John Kay (DCC President 1901-02) was born in Scotland in 1850. He and his parents immigrated to Canada in 1851. At 13 John learned the jeweler’s trade at his father’s store in Galt, Ontario. In 1881 he moved to Detroit and became the manager for the ‘Roehm & Wright’ a jewelry store. He subsequently bought out Mr. Roehm and they reorganized the business as ‘Wright, Kay & Company’. Mr. Kay left this endeavor in 1907 to form the jewelry store of ‘John Kay and Company’. He specialized in diamonds and other fine jewelry. He was recognized as one of the few experts on diamonds and precious stones in the country and wrote a book – The Diamond – a reference book still in use today. Reprints can be bought at Amazon.
Mr. Kay designed the current Club crest in 1934. The crest is based upon a Scottish Clan crest. The strap and buckle symbolizes the encircling of the membership of the clan and allegiance to the clan chief. Rather than a clan motto we see the name of the club. The rock and crossed brooms have obvious meaning and the thistle is the national emblem of Scotland since the 1200’s.
In January 1935 this design was adopted by The Board of Directors as the new club’s crest. ‘John Kay & Company’ produced 100 badges (pins) for the members of The Club. It is assumed that more batches were produced by them for The Club for the next 10 or twenty years. Here is a picture of the front and back of one of these original pins.
Occasionally, you can find one of these on eBay. Later pins were produced with the company names of “Weyhing Detroit” (Weyhing Brothers Manufacturing); “Richard Hemsley LTD” (1970s); “The Pin Place Fort Dodge IA” (our current supplier); and an unknown company, since they did not print a name on the back. The pin has always been unique in the curling pin-collecting world because to the addition of the ‘raised’ rock which is added to the basic pin making it three-dimensional. (September 7, 2013 – addition to article: Club Pins were also made by "Artiss-Regina". I think these were produced before the “Richard Hemsley LTD” pins).
The February 2, 1938 Board of Director’s minutes state that the design be adopted as the club crest for producing embroidered cloth patches. The board recommended that the crest be worn on the left upper sleeve. You can see this in many of the old photographs around The Club.
Good Curling. Angus MacTavish
PS – Visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqZ7DLr4tDk to see how cloisonné pins are made.