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Curling

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 AVOCH









1904
Patron - J Douglas Fletcher, Esq., of Rosehaugh

Patronesses -
Miss Hope, Rosehaugh House
Miss Stephen, Avoch House

President - Colonel Fitzroy Stephen, CB, Avoch House
Vice-President - Alex. McKenzie, Esq., of Breda
Representative Members - Rev Spence Ross, Rev John Gibson
Chaplain -Rev Alfred M Philip
Treasurer - John Smith
Secretary - John Macleay
Committee or Council of Management -
Rev Sp. Ross, Provost Geddie, Dr Cameron, John Munro, Rod. Macdonald, James Thompson, John Smith
Honorary Members - J Douglas Fletcher, J St Quentin

2004
(Instituted 1952 Admitted 1952)

President - Michael Wilson
Representative Members -Arthur MacArthur, Michael Wilson
Secretary - Arthur MacArthur
Treasurer - Arthur MacArthur
Match Secretary - Arthur MacArthur
Ice Rink - Inverness
Members (ordinary) -
Mrs S Jack, A MacArthur, Mrs R MacArthur, L. Macaskill,
R Macdonald, Ms K Maciver, N Maciver, L Macleman, Ms J Maxwell, M Wilson

ROSS-SHIRE CURLING PROVINCE CENTENARY 1893 - 1993

At the present time Avoch Curling Club is the only club at the eastern end of the Black Isle, but it was a very different picture in 1903. Curling clubs listed then included Chanonry, Cromarty, Resolis and Rosehaugh, as well as Avoch.

Of these, the only club present at the inaugular Provincial meeting on 22 November 1893 was that of Rosehaugh, represented by Mr Thomas Henderson. This club had been instituted in 1880 and was admitted to the Royal Club in 1888. In those days of outdoor curling, their home venue was the pond in front of the now demolished Rosehaugh House. This latter act - one of astonishing institutional vandalism - has never been forgotten on the Black Isle.

The major influence in the Rosehaugh Club was J D Fletcher, an entrepreneur who had made his fortune in the international development of the port of Liverpool. He not only influenced local curling on the Black Isle but was prominent in provincial affairs, and he it was who presented the young association with their first trophy, in 1894 .... "to be played for inter-club competition".

The first mention of the Avoch club was at a Provincial meeting of 7 November 1894, at which both Avoch rinks were drawn to play Dingwall rinks in the first inter-club bonspiel held under the auspices of the new Association of Ross-shire curlers. This bonspiel was played at Muir of Ord on 12 January 1895 - "the ice was good in the early part of the day but a thaw latterly set in".

The Avoch club joined the Royal Caledonian Curling Club in 1894. J Douglas Fletcher was patron in these early years. President was Colonel Fitzroy Stephen, CB, of Avoch House, and secretary John MacLeay.

The influence of the Royal Club was apparent at this time in their encouragement of competition for District Medals. A match on 17 December 1908 between Avoch and Beauly clubs resulted in a win for Avoch by 14 shots, and again on 21 December 1909 Avoch defeated Muir of Ord by 10 shots. Both of these matches were played on the pond across the Avoch burn and there are frequent references to a need for improvement to the access bridge. The bridge was eventually carried away by the floods of September1915. Club President at this time was Canon Spence Ross.

These medals were later used as club prizes for the annual Points competition. Neil Wilson is recorded as winner in 1911 with 20 points and again in 1913 with 18 points on what was described as 'tricky ice'..

At the present time Avoch is one of the most prominent clubs in Ross-shire. Former President of the club, Arthur MacArthur, is presently Vice-President of the Province and the club is unique in having two lady curlers - Kathleen MacIver and Coreen Munro - as President and Vice-President respectively.

