to be collected by Mr. A. Dawes on account of his taxes being raised" - a small price to pay for the birth of curling on the West Island.

The cost of founding the Club was approximately $3,000 - $ 1,746 for the property and $1,300 for the construction of the ice-shed and club house with "modem appliances for heating and lighting" plus $35 for moving the skaters' changing house from the creek to the new location. Thanks to the enthusiasm of people like Philips and Dawes, the Lachine Curling Club was the first curling club on the Lakeshore, the sixth on the island of Montreal and the thirteenth in the Province of Quebec. In 1894, the first inter-club game was against Thistle with the irons provided by the visiting team. After sixteen ends. The Thistle curlers won by four rocks and were congratulated by the L.C.C.'s 64 members, 37 of whom were active members.

A.J. Dawes had a two-year term as president (1894-1896) followed by R. Bickerdike, M.P., whose "estate" can still be seen on 47th Avenue. During the Bickerdike presidency, the Olympic Games were revived, but nearly a century later (1994), our favourite highland sport was still not an official Olympic competition (at last it is now).

In 1897, some members wanted to expand membership to Lachine residents living east of the Roman Catholic Church at 15th Avenue, but the narrow minded, snobbish opinions of some of the influential members of the Lachine Skating & Curling Club prevented those citizens from even having a visitor's ticket to skate. At that time, criteria for membership was both established and enforced by a General Committee whose cultural and linguistic bias has a profound effect on the make-up of the club. Unhappily, many of Lachine's Francophone community continue to hold the mistaken belief that our club is a recreational centre for affluent, Protestant, Anglo-Saxons: a club dominated by English-speaking company owners, bankers, doctors and lawyers. In 1910, following the"blackballing" of an applicant for membership, "grass roots democracy" forced the revision of the Bylaw concerning the matter. The name of this popular individual, at the centre of the furor, was not identified in the Club's records.

The Ladies Curling Club of Lachine, with a membership fee of $ 1.00, was established at the time of the Yukon Gold Rush of 1898. Females could curl when the men were at work and male members had priority when inclement weather forced the rescheduling of games. Ninety-four years later, equality was officially recorded in the new L.C.C. Constitution.

The L.C.C. Junior Curling program began in 1899, with a select group of boys who could curl for two hours every evening at 6 p.m., and every Tuesday for the entire evening on one of the two sheets.

Some miscellaneous items from the Club's minutes of the 1890s were: members could rent a locker for an annual fee of 25 cents (the price of a gallon of milk or a pound of coffee); locker fees usually paid one-third of the salary of the iceman during the three month curling season; and dedication to Club business was shown by holding the 1897 General Meeting at eight o'clock on New Year's Eve. The identity of the third president is a minor mystery because, although the Club's pictorial history of past presidents includes the photograph of Wm. Wards, president from 1898 to 1899, the archives show the president to have been W. Walker and the roster notes the presidential contributions of N. Walker. During his (or their) presidency, the archivist's attention must have been diverted to other unspecified events.

Our late nineteenth century male curlers were energetic, enthusiastic athletes who, during 14, 18 and 21-end games, became adept at delivering irons through, in and around puddles of water. But many a talented curler had his ego bruised when he failed to get a single iron into the house. At the time when artificial ice was only a dream, Lachine curlers prayed for continuous cold weather during the twelve weeks from the end of December to early March and mild spells gave Match Committees migraines. To try to maintain the ice in warm weather, windows near the ceiling of the shed were opened to let warm air to escape while cooler air entered through windows near the floor. In 1899, at a time when 7,000 young Canadians were volunteering for service in the Boer War in South Africa (1899-1902), Presidents Walker, Morris and Edward were attempting to organize fund-raising activities for the excavation of a new stone-filled ice bed which would retain coolness during mild periods.

New inventions at the turn of the century made it an exciting time for curlers. In 1901, Marconi sent his first wireless message across the Atlantic, obviously to Scottish curlers; Thomas Edison invented the electric storage battery, presumably to warm up curling brooms; electric street cars carried curlers and their curling rocks to inter-club matches; and male curlers were experimenting with a new Gillette safety razor which radically changed the photographic profiles of subsequent Club presidents. During the 1901 curling season, female curlers could read two newly published novels to their children: "Peter Rabbit" and "The Wizard of Oz". Between ends, male curlers were probably discussing the adventure stories of Rudyard Kipling and H. Rider Haggard.

