Our Association is officially called the "Ladies Curling Association of the Canadian Branch of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club", but more commonly called the "L.C.A.". Our 100th Anniversary was celebrated in 2004.
The Ladies Curling Association held their first meeting, February 4, 1904. Forty-four delegates from Utica Curling Club (Brookline), Lachine, Montreal, Perth, Quebec, Rideau of Ottawa and St. Lawrence got together to make a draw for a yearly bonspiel and, out of this original thought, the L.C.A. was born. The name, Ladies Curling Association, was not adopted until the following year. Montreal Ladies' Club (awarded title "Royal" in 1924), St. Lawrence Curling Club and Lachine Curling Club, were the first members. Mrs. A.E. Whitehead was elected the first President and Miss Norah Smith, Vice-President, both were from the Montreal Curling Club.
Sixteen ends constituted a match at the first bonspiel. The rink competition was held in the morning and played in irons, and the points games was played in the afternoon in both irons and granites. The first bonspiel was won by Lachine in the rink event and Miss Scott of Quebec (Irons) and Mrs. Magor of Lachine (Granites) won in the Points Competition. The trophy for the first bonspiel was presented by the Mother Club, the Royal Caledonian Curling Club of Scotland, and was the forerunner of the Coronation Trophy.
The second bonspiel was February 7 - 10, 1905. The number of ends was changed to fifteen for both irons and granites and some of the rules were as follows:
To be separate competitions for granites and for irons and a prize for each.
Only permitted to play in one or the other except for illness.
To be a "Point" competition for both granites and irons and a player be allowed to enter both.
$2.00 each rink entry fee and .25¢ for each player in "Points".
Club to be limited to two rinks each with granites and irons. "Points" entries to be open.
Rink competitions in morning and "Points" in the afternoon so both could be played
Twenty dollars was available after paying expenses, therefore, it was decided to pay for all the carting of stones from rink to rink.
At that time the Executive was kept strictly within the Montreal Clubs as communication and transportation were both so complicated. In the early minutes there is a mention of a nomination of a member from Ste. Anne de Bellevue, but it was felt she lived too far away and it was not until 1938-39 that a President was named from that club.
After being in operation for many years, operating under a type of constitution of their own, a formal Constitution was printed in 1951. In this Constitution, under "No. 7", it read:
"The headquarters of this association shall meet in the City of Montreal, where all meetings shall be held. The President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary and Treasurer, shall all be resident on the island of Montreal. The second and third Vice-Presidents shall be a member of an out-of-town club, elected annually and alternately from Quebec and Ontario. An Honorary President shall be appointed."
The 1955-56 minutes record a suggestion that the slate of officers be changed and the Branch recommended that the ladies follow their set-up of Districts and each District to take turns in the nominating of a President. In that year the President and Vice-President visited forty-two clubs to explain the new plan and all approved.
It wasn't until 1958, when the four districts were formed, that any President or a member of the Council came from anywhere else. In 1958-59 Mrs. Claude Maxwell of Ottawa Glebe was named from District 2, Mrs. O.E. Caza from Valleyfield represented District 3, and Mrs. Gordon Billings from Three Rivers was from District 4. From that point on, each District took turns nominating a President. In 1959-60, District 2 had its first President, Mrs. Claude Maxwell from Ottawa Glebe, the first time a President had been named from off the Island of Montreal.
In 1960 Avis Robert headed the Constitution Committee and, under the able leadership and guidance of Clarence Campbell, a new Constitution was approved and the new Constitution, dated May 1962 was moved and accepted.
In 1971-72 there was a very strong movement presented by the President (District 2 at that time), and was backed enthusiastically by many curlers in the District, that District 2 should become autonomous and withdraw from the 1962 Constitution. They also asked for the return of a considerable amount of money paid into the Ladies Curling Association over the years in the form of fees. It was only after considerable meetings with the Men's Branch Representatives, many special Committee Meetings and the good guidance of some curlers from District 2, that fences were mended and everything went back to its original status - or almost, at least on the surface.
In 1980-81 an Ad Hoc Committee was set-up to consider restructuring the Association. The Ad Hoc Committee recommended that two Districts be formed with Districts 1, 3 and 4 amalgamating into one District - District 1. A Special Meeting was held May 7, 1981, and a mandate was given to amalgamate Districts 1, 3 and 4.
In 1981-82, when the present format was put into effect, the President now alternates between the two Districts - one and two. District 1 encompasses most of the Quebec clubs with many of the competitions centring in Montreal. District 2 encompasses all of Eastern Ontario and some clubs in Western Quebec, i.e., Buckingham, from Deep River and Kingston to the Quebec border. The two Districts are divided into six Centres.
1966-67 was the first year the Ladies Curling Association had full control of their money, previous to that the Branch collected the fees. In 1984-85 we took over producing our Annual Report from the Branch.
The Aims of the Association are:
1. To unite clubs throughout Western Quebec and Eastern Ontario.
2. To promote the game of curling.
3. To regulate and administer the conduct of the game generally and to conduct Association competitions among member clubs and their members.