One of the most unusual trophies held by the club is a Silver Broom presented to J D Fletcher by the Avoch and Rosemarkie Curling Club in 1895. It was used for 'singles' competition, very uncommon in curling circles. Winners have included Joseph MacIntosh (1954), A Wallace (1955), R A Reid (1958), Bill Moodie (1969), Colin Macarthur (1980), Alex Mann (1972 and 1973), Rossie MacDonald (1970, 1971, 1974), Allan Maxwell Jnr (1979), Gordon Gill (1981) and Mike Wilson (1984). Alexander 'Dodo' Wilson was skip of a very successful Avoch rink in the 1970s which won the Allan Moore League and the Allangrange Quaich. Also prominent in this rink was Alex Young, the Aberdeen FC stalwart, famed for his devastating 'sliding' tackle.


At Avoch, and within the Curling Clubhouse there, on 14th October 1908, in the Annual General Meeting of the Avoch Curling Club.

Present - Messrs John Munro, presiding, James F Thomson, Kenneth Fraser, John Smith, Alistair Fraser, A Holm and A Junor.

The Treasurer submitted Statement of Accounts which showed a credit ballance (sic) of £4:10:7, which was considered very satisfactory.

The next business before the meeting was the resignation of Mr John Macleay as Secretary, which was accepted with very great regret.

The election of officebearers was next proceeded with and were all re-elected with the following alterations. Mr Junor was elected Secretary in room of Mr Macleay resigned, and Ex-Provost Geddies name was deleted from the list of Committee of Management.

Mr James F Thomson moved and the Chairman seconded and was unanimously agreed too (sic) that the grateful and sincere thanks of the members of the Avoch Curling Club be tendered to James Douglas Fletcher, Esq., of Rosehaugh, for his continued and helpful kindness to them as a Club, as evidenced not only in his granting them the free use of a pond, second to none in Ross-shire, but also in his freely helping them to keep the pond and its surroundings in thorough order, thereby adding materially to its usefulness.

The Secretary was instructed to send an excerpt of the Minute to Mr Fletcher.

Mr Thomson also moved and the Chair seconded and was agreed too (sic), that Mr John Macleay, late Secretary, be appointed an Honorary Member, and the Secretary was instructed to let him know of his appointment.

A vote of thanks to the Chairman concluded the meeting.

John Munro


At Avoch and within the Rosehaugh Hall on the 7th day of October 1915 the Annual General Meeting of the Avoch Curling Club was held.

Present - Canon Spence Ross, presiding, Messrs Donald McLeman, Alexr. Munro, John Smith, treasurer, and A Junor, secretary.

The Minutes of former Annual General Meeting was read and signed by the Chairman.

The Secretary read letter from the Rev. John McKenzie Gibson, the Club's Representative Member, stating that he was unable to attend the Royal Caledonian Curling Club Meeting at Ayr, but that he called on Mr Davidson Smith and that although the Avoch Club would not be represented, its name would be mentioned at said meeting.

The Treasurer intimated that he was unable meantime to give a financial statement.

The Secretary and Treasurer stated that they had visited the Curling Pond after the recent floods and reported that the bridge over the burn is now partially carried away, also that the pond outlet needs to be renewed. Canon Spence Ross was asked to see Mr Fletcher about a new bridge and Mr Smith to see Mr Down and Mr Gray as to the probable cost of a new outlet.

The list of officials and members regular and occasional was read over by the Chairman when all was (sic) re-elected as they stand with the exception of A McBean deleted and J McLean added to occasional.

A circular was read from the Royal Caledonian Curling Club soliciting a list of the Club's Roll of Honour, and the Secretary was isntructed to forward the following - Major J M Cameron, Seaforth Highlanders, Fort George, pt Alistair Wilson Spence Ross, Rodesian (sic) Horse South Africa and pt Ronald Cedric Spence Ross, Victoria Rifles, Canadian Contingent.

A unanimous vote of thanks to the Chairman terminated the meeting.


Avoch Curling Club, 11th February 1952 at Amenities Pavilion.

A meeting was held with the object of forming a new Club, to be named the Avoch Curling Club, and to elect office bearers.

Those present were: Messrs A J Mann, Rev. J Lees, D Jack, I Mackay, K McLean, R Reid, A McIntyre, A Smith, J Thompson, W Mann, C McArthur, J McIntosh, W Grigor, F B Jack, Lachie, R. Parris, D McLean. The following joined the Club after the meeting: D McBean, W Jack, G. M. Jack, Alistair Parris, W McKenzie, K McKenzie, D Anderson.

Mr A J Mann was proposed as President by the Rev J Lees and seconded by Mr A McIntyre.
Vice President, Mr I McKay, by Mr R Reid, seconded by K McLean.
J Lees, Chaplain, by Mr A. J Mann seconded by Mr A Smith.
Secretary, Mr F B Jack, by Rev J Lees, seconded by Mr A McIntyre
Treasurer, Mr K McLean, Mr R Reid seconded by Mr D Jack.

It was proposed by Mr A J Mann and seconded by Mr A Smith that all those present should act as Committee for the good of the Club and was unanimously agreed to.

Annual Subscription of 10/- per annum and 5/- for Occasional members was proposed by Mr A Junor and seconded by Mr A Smith was unanimously agreed to.

A Basket Whist Drive was proposed by Mr A. J Mann and seconded by Mr K McLean to be held on Friday 28 February at the Public Hall. Mr Strachan was proposed by Mr A J Mann and seconded by Mr R Reid to be Card Master, Mr R Reid kindly providing the cards for the Whist Drive.

The Secretary was instructed by proposal of Mr A J Mann and seconded by A Smith to write to Mrs Fletcher, Rosehaugh House, and ask her if she would continue her position as Patroness of the new Club. It was noted from the old minute book that she held that position in the old club from October 1910 until October 1933, the secretary agreed to the proposal.

It was proposed by Mr A J Mann and seconded by Mr D McLean that the Annual General Meeting be held in October at the Pavilion. Rev J Lees proposed a vote of thanks to the President, which was heartily agreed to: the meeting then closed.

F B Jack
A J Mann


30th October 1952. The first Annual General Meeting was held within the Pavilion at 8 pm.

Mr A J Mann, President, was in the Chair; others present were Rev J Lees, A J Smith, A Wallace, D Jack, G. M. Jack, R Parris, A McIntyre, W G. McIntosh, J McIntosh, D McLean, R Strachan, J Rattray, K McKenzie, R Reid, J Thomson, K McLean, Treasurer, F B Jack, Hon Sec.

The secretary then gave a resume re the forming of the Club, then read the correspondence with the RCC Club intimating that we were affiliated to the old and ancient RCC Club. He then intimated that after correspondence with Mrs Fletcher, Rosehaugh, she consented to be Patroness of the new Avoch Curling Club, she had that position from 1929-1933 on the original Avoch Curling Club.

The treasurer then read the financial statement of the Club which I am pleased to say is in a very satisfactory condition.

Election of Officers as follows: Mr A. J Mann, President; Mr A Wallace, Vice President; Mr K McLean, Treasurer; A J Smith, Captain; F B Jack. Hon. Sec.; Rev J Lees, Chaplain.

Mr K McLean was deputed to call on Messrs Davidson, Inverness, re polishing of Curling Stone, he did so and was told they had given up doing so.

A Basket Whist Drive was proposed by the President, and seconded by Mr A McIntyre, to take place on Dec. 11th and advertised in the Ross-shire Journal. This was done and the Whist Drive held and was quite a success.

The President then announced that Mr Peter McIntyre, Findon, was presenting a Cup to the Club to be played for annually. The gift was very much appreciated by those present.

Mr A J Smith handed over to the Treasurer three medals for Curling events which he found among his Father's effects. Mr J Smith was the last President of the old Curling Club.

The annual subscription remained as before, viz 10/- member, 5/- per O.M.

A hearty vote of thanks was then accorded the President and the meeting closed.

A J Mann 

Continued in Page 4
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