On January 15, 1903, President Lucas and fellow members organized a "Banner Night at Lachine" for two Scottish rinks that were part of the first Scottish Curling Team to visit Canada. What impressed the Scots about North America was not the news that Henry Ford was building the first assembly line to mass-produce the Model T automobile, or that the Wright brothers were taking to the air, but the new toilet room facilities at the Lachine Skating & Curling Club whose toilets flushed directly into a town drain (until the Great Block-up of New Year's Eve, 1993). A year and a half later, the Scots would have come to a different Canada, because during G.W. Henry's term of office in 1905, Saskatchewan and Alberta became provinces of Canada. It would be many years before western curlers outnumbered the buffalo.

In the summer of 1906, better illumination for night curling was provided by installing "six incandescent lights" in the ice shed at a cost of $17.75 each. For the romantically inclined, there was a policy of no artificial lighting on the outdoor skating rink on moonlit nights. That year, skips were elected by the membership, but in subsequent years, this democratic process suffered some setbacks. In 1907, coinciding with the creation of the Boy Scout Organization by Sir Robert Baden-Powell, the president, W.O. Ryde, stressed good sportsmanship which was probably the reason the bachelors challenged the married male curlers at the start of the 1908-1909 season.

Between 1908 and 1910, when G.S. Oliver was officiating over L.C.C. executive meetings, the number of active members had increased by thirteen. Because there was no curling on Sunday and bonspiels were often interrupted by warm spells, any further increase would have created problems for the Match Convenor and it was recommended that a limit should be set on the number of active members. In those same years, Lachine curlers were listening to "canned" music on a new invention - the gramophone; intelligent skips were debating the relevance of Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity to the sport of curling; suffragettes were demanding both equal ice time and the equality of the sexes within athletic establishments; the Girl Guides were formed; and the world was saddened by the death of the heroine, Florence Nightingale.

During the 1911-1912 curling season, the "Scotch Curlers" returned and, after being entertained at the Forest and Stream Club in Dorval, were driven along the shore of Lac St. Louis in two large sleighs for competition at the Club. They were then wined and dined at the Lakeview Hotel.

During the presidency of both L.A. Amos (1910-1912) and C. de W. Reid (1912-1914), a new form of entertainment, the Hollywood movie, became popular and might have been the reason for the Match Committee's problems with irregular participation and finding reliable spares. In 1913, the Club's executive started discussing the feasibility of constructing a new club-house with three rinks and they were still debating this topic a decade later.

The "Great War" of 1914-1918 saw Club members signing up to fight for their country and a monument on St. Joseph's Boulevard, between 52nd and 53rd Avenues, lists the residents of Lachine who served. Miscellaneous wartime items from the Club's minutes include: in 1914 the salary of the ice maker/caretaker, Mr. Dufort, was $ 15 a month; the annual fee for lockers had risen from 25 cents a few years earlier to one dollar; during W.S. Johnson's term of office (1914-1916), inflation caused curling fees to be increased to $12 in 1915, and $15 the following season; and the agenda at executive meetings included the topic of the collection of funds for cigarettes for the "Boys at the Front". An analysis of the Club's archives shows that H. Ralph, President during 1916-1917, was actually H. Rolph, who may have anglicized his surname at a time when anti-German sentiment changed the name of the city of Berlin, Ontario, to Kitchener.

