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Valois Tennis Membership reaches century milestone

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Based in 1922, the non-public membership has served as a hub for generations of Pointe-Claire tennis gamers.

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The Valois Tennis Membership, one of many oldest sports activities golf equipment within the West Island, is celebrating its centennial anniversary.

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Based in 1922, the non-public membership has served as a hub for generations of Pointe-Claire tennis gamers.

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It is modest clubhouse on the nook of Summerhill and Queen avenues is crammed with outdated trophies and photographs of previous members clad of their tennis whites, serving as a time capsule for the membership’s unbelievable 100-year historical past in Pointe-Claire.

Tom Brown, the membership’s 73-year-old services supervisor, has been a member of VTC for 45 years, practically half its existence. He joined in 1977 and knew most of the members from the membership’s heyday in Forties, 50s and 60s. He recollects most of the names on the outdated Johnson Trophy, donated by the Valois Drug Retailer and awarded to the membership’s males’s singles champion. “Bernie Bastien (1958), Will Tibbitts (1959), Takis Doucas (1960), John Tibbitts (1967) …”

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He additionally talked about Claude Ranger and Stu Gamble as key membership gamers / builders.

“All these of us added one thing and left one thing for the following technology,” stated Brown, scanning the outdated photographs and plaques on the clubhouse wall. “They have been all custodians. They have been all caretakers of this facility. It is fairly a legacy as a result of mainly we have survived decade after decade after decade and we all the time get higher. “

Brown stated Will Tibbits, who died in 2011 at age 95, was additionally a previous president and a key determine on the membership. “He was a great buddy, mentor and my VTC historian and thru his steering of him I grew to become the following technology of that group.”

The membership is nestled right into a quiet neighborhood of Pointe-Claire and Brown says one may simply be unaware it existed.

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“Should you purchased a home three blocks away, it would take you years to seek out it,” he stated.

Membership president Sandra Crombie stated the VTC is a hidden gem in Pointe-Claire.

“I lived in Valois for 30 years. I was stroll by day-after-day and see individuals having a lot enjoyable. I stated, ‘At some point I am getting into there’ and I did, ”she stated.

Crombie stated the membership nonetheless meets the wants of each leisure and aggressive gamers. “Tennis retains you youthful, ‘” she added.

As we speak, the non-profit membership has about 250 members, together with some 60 junior gamers.

“All come from new households within the space. It is nice that our numbers are going up, ”she stated.

The membership additionally remained open and thrived through the pandemic, famous Crombie. “Even via COVID it was a secure place. You have been nonetheless allowed to play singles. “

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It value $ 190 for a single membership, $ 350 for a household membership. The membership is open from Might through October and there are not any courtroom charges, stated Crombie.

“It is the most effective deal in Quebec,” stated Brown, who lives throughout the road from the membership and actually retains an eye fixed on the power, which boasts 5 clay (Har-Tru) courts.

“We have now a number of the finest tennis courts in all of Montreal right here,” he stated.

Apart from the tennis, some members collect within the clubhouse for a weekly sport of bridge.

Showers have been added to the clubhouse this previous yr, simply in time for centennial celebrations which culminated not too long ago with a rousing 100-year bash. The occasion was attended by 120 patrons, in addition to Pointe-Claire Mayor Tim Thomas.

Many former members, together with some who stay out-of-province, made it again for the centennial celebration. “My 1980 tennis group all confirmed up,” stated Brown, who nonetheless hits a great forehand.

‘And the centennial celebrations will proceed, ”he added. “We’re a 100 years in and now we have a number of celebrations, whether or not it is a barbecue, a group championship or simply individuals hanging round on a Friday afternoon and celebrating.

“Hopefully, we’ll be round for an additional 100 years,” he stated with a smile.

Valois Tennis Club manager Tom Brown hits a forehand on a court at the club in Pointe-Claire on Friday, Sept.  16, 2022.
Valois Tennis Membership supervisