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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Scottish Curlers Visit The Club – Part II 1912

“Clansman, we gie ye the best o’ a’ Hielan’ welcome” said Detroit Mayor William Thompson to the arriving Royal Caledonian Curlers at the Canadian Pacific railway station on Friday February 2, 1912.  A parade was formed headed by a pipe band and a march made to city hall and then to St. Andrew’s Hall on Congress Street.  After a few speeches (none more than 3 minutes in length) and refreshments the parade reformed and the pipers led the Highlanders to the Hotel Cadillac where dinner was served.

Later at The Detroit Curling Club the visitors played six games (16 ends per game) against Detroit curlers.  Detroit was victorious with a total score of 89 to 85.

Saturday morning the visitors were taken on a trolley ride along the banks of the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair.  Upon arrival at the lake, ice boats were waiting and curlers given rides over the ice.  Then the group headed back to The Detroit Curling Club on Forest Avenue where curlers from Grand Rapids, Toledo, Petrolia, Sarnia, Chatham and Windsor were waiting.

It took the Scottish visitors some time to become accustomed to Detroit’s climate and ice conditions, but when they got the hang of it, they proved to be masters on the ice.  They played six matches and won with a total score of 84 to 58.  After an evening banquet the visitors returned to the train station for a night train to Chicago.  One of the visitors declared that “Detroit leads the World for hospitality and good fellowship.  We did not have a dull moment from first to last and that the entertainment was delightfully informal”.

The commemorative pin shown above was given to each of the visiting Scots.  I do not believe that any pins were given to the local curlers.  This is the only example that I have seen (either in person or online).  It was acquired on eBay from a pin collector in Japan – go figure.  The Detroit Curling Club’s pin used during this time period displayed the city of Detroit seal.  This commemorative pin displays the Coat of Arms of the State of Michigan.  Both were designed by DCC member John Kay and manufactured by Wright-Kay Jewelers.  The slogan “In Detroit Life Is Worth Living” is from a poem written in 1908 by Edgar A. Guest, Poet Laureate of Detroit.  The poem was used by the Detroit Convention and Tourist Bureau in 1911 for a visitors’ brochure promoting the city of Detroit.  The slogan was used on buttons and other souvenirs.  It has also been copied and reworded by countless cities, counties and states throughout the years.  

Good Curling,

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