As the "war to end all wars" approached its dreadful conclusion, Presidents A. McLean (1917-1918) and A.P. Bastable (1918-1919) encouraged Lachine curlers to think about the promise of peace and prosperity, but for some young Canadian curlers, returning from the conflict, the reward for bravery was unemployment. At a time when curlers were celebrating the end of a dreadful war, the following resolution was passed by the Club on December 28, 1918: "In view of the new restrictions of the City in the Liquor Traffic, it was decided that only soft drinks be served by the Club on New Year's Eve". Prohibition had diluted an honoured curling tradition - a "wee nip", but Lachine curlers had much to celebrate about during the Lachine Skating & Curling Club's 25th Anniversary. It was a moment when members could reminisce about the "Good ol' Days" while focusing on the contribution to the sport of curling by the Club's major benefactor - Albert Dawes.

by DAVID McDOUGALL, DOUG POTVIN, CAMPBELL TAYLOR

1920-1944 - The Raguin Era


R.E. RAGUIN
President
1929-1931
This period was one of change and growth in the life of the Lachine Curling Club. We were fortunate in having men and women with a love of the game and a determination to carry on under trying times. We can be thankful that men such as Woodward, Dawes, Raguin, Evans, McLean, Packard, and a host of others kept the Club going through the early times and especially through the Great Depression.

The Club originally had two sheets of ice in a low shed of wood construction located on the site of the present-day parking lot and the club room was very small. Plans were started in the 1920s to enlarge the facility. These plans were speeded up when a fire destroyed the building in 1929.

The old Lachine Skating and Curling Club was disbanded and the stock was returned to the treasury. A new charter was obtained for the "Lachine Curling Club". Bonds were issued and a mortgage raised to provide funds for a new 3-sheet ice shed and a club house. Under the direction of President Rene Raguin and engineer W.B. McLean, the building was erected in record time at a cost of $15,000, and was opened on December 26, 1930. The new club house allowed the membership to hold meetings and social events at the club rather than at local hotels, taverns and restaurants. The extra sheet of ice provided more curling, the club became a social centre, and the membership grew.

The natural ice limited the length of the curling season. The earliest date on record for the start of curling was December 2, 1933. The usual starting date was just before Christmas. The weather in March sometimes caused problems and ice in April was rare. When the Brookline Curling Club in Massachusetts became the first curling facility to produce artificial ice in 1920, the Lachine Curling Club, as well as other clubs, started to study the feasibility of investing in modern refrigeration equipment.

In 1925, when a spring thaw threatened to cancel the Edinburgh trophy match, Mr. T. Howard Stewart, the donor of the trophy, rented the Montreal Forum to hold the competition. This was the first time an arena was used and this paved the way to make curling a spectator sport. The second use of an arena was in 1936 when Manitoba used the amphitheatre, an "athletic abattoir", to hold provincial play downs.

In Quebec, cast iron stones were used and most curlers had their own. The winner of the Green Singles competition was given two irons as a prize.

Natural ice made the throwing of the 60-pound irons difficult on the softer spring ice. Granites were easier to use and Mr. T. Howard Stewart offered to donate 100 pairs of granites to the Granite Association for distribution to any club wanting them. It was then normal to use granites for spring matches.

This eased the transition to granites in Quebec, but this took a long time. Attempts to have matches between Ontario and Quebec were difficult to arrange. They usually had two rinks a side. One game with irons, the other granites.

In the early days neither irons nor granites were standardized as to size, weight or running surface. So for important matches each curler took his own rocks. Sometimes the game would be delayed to allow the rocks to cool off to the ice temperature. This allowed curlers to belly up to the bar and talk about previous games. A letter in the file from the Valleyfield Club asked if the Lachine rink was coming by train and if they were bringing their own stones. If so, they would have a horse and sleigh at the station to take them to the rink.

Many matches were 16 ends. These were gradually reduced to 14 and then 12 for finals and 10 for club games. In the longer games it was usual to stack brooms half way through for a toddy.

Another change was in the delivery of the stone. The irons were delivered from the hack. With granites, a sliding delivery became the norm and play became more of a take out rather than a draw game.

