A delegation of 16 Scottish Rotarians were guests of the Rotary Club of Meaford on Friday, November 18, during the bi-annual Scotland/Canada Rotary Curling Tour that dates back to the mid-1950s, when Bob Macintosh of Scotland invited fellow Canadian Rotarian Aubrey Legge and his team of 15 curlers to Scotland for friendly competition, thus beginning 66 years of Rotary curling fellowship.
The Scottish Rotarians arrived in Canada on November 6 to start a round of 11 curling games against fellow Canadian Rotarians throughout Southern Ontario to determine the winner of the Bob Mackintosh Transatlantic Rotary Curling Quaich and for a final match to determine the winner of the Duddingston Trophy. Their time in Canada will include tours of key points of interests in each of the host communities where they are billeted.
The delegation met at the Meaford Curling Club for a lunch prepared by club members before Pipe Major Eobhann Bruce of the Beaver Valley Pipes and Drums and two flag bearers led the Scottish guests and a team of Canadian curlers from Meaford, Thornbury, and Clarksburg onto the ice for Game No. 8. Co-ordinator Gerry McGregor welcomed the curlers and treated the piper and flag bearers to a traditional ‘wee dram’ of whiskey.
The Scottish curlers travelled to Gravenhurst on Saturday morning to compete against the Barrie/Gravenhurst team in Game No. 9. They are scheduled to spend four days touring Ottawa, Kingston, and Toronto before flying home to Scotland on November 26.
Winners of the Mackintosh Quaird will be determined by the total number of points for each team during all games played during the tour, and the Duddingston Trophy by the total number of points for each team during the Duddingston Match in Kingston on November 25.
Going into Friday’s game, Canada’s point lead over Scotland was 27, which was reduced to an 18-point lead by the end of the day. After Saturday’s game in Gravenhurst, Canada was ahead by 31 points.
Twelve games in three weeks combined with all of the travel can be demanding but not without its perks, according to MacGregor. “The touring team has the advantage of playing together day after day and almost always has the advantage on the ice,” he said. “However, it’s a friendly competition and more about the fellowship among Rotarians and between the two countries. Fellowship is one of the benefits of being part of this wonderful organization.”