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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 1893.

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. Taylor (secretary-treasurer.)

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

Victoria County


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