For entertainment in the Club-house, there would be dances and dinners, but the most popular diversion seems to have been "Smokers" when male members would light up their cigars, pipes and cigarettes. This use of tobacco made it natural to ask a tobacco company to sponsor the national championship. The MacDonald Tobacco Company thus became the "angel" and the name "Brier Tankard" was given to the competition. As a brier is a woody shrub, the root of which is used to make pipes, "Brier" was the name given to MacDonald's Plug tobacco. Each plug had a small metal heart with tangs that were pressed into the plug: "The heart of the tobacco". The heart symbol became the symbol of excellence in curling and the brier crests were heart shaped. MacDonald also made chewing tobacco in plugs. Fortunately curlers did not emulate the practice of baseball players. As well as the Brier, MacDonald sponsored the "Lassie" Competition for the ladies and they used the same heart symbol. However, there is no evidence to indicate that the ladies were addicted to the plug tobacco.

While many changes came about at the Lachine Curling Club, many things stayed the same. The problems the Match Committee had in selecting rinks to represent the Club in major Branch competitions and in selecting Club skips were the same yesterday as today. Seniority used to be the most important factor whereas today ability and compatibility are given more consideration. One motion in the old minutes stated that the same three reprobates be re-elected as the Match Committee for another term - "a term of endearment".

The old correspondence showed a politeness and formality that is missing today. The old postcards, with the King George V one cent stamp, were used often for notices of meetings, (a penny post indeed!).

The members, in addition to their curling activities, participated in many civic and social events in the City of Lachine. President Frank Packard was one example. He had a London Bobby's uniform and on Hallowe'en he used to dress up and escort the children on their trick or treat forays. At Christmas, the choristers would end up at the Packard house for hot chocolate drinks after singing Christmas carols around town. Possibly the police uniform stimulated his imagination since Mr. Packard was the well known author of the Jimmy Dale Mystery stories.

The 1924 minutes had the following messages: "The club was officially opened on Nov. 30 with an oyster and liquid supper; the oysters being devoured first but the liquid holding out until the early hours of the morning. In fact, there were rumours that the celebration continued until the following afternoon." The New Year's reception was celebrated in the usual manner. President Packard, like "Solomon in all his glory", received the ladies and visitors, mixed rinks were picked, and the battle continued until midnight. I wonder if President Packard was wearing his London Bobby uniform.

It is an interesting exercise to look back at our history. We are fortunate in having the same spirit and companionship at our club today that the old boys and girls enjoyed.

The personnel changes, but the spirit remains. Plus ça change, plus c'est pareil !

by Harold Tincombe

1945-1969 - The Woodward Era


R.E. WOODWARD
President
1941-1946/1949-1950
1944 -1969 was a very eventful quarter century for Lachine Curling Club. Starting with the Woodward era we had 25 different people, including the Taylor boys, preside over the club. This period ended with Reg. J. Tyier as president during the 1969-70 season, the club's 75th Anniversary. Many changes occurred during this time, changes to the game as well as to the club house.

The first major change came in 1948 when L.C .C. switched to artificial ice. Until then, the natural ice surface made it quite difficult to get a granite, and absolutely impossible to get an iron, into the house during a warm spell. In 1947 the old Bonsecour Market was to be torn down and its refrigeration equipment sold. The club directors evaluated the machinery and wisely decided to purchase the two large components that made up the compressor. A shed was built to house these units, the same shed we use for today's refrigeration equipment. The steel pipes used for making the ice were embedded in cement. This made for a great dance floor and storage space, which was needed in the Lachine area at the time.

With artificial ice came the demand for good playing conditions. This caused quite a stir in 1954 when the Branch requested ice time from L.C.C. for Royal Victoria Jubilee games. When the ice was inspected at noon on the day of play, the ice surface was found to be unsuitable for curling. The president then ordered the ice to be scraped causing the ladies afternoon curling to be cancelled. To express their disapproval of their loss of curling time, they proceeded to scatter toilet paper and other items throughout the club-house.

Perfect ice conditions were no easier to achieve then as they are today. They blamed the ice keeper, they changed the ammonia system to brine, but still the runs came back. After a great deal of research by Lorne Rowell (the ice chairman of the day), it was determined that the deterioration of the ice was caused by the proximity of the lake. He found that the surface of the water table was not far below the surface of the ice, with some levels being higher than others. As the season progressed the water table froze causing the surface above to heave. This created the same tricky ice conditions we have today. In 1973 new plastic pipes were installed on top of styrofoam insulation. This corrected a lot of the heaving.

