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Past Centennial Events

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Jan 1 – President’s New Year’s Day Levee: VIEW PHOTOS

High Park’s 100th Anniversary Celebrations got off to a great start at the President’s Levee, January 1, 2011. About 115 people, including 28 Past Presidents, cheered President Marv Lipson as he threw out the first rock of High Park’s second century, using the historic rock usually kept in the display case. Piper Calum Matthews piped a full five sheets of curlers onto the ice for four quick ends, featuring the President vs the Vice-President, and 16 of the Past Presidents.

Back inside, Al White had the full attention of the crowd as he presented a short history of the men who founded this club, buying the property in 1910. The Past Presidents were then presented with special gold Centennial pins, with the year of their presidency engraved on each one. Don Gibson, our oldest Past President in attendance (President in 1964/65) cut the Centennial Cake, home made by Carolyn Larden. Marv Lipson then made the toast to the Club and the New Year, and sent everyone off to enjoy the fabulous brunch prepared by Dizzy.

Thank you to all the people who made this event a wonderful kick-off to our centennial year, including Brenda Caldwell, Joe Coneybeare, Nancy and Rob Holloway, Carolyn Larden, Marv Lipson, Kelly Scissons, Pat Rawluk, Karen Hajdur, Sam Montesano, and Al White.  A special thanks to Chris and Brenna and the other staff who worked so hard to have the Club in tip top shape for the levee after what we gather was a rather successful New Year’s Eve party.

Jan 14/15 – Men’s Goldline Curling Finals

High Park Club was pleased to show off the results of our renovations to many city curlers when we hosted the annual Goldline Men’s Curling Finals. Every year the Toronto Curling Association, representing the 23 curling clubs within the GTA, organizes a series of city-wide bonspiels for juniors, men’s, women’s, and mixed regular club teams.  The men’s series, sponsored by Goldline, is claimed to be the biggest spiel in the world with nearly 500 teams competing.  The finals are a week-long, four-event competition within Open, Seniors and Senators divisions. Under the guidance of Blair Clemes, and with the assistance of the unbeatable team of Howard Stanfield, Dan Yamasaki and Dave Reid, everything ran like clockwork, and the Club’s reputation for warm hospitality was continued into the second century.

Apr 6-10– Mixed and Senior Mixed Provincial Finals

Co-chairs How­ard Stanfield, Dan Yamasaki and Dave Reid have had another resounding success. Under their leadership, High Park Club hosted this year’s John Shea Insurance Mixed Provincial Finals and the Canada Gold Whisky Senior Mixed Provincial Finals. Many competitors reported that this was the best run provin­cials they had ever attended.

This was a very important and prestigious curling event. To make it to the finals, teams compete locally in 16 zones, with the two winners progressing to 4 regional playdowns, and the best two in every region moving on to the provincial finals. The finals are played in round robin to decide the provincial champion. The winner of the Mixed, but not the Senior Mixed, moves on to the national finals.

Thanks to the men’s section for coming out as timekeepers, scorekeepers, etc., and to the other volunteers who helped with this event.

April 17 - Little Rocks and Junior Section Bonspiel

As part of our Centennial Celebrations, Little Rock Curlers, Parents, Junior Curlers, and previous Little Rock members and volunteers participated in a loud and joyful end-of-season bonspiel. The event featured two draws of four ends each using little rocks, followed by a barbeque lunch. Each young curler also received a centennial long-sleeved tee shirt.

A special aspect of this tournament was that event organizers Karen Gigliotti and Barb Ewing ran clinics for the two weeks preceding the event so that non-curler parents could learn the basic skills of the sport prior to the day. What a great (and safety-promoting) idea!

The Little Rocks section of HPC began its inaugural season in 1988-89. Using smaller, lighter rocks, children aged 7-12 are taught the fundamentals of curling from experienced volunteers. Currently, we have almost 50 children (aged 5-12) come out to our Sunday afternoon sessions. The Junior Section, for ages 13+ runs Wednesday afternoons and has about 15 members.

May 28/29 – Doors Open

For the first time ever, High Park Club participated in Doors Open Toronto. Doors Open Toronto is a popular annual citywide celebration featuring free access to architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the City of Toronto.

