Ottawa Valley Tour – A Little History (by Malcolm Richardson)
Back in 1979 Robin Duthie and John Polson made contact with John Doty and Roger Wilson to see if the there was a possibility of bringing 24 curlers from Renfrewshire 12th Province to Canada. Arrangements were put in place and the tour was born.
This outgoing party spent part of the trip in Ottawa and part in Toronto under the guidance of Mike Gourlay.
In 1980 Ottawa Valley curlers crossed the pond and spent 10 days here meeting many of us and creating the lasting friendships that are still with us to-day. This was my first contact with our Canadian friends losing in the final of the Greenacres bonspiel to Mike Gourlay. The Alberts who had not curled before and joined the party at the last minute were in Mike’s team along with Doreen.
Some years passed before Robin put Malcolm Richardson in touch with John Doty in 1988.and the first of the recent tours took place. One or two of the 1979 tour were with us but the party was mostly made up of our members who had never crossed the pond.
Too many experiences to recount but sufficient to say memories never to be forgotten which have survived the passage of time recalled on many occasions Archie McFarlane was the tour Captain and certainly left a lasting impression on our Canadian friends
Ottawa Valley curlers came to Scotland in 1990 under the captaincy of Louis Albert, who had really learned to curl by this time. Many of our old friends made this trip and once again enjoyed the sight of our new tourists going through the rigors of a Curler’s Court.
Renfrewshire Province took the next tour to Canada in 1994 with Graham Biggart as Captain. Such a great pity Denny Charlebois had such difficulty understanding Graham’s challenge !! He is ,however, slowly learning to fathom our strange tongue. So many new friends.
1998 saw Locks Trenholm bring the next tour party to our shores, which gave me the opportunity to Chair the Host Committee an honour which I so much appreciate.
In 2002 Hamish Sutherland was the Captain of the Renfrewshire curlers visiting the Ottawa Valley again and if all the stories are true this was the usual unforgettable experience we have all come to expect.
These tours have fostered so many real friendships. So many names it is impossible to name them all, some who are no longer with us but always in our memory. If I may, one name, Vic Ridding whose wonderful songs at the end of the tours will be missed so much.
Read 1988 Tour Diary
Read 1994 Tour Diary
Read 2002 Tour Diary
View 2010 Tour Gallery