With better ice came better stones. During the 1955-56 season the club purchased six sets of Ailsa Craig blue curling stones straight from this island off the coast of Scotland. The stones cost $120.00 per pair. The same stones would cost $ 1,500.00 today (1994).

The coming of granite signalled the end of the "Iron Age". In the late 50s forty-eight pairs of irons lay around the boardwalks, rusting away from lack of use. Ted Hunt decided to dispose of these relics and called in a scrap dealer to pick them up. A few weeks later several members noticed that their prized possessions had disappeared. You see, in the days of iron play, you were presented with a pair of irons if you won the club singles competition. The irons were inscribed with the winner's name and year won, and painted in the club colours. After these members discovered that their trophies had already been put through a blast furnace, Ted Hunt was not a very popular man.

Needless to say, with the installation of artificial ice and the arrival of new stones, membership began to grow. In April of 1957 a resolution was passed allowing the Board of Directors to borrow a sum up to $45,000.00 This money was to be used to meet the cost of a proposed expansion of the club house. Through a combination of a bank loan, a loan of $30,000.00 from Dick Woodward and assessments, a project that gives us the comfortable club house we have today, was undertaken.

Before the expansion there was a small kitchen at the top of the stairs and a small bar on the east wall. An interesting fact decided the present location of the bar. In those days the ladies could only watch the curling from the upstairs' window overlooking sheet three. If they wanted to buy a drink at the bar, they had to walk through the men's lounge. This would create quite a panic between the male and female members. Therefore, the bar was moved from the east wall to where it is now. This allowed the ladies easier access to the bar without interrupting the male members at the cribbage tables and/or their T.V. viewing. How times have changed!

The expansion gave us the bar room, the alcove and a new kitchen. Downstairs the enlargement provided locker rooms for men and women, office space and a furnace room. The only major change to the curling shed was the removal of the windows that lined the top of the east and west walls. To comply with existing fire laws, a new fire escape was installed that led to the ice shed.

After all the dust settled, the next job was to repay all the money borrowed. Everything went towards the debt: bar sales, dances, dinners with guest speakers and even Buick cars were raffled off. When all was said and done, H. Smith. G. Cape, T. Hunt, H. Coles, E. Shorey, W. Dunstan and two other members, who had co-signed the loan, breathed a sigh of relief. It took five years to repay the loan and although Dick Woodward was repaid the interest on his loan each year, he always returned it to the club.

In 1964-65, all the Gold Bonds that were sold in 1930 to finance the construction of the new club, after the club had been destroyed by fire, were paid off. This action freed the club from mortgages for the first time in its history. This was accomplished after diligent research and legwork by C.L. "Clair" Moyse, for which he was rewarded an Honorary Life membership. With the club free from debt, substantial amounts of money were raised for the club's 75th anniversary celebration in 1969-70.

Here are a few of the highlights of this quarter century: (1) 1949 - The present-day McLean Measure was invented by D.V. McLean of the Lachine Curling Club and William Haliburton of the Montreal West Curling Club as a non-profit contribution to the curling game. (2) 1959-57- Lachine, Point Claire, Ste. Anne de Bellevue and Hudson Whitlock agreed to sponsor an event by sharing their facilities. Baie d'Urfé, Glenmore and Hudson Legion joined later. The purpose of the venture was to eliminate the conflict of holding individual bonspiels - and so the Lakeshore International Bonspiel was born. The main event trophy was donated by Lachine C.C. (3) 1958 - The first Past Presidents' Dinner was held and P.P. pins were presented. Fifteen Past Presidents, who had presided over club events from 1921 to 1958, attended the inauguration of this annual event. (4) 1959-60 – The Ted Hunt rink of G. Cape, R. Hoppe and A. Lamb was the first Brier Tankard rink to represent L.C.C. at the Dominion Championship. (5) 1963 - The Canadian Branch awarded L.C.C. the finals of the Royal Victoria Jubilee. This was the first time the finals were played in a club other than one located in Ottawa or Montreal.

