History of the Origin of the Ontario Branch

Excerpt from the original minute book 1874

"A private letter received by a member of the Toronto Club from a member of the St. Mary's Club, urging that the question of the formation of an Ontario Branch of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club be brought under the notice of the first named club with a view to its taking the initiative, led to action being taken on the matter.

A meeting of those interested in the formation of such a branch was called for March 9, 1874 and at that meeting a Committee was appointed which drew up a form of petition asking for the establishment of a branch of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club for the province of Ontario. The principal reason set forth was that the then existing Canadian Branch, with its headquarters at Montreal, was practically managed by the five or six clubs of the Province of Quebec, who use iron blocks, while over forty clubs in Ontario use the time honored granite for the practice of the game of curling. The petition went on to show that the difference in the mode of curling referred to, had as a consequence, created a sort of dividing line, and that the curlers of the east were not personally known except to a few of the curlers in the west. Some other reasons were also built out, proving that the interests of curling would be advanced by the establishment of a Branch of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club for this Province independent of Canadian Branch. Copies of said petition were sent to every club in the Province for approval. Over thirty clubs returned the petition signed by their respective Presidents and Secretaries. These petitions were on April, 1874 duly forwarded to the Secretary of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club of Scotland, and were read at the annual meeting of that club on the 30th of July following and to avoid any irregularity with respect to the existing Canadian Branch, were remitted to a committee.

The following minutes of meeting of the Committee of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, may be considered the CONSTITUTIONAL CHARTER of the ONTARIO BRANCH.

At a meeting of the Committee of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, held at Edinburgh, 25th November, 1874 on the subject of constituting an additional Branch of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in the Dominion of Canada, to be called the Branch of the Province of Ontario, having its headquarters in Toronto. Present - Mr. Beveridge, Vice President Robert Patterson, Second Vice President D. Sidey, Ex Vice President Rev. McGiffeur, Chaplain Mr Cassels, Secretary Josiah Livingston. Ex Vice President Mr. Cassels laid before the meeting thirty seven petitions from Ontario praying for the constitution of the additional branch above - mentioned and read letters from several persons all keen curlers in Ontario in regard there to. He also read the resolution of the meeting of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club at Sterling on 24 July last, appointed this Committee. These petitions, letters and resolutions having been read and duly considered by the meeting of it was unanimously agreed and resolved, that the prayer of the petitioners by granted, it being understodd that the Branch now established shall, in all respects be separate and independent of the Canadian Branch of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. Further, that the petitioners be requested to form themselves into the Branch of the Province of Ontario, with rules and regulations for its guidance, subject, however to the rules and regulations of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club and that the said Branch of the Province of Ontario , when constituted, shall report its proceedings to the Royal Caledonian Curling Club for approval, and in all curling matters be subject to the approval of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. Signed Alex Casells - Secretary RCCC.

On receipt of a copy of the above minutes, a circular was addressed to various Ontario clubs, inviting them to send representatives to a meeting appointed to be held at the Walker House, on 22nd December 1874, for the purpose of organizing an Ontario Branch of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club of Scotland.

At this first meeting, the Honorable Peter Gow of Guelph, was elected Chairman and D Walker of Toronto, Secretary of the meeting. A committee was then appointed to examining the credentials of delegates, who reported the following clubs as duly represented:

Paris - Robert Patterson Caledonian Toronto - Robert Malcom Caledonian Toronto - Jos Pringle Guelph - Hon. Peter Gow Guelph - F. Morton Bowmanville - Wm. Williamson Bowanville - M. McTavish Port Hope - Capt. Perry Thamesville - Robert Ferguson Clarkes - Wm. F. Allen Mechanics Hamilton - Alex Dingwall Chatham - John Wright Toronto - Joseph Slovel Toronto - J.S. Russell Owen Sound - D. Walker Woodstock - D. Walker Woodstock - D. Walker Elora - D. Walker St. Mary's - Gro. Murton Orillia - D. Walker Sarnia - D. Walker Ayr - D. Walker New Dominion - D. Walker Milton - D. Walker Ancaster Thistle - Robert Malcolm Ingersoll - D. Walker Wingham - D. Walker Keene - J.S. Russell Fergus - Major Gray Lucknow - D. Walker Thistle Hamilton - D. Walker London - D. Walker Galt - D. Walker

Mr. Walker then proceeded to lay before the meeting the history of the movement which has now resulted in this gathering by reading: 1st extract of minutes of Toronto Curling Club of 9th March, 1874. 2nd the petition sent by the Ontario Club to the Parish Club whihc he stated was adopted by over 27 clubs in Ontario, and forwarded to the Parish Club. 3rd The correspondence between Mr. Cassels, Secretary of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club - Edinburgh and himself with the final resolution of the Committee to bring about an International Bonspiel with the United States curlers.

That the following curlers Messrs. John Harvey, F.R. Desparost, S. Scott of Hamilton, George Murton of Guelph, Col. Moffat of London, Cal Ward of Port Hope, E. MacNachton of Cobourg, R. Malcourt and D. Walker of Toronto be a Committee to conduct a Bonspiel next winter under the auspices of this Branch. That Messrs. Morrison, Walker and Russell be a committee to draw up and forward to the parent club a letter of condolence reference the death of the late laureuted Secretary, Mr. Cassells. That Messrs. Russell and Walker be a Committee to requeest the Rev. D. Barclay to represent this Branch at the coming Annual Meeting of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club and to instruct him to endeavor to obtain certain modifications respecting annual fees, curling annuals, medals and to devise some scheme with reference to procuring periodical visits of curlers from Scotland to this country. That Messrs. Malcolm, Stovel, Russell and Walker be a committee to consider the practibility of publishing a curling annual in connection with this Branch. That all the office bearers and the managing committee that were elected last December be re-appointed to their respective offices for the ensuing year. The Secretary reported that thirty Clubs had joined this Branch and that twenty-four had already sent in their member's list. On motion the meeting was adjourned to the call of the Secretary.