The event surpassed expectations for visitors in that we had 550-600 people through the Club over the course of the weekend. A majority were from the High Park area (by informal survey), and many were impressed with the venue and appreciative of a chance to see something that was “a bit of a mystery” to them though in the midst of their neighbourhood.  A “hidden gem” was a phrase frequently heard.

The tangible benefits are that our facilities (ie- rental hall, dining, bar, etc.) are known to a good many more local people now, and Mixed Social may have a bunch of new members (10-20?) based on Club applications requested and serious interest shown.  As well, there has undoubtedly been a large reservoir of goodwill created with the neighbourhood at large which is never a bad thing for an institution located within a residential neighbourhood.

Many thanks to Joe Coneybeare, who was chief organizer for the event, and to his team of volunteer tour guides.

June 10 – Centennial Golf Tournament

The tradition of sunshine for the golf tournament held again this year, as about 60 golfers turned out to Deerfield Golf Course for the Centennial Golf Day. Head organizers Brian and Ginny Cooke pulled out all the stops to ensure that this was indeed a special occasion, with celebrity guests, wine on the tables, and a fine assortment of prizes for everyone. Participants also  enjoyed having both lunch and dinner, as well as cart fees and extras like the putting contest, all rolled into one price this year. All around, an excellent day.

July 10 – High Tea on the Verandah VIEW PHOTOS

High Park Club was transformed on Sunday afternoon July 10th, as ladies and gentlemen in their summer finest gathered on the upstairs terrace of the club for the first ever High Tea at High Park. Each round table featured three-tiered plates of delicious finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and preserves, and tiny sweets. While sipping a choice of tea in china cups served from silver pots, patrons were entranced by tennis players in their whites completing the finals of their Wimbledon competition. Hats and pearls were in abundance.

Congratulations to Kate Wash, originator of the idea and key organizer, and to her helpers Marina Frykowski and Joan Kerr. This event was so popular that the two settings of 40 each were completely sold out. There is no doubt that the first High Tea held at High Park will not be the last.

July 25 - Daniel Nestor Centennial Tennis Exhibition

What a coup for High Park! On July 25th, the High Park Club Tennis Section hosted a tennis exhibition by Canadian star Daniel Nestor. Nestor is the only doubles player in tennis history to have won all four Grand Slams, all of the Masters Series events, the Year End Championships, and Olympic gold medal in doubles at least once.

Despite the hot night, Nestor demonstrated his amazing skills in a singles match against fellow professional Karl Hale, and then in a doubles match where he and Hale each combined with two High Park players.

High Park’s very own John Culotta and David Lee held their own on the court with the pros. Highlights of the night? John goes down the line on Nestor for a winner. And David Lee's claim to fame? Hitting an ace on Nestor on a second serve!! Way to go boys!

Keith Thompson has put together a video slide show and this event also made it into the Toronto Star, and a spot on City TV.

A special thanks to Mike Welch for putting all of this in motion, Diane Torlone who oversaw the planning, Joan Kerr who did a tremendous amount of work organizing all the volunteers and making sure everything was set for the evening, and John Culotta for helping organize court details and more.

Thanks also to HPC staff and Management for pulling it all together. Jim, Chris and particularly Derek and Sean who worked from 8am to get the courts perfect and to create the beautiful setting we had.

September 9 – Baseball Reunion


Bases are loaded and two out; get the ball to the nearest base! There was lots of excitement at Rennie Park as four teams competed in the Centennial Baseball Reunion. Field Number 1 saw perhaps the more skillful game, with current players who are doing this every Friday night during the summer. Field Number 2 was more noted for enthusiasm, as players who may not have played for a while (anywhere from 6 to 15 years) hoped their muscle memory would save them from embarrassment. Despite some less-the-perfect plays, the games were exciting and close. We couldn’t ask for more.

Back at the Club, both players and spectators enjoyed hot dogs and hamburger , and an array of salads and fixings prepared by the Saturday Night section. A few beers were quaffed, and a good time was had by all.

Many thanks to Johnathon Hoskins, Eva Havill, Lydia Zylin and all the members of the Saturday Night section for an excellent evening.

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