Ted Hunt, Dan Rafael, Garth Ruiter

1970-1994

TWENTY-FOUR WONDERFUL YEARS IN RETROSPECT

by: GORDON PRICE

We will now take you on a nostalgic trip down through the past 24 years highlighting the efforts and accomplishments of our Past Presidents, who all worked so tirelessly for the betterment of Lachine Curling Club. Let me also take this opportunity to thank the City of Lachine, on behalf of all our members, for its much appreciated financial support during these years.


E.M. Paul
1970-71
Mac remembers that this was the year of the big hangover! After a year of celebrating our 75th Anniversary, it was time to get back to some serious curling. To top off a year of superior Club curling, our team of Harry Coles, Sid Thomas, Bob Jack and Bill Frier represented Quebec in the Dominion Senior Finals.


E.P. Shannon
1971-72

Paul inherited a financially sound set of books and he made sure that by the end of his term they would be just as good. His friendly nature ensured that a good time was had by all. Bar prices were: mixed drinks $1.00, sherry $0.50, beer $0.40


A.G. Bowes
1972-73
Art declared this as a year of fund raising to help defray the costs of next year's major ice renovation. It was agreed that the main source of revenue would be dependent upon the social activities of the Club. To this end, many events were run including a "Paris Night" complete with a unique Arc de Triomphe made by the Club Members' Committee. The year was a resounding financial success.

G.G. Brown
1973-74
Investigations had discovered that the brine pipes, which were embedded in the concrete, were leaking. George inherited the task of supervising the installation of pvc pipes that would lie on top of styrofoam and then be covered with sand. Many hours of intensive labour were put in by numerous Club members. One story goes, that one night, George, Garth Ruiter and Ted Hunt had the job of pumping out the brine into large drums and around 3:00 a.m.. Garth and Ted decided to go home forgetting about old George out in the lane working away! Twenty years later the ice is still fine, but if you are out in the ice-shed when it's very quiet and you listen carefully, you may hear George Brown's curses still bouncing off the walls.

R. Martin
1974-75
Bob was an amateur chef and he was great at serving scrumptious meals in a hurry. He had a kitchen staff that was second to none. One of his helpers insisted on remaining part of the crew even after he found it necessary to leave the Club. Bob's biggest attribute was his encouragement of mixed curling. Every second Saturday he organized "friendly curling". As you arrived at the Club, teams were made up and over the season you got to play with everyone. Later in the evening the carpets were rolled back and a dance broke out, usually to Big Band music. Bob had the Club swinging all year long.

G.H. Johnston
1975-76
Gerry remembers this as the year of the Montreal Olympics and the year that the Brier was held in the Velodrome which had been converted temporarily for curling. Many volunteers from Lachine Curling Club assisted in making this one of the best Briers ever. The success was further enhanced by being won by our "Belle Province" representatives, Jim Ursel and his rink. Gerry also remembers presenting the Lakeshore International Trophy (A Event) to Jim Templeman who beat Jim Ursel's Brier rink in the final. It was this year that the Board decided that the Club could no longer afford to keep a chef in the kitchen to prepare lunches. Chef John Kopaka and his assistant were therefore only called upon to serve at entertainment functions.

R. Sutherland
1976-77
Ron was instrumental in finally settling the Club colours. Sweaters would now be red with white trim. Also, the Club would no longer supply the members with brooms. A tape player was purchased for the main hall. Renovations during Ron's term included a new roof on the ice-shed, a new water main entry and replacement of the water pipes. Ron finished the year with a deficit of $6,969.00. Manager Bert Ley retired.

R. Brims
1977-78
Due to a dwindling membership. Bob and his Board decided that membership fees would be frozen and the $100.00 initiation fee dropped. Regular male fee was $165.00 This was the year that the Evening Ladies became a separate entity and elected Dot Piper as their first President. Ron Sutherland volunteered to take on the position as temporary Manager. Also, a voluntary bartender system was started. The kitchen was repainted. Kay Fisher won the Grand Bahamas raffle. Bar prices were: mixed drinks $1.25, wine $0.80, beer $0.60.

