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Half a Century of Sport,
Victoria County, Ontario Canada
The past fifty years have seen great local interest
in athletic sports of every kind. Perhaps no other factor in civic
life has done more for the health and the democracy of the town, for
participation has been general and the spirit of snobbish
exclusiveness conspicuously lacking.
Water sports may conveniently be dated from the formation, on May 4,
1874, of the Victoria Boat Club. This club sought to encourage
canoeing, rowing and yachting, but specialized in the latter. Some
of the yachts which took part in the enthusiastic contests of the
time were the Wide Awake, the Wave Crest, the Breeze, the Spray, the
Ruby, the Mazeppa, the Wave, and the Emma.
The lineal descendant of the Boat Club was the Lindsay Canoe Club,
which, in 1884, built a large two story club boat house at the foot
of Kent Street East. The ground floor was stored with canoes and
skiffs and the upper floor fitted up as a gymnasium. The pennant )f
the club consisted of a white diamond set in a crimson bordered blue
field and inscribed with a figure of a green bullfrog rampant
This totem has been appropriated in recent years by Sturgeon Point
but is less appropriate there than in Lindsay.
"Where Scugog rolls its turbid tide,
And bullfrogs bellow on its marshy side."
In 1889, the Lindsay Canoe Club was the largest in
the world, but its decline soon followed with the development of
Sturgeon Point and the development of the power launch, which made
it possible to travel by water without work.
Among winter sports, curling is preeminent. The Curling Club is a.
great force working for civic democracy, for here citizens of every
creed, race, occupation, and condition of life play together in the
utmost good fellowship.
The club was first organized on December 11, 1876. Its original
members were J. Watson (president), G. H. Bertram, D. J. McIntyre,
J. M. McLennan, J. Matthie, W. Needier, S. A. McMurty, H. Gladman,
Rev.. J. Hastie, and J. D. Flavelle.
The first season was spent in a rink on Victoria Avenue rented from
Thos. Fee. .By the season of 1877-78, the club was housed in a rink
of its own on Russell Street. The present Peel Street rink was built
In 1909, after 33 years of play, the club had won more prizes and
competitions than any other club in existence. A few only of its
achievements are the open event for all Canada and the U.S.A. at
Montreal in 1884, the Ontario Tankard 5 times in 13 years, the
Governor-General's trophy 4 times in 13 years, the Royal Caledonian
Medal 3 times in 6 years, the International Cup 3 times in 16 years,
and the Ontario Curling Association Medal 6 times in 13 years. The
doyen of the club is of course Mr. J. D. Flavelle.
A Lindsay Snowshoe and Toboggan Club was organized
on December 11, 1885, with C. E. L. Porteous as president and W. A.
Wilson as secretary. The club built a toboggan slide on Lyons' hill
in the North Ward and was active for several winters.
A Lindsay Skating Club Company, formed in December 1889, built the
present Lindsay Street skating rink. The management comprised J. A..
Barron (president), J. D. Flavelle (vice-president), and F. .C.
Hockey now began slowly to develop. The climax was reached in March
1909, when the Lindsay "Midgets" won the Intermediate Ontario Hockey
Association championship by defeating the Stratford "Midgets" 7-2 in
Lindsay and 5-3 in Stratford. The successful team consisted of the
following: Basil Newton (goal), Leon Koyl (point), Clifford Sullivan
(cover), W. Stoddard (rover), Kenneth Randall (centre), Reg.
Blomfield (left), and Fred Taylor (right).
Summer field sports have included cricket, lawn tennis, rugby
football, baseball, and golf.
The high water mark in cricket was attained on August 7, 1883, when
the Lindsay cricket team defeated Toronto on the local school
grounds by eight wickets. The Lindsay eleven were G. F. Hall, M.
Boyd, J. C. Grace, G. Hallett, J. A. Barron, W. Grace, W. Jones, J.
B. Smith, C. Veitch, R. McLennan, and E. Mosgrove.
The first tennis club was organized on July 21, 1884, with C E. L.
Porteous, F. Harman, S. A. McMurtry, J. D. Flavelle, and T. Dean as
an executive. The club was revived again in 1898. Grounds were
secured on the southeast corner of Russell and Mill streets, an
up-to-date club house built, and three courts developed under the
picturesque old elms which embellished the grounds .Matches were
played against teams from Millbrook, Port Perry, Uxbridge, and
elsewhere. The three outstanding local players were Peter Kennedy,
L. V. O'Connor and C. H. Sootheran. All three played in the
provincial championship matches at Toronto, and Sootheran in 1911
defeated the champion of Idaho in the finals for the singles
championship of Spokane, Washington.
A Rugby football club was organized in Lindsay in 1892 by W. H.
Simpson, but met with no outstanding success until November 27,
1908, when, with a season's record of four wins and no losses, it
won the Junior Rugby championship of Ontario by defeating the
"Capital" team of Toronto by 5 to 3. The Lindsay fourteen comprised
the following: full-back, Sylvester; halves, B. Green, Cotton, F.
Green; quarter, Killen; scrimmage, McQuarrie, Dougan, Newton; wings,
McHugh, Koyl, Conway, Murdie, McKenzie, McGregor.
In baseball, the day of greatest jubilation has
probably been October 6, 1904, when Lindsay won the pennant of the
Midland League by defeating Bowmanville 10-7. The Lindsay players in
1904 were Cinnamon, Lennon, Little, Marks, Menzies, Miller, McGill,
McLaglan, Stalker, and Workman.
A golf club has been in existence for a score of years and owns an
admirable golf course and club house just west of the town. The
expense attendant on the game involves a danger, happily not yet
realized, of its becoming the one undemocratic sporting organization
in a splendidly democratic town.
Town of Lindsay