J. Yerbury
1978-79
Jim was parachuted in as President since our previous V.P., Sandy Sanitrar, was moving out of town. Jim says that Larry Merrill told him he was the last hope since they had gone down the alphabet and there was nobody else to ask past the Y's! Kay Tomalty became our new Manager. L.C.C. hosted the Lady Gilmour Bonspiel Finals. The ice-shed roof was painted and there were also various roof repairs. The old elm tree was removed and the firewood was given to the neighbours. The new sweaters cost $35.00 and brooms were $15.00. An Lamb, President 1965-66, was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.

H. Dennis
1979-80
Howard and his Board decided to spruce up the Club. An island counter was installed in the kitchen. The TV shelf was built in the comer of the bar. Videotron was connected at a cost of $7.29 per month. Mercury lights were installed in the parking lot. A new brine pump and expansion tank were purchased. Juniors in good standing were now allowed to play in Club events and spare in Woodward and Dagenais competitions. The golf tournament cost $8.00 and dinner was $6.00.

G. Bowes
1980-81
George had quite a year. The Lachine team of Jim Wilson, Garth Ruiter, George Brown and Bert Skitt won the Canadian Seniors Championship at Nanaimo, B.C. George arranged through Air Canada to fly our Champs home first class; the wives had to ride in the back of the plane! Many Club members were at Dorval airport to welcome home our victorious team and escort them back to the Club for a rip-roaring bash. This was the year that the Nomads joined our Club as Social Curling members. The Last Chance Bonspiel was taken over by L.C.C. when Caledonia C.C. closed. Major renovations included removal of upstairs men's washroom and installation of new stove, dishwasher and cupboards in the kitchen. The organ was purchased with a grant from the federal "New Horizons" program.

D. Burgess
1981-82
Don along with Jean Dandurand spent most of the summer supervising the installation of a new efficient gas furnace. Cost savings to the Club have been enormous with this switch to gas. Heat detectors and emergency lights were installed all over the Club. The stairs were recarpeted. Ken Weldon was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.

G.G. Ruiter
1982-83
Garth inaugurated the Quarter Century Club with pins being presented to 31 men and 17 ladies. A 50 year gold pin was presented to Ab Elder. Ab started curling at Lachine in 1928. Margaret Barker also received a 50 year gold pin. Garth's Pet Rock Program financed new plastic covers for all the rocks. A shelf with a valance was installed over the viewing areas to display our trophies. Bar renovations included a new ice machine and a beautiful wine-glass rack, made and donated by Jim Wilson. The men's washroom was renovated and dropped ceilings were installed in the ladies' washroom and in the downstairs viewing area.

R.D. Field
1983-84
Ray followed up with another year of Club renovations including resurfacing of the parking lot and new stucco on the shed wall. All our sofas and chairs were reupholstered. The fireplace was bricked in. A PA system was installed. The lovely Tiffany lamp over the pool table was made and donated by Reg Tyier.

J.M. Sanitrar
1984-85
Sandy was the only member ever to be Vice President twice. He later became famous as, "Chef Giovanni". Sandy made a trip to Government House to introduce our Governor General teams to Her Excellency, Madame Jeanne Sauve. Our teams in this year were the 1984 and 1985 Quebec representatives for the Brier, skipped by Rollie Paquin and Don Aitken. The Club lobby was painted and a new carpet laid. Advertising was added to the roster to defray the cost of printing. The hemp rope bumpers at the ends of the ice lanes were replaced by rubber. Cy Lister became Manager. Bar prices were: mixed drinks $2.50, beer $1.50, wine $1.25.

R.J. Laing
1985-86
The highlight of Bob's year was the big Homecoming weekend. It brought together old members from as far away as Newfoundland and British Columbia. Approximately thirty-five out-of-town couples renewed acquaintances with old friends from L.C.C. This was the year that lady representatives were appointed to the Board. All the downstairs chairs were reupholstered and La Poudriere was redecorated. The ice-shed was repainted and afterwards. Bob said, "It brightened up the ice lanes and made bad shots more noticeable".

F. Wiggins
1986-87
Frank had the foresight to originate the Emergency and Centennial Fund. This was the year that the John Grant Benefit Funspiel started. Also, Sunday evening curling for beginners started this year. L.C.C. hosted the Quebec Provincial Police Playdowns. Curling Club name plates were supplied by the City ofLachine. A new L.C.C. sign was installed on the wall facing the parking lot The Board passed a motion that smoking be prohibited on the ice. The lounge floor was sanded and refinished. Charlie King became Manager.

R.D. Field
1987-88
Ray was confronted with an emergency repair just before the start of curling. The headers were leaking and had to be replaced. Seven of the Club members advanced the $11,000.00 required. Ray had us back on the ice only a week late. By running a tight ship during the year. Ray was able to pay back the loans and have a surplus at the end of the year. At the same time he had the bar area painted and papered and new arborite put on the bar. The cloak-room and office were interchanged. A safe and a photocopier were purchased. L.C.C. won the Quebec Challenge Cup.


G. Price
1988-89

Charlie King called Gord, "Diamond Jim". Gord believed that you had to spend money to make money. Bar area renovations included new flooring, bar sink, shelving, plumbing and electrical wiring. A draft beer dispenser was installed. A personal computer was purchased. A microwave oven was bought with Canadian Tire money collected by Jerry Pangbom. A Curlbec boutique was set up for curling supplies. This year saw 74 new members join the Club. Many of these were curlers from Wentworth C.C. which had recently closed. The Member of the Year Award was inaugurated and the first recipient was Jerry Pangborn. The Day Ladies celebrated their 90th Anniversary.

R. Williams
1989-90
Ron hired Sandra Robertson as Manager. A new tar and gravel roof was installed over the enure Club. An answering machine was purchased for the office. Two bar stools were donated by Gord Price and the family of the late Norman Eaves. New chairs, desk and lamp were purchased for the ice level viewing area. The visitors' cloakroom was renovated. The mail box was made and installed by Gerry Blair. The Larry Merrill Bonspiel was sponsored and organized by the Big Red Team and a painting by Aidan Haley was the trophy.

L. Winslow
1990-1991
Larry formed a committee to review and revise the Club Bylaws. The objective was to make the Club open to all members and extend voting privileges to all sections of the Club. Larry felt that this progressive and historical change would ensure the long term viability and future success of our great Club. Helen Winslow became the first lady appointed to serve on the Board of Management, as Honorary Secretary. The Board initiated a voluntary Centennial levy on members in the amount of $20.00 per year for four years or one payment of $60.00. This levy ensured guaranteed entry, at no cost, into some of our Centennial bonspiels and dinner dances. The compressor room wall was rebuilt. The right-of-way behind the Club was closed and a gate was installed.

R. Haliburton
1991-92
Russ said that the greatest achievement this year was the acceptance of the new bylaws which opened the Club and its Board of Management to all of the membership. During the recession years of the 90s, the watch word was belt-tightening. To avoid a forecast deficit, the Board scrimped and pinched pennies all year. This summer also heard the death knell for the "men only" golf tournament. The Club was finally changing. Air conditioning was installed in the main hall and bar area. Bill Cook, President 1960-61, was made an Honorary Life member of the Canadian Branch. Art Lamb, President 1965-66, was inducted into the Governor General's Club.

R. Wilson
1992-93
Ross and L.C.C. played host on Jan. 20, 1993 to some of the Scottish curlers who were here to play with the Scots' Tour for the Strathcona Cup Competition. The Day Ladies hosted the Ladies Senior Provincial Playdowns. Our Junior team of Chris LeCouffe, Duncan Robcrtson, Graeme Robertson and Jason Hachey won the Bronze Medal at the Quebec Junior Winter Games, held in Baie Comeau. The tartan banners used for the Highland Fling were made by Elinor Brims and Joan Martin. Katherine Kerr became the first member to receive an Honorary Life Membership after the integration of the Club.

M. Cockhill
1993-94
Mel along with Pete Simpson supervised the installation of new ice-making equipment. The ice-shed ceiling and rafters were painted. The boards between the ice sheets were removed for the first time in the history of the Club. A new refrigerator was purchased. Garth Ruiter, President 1982-83, was made an Honorary Life Member of the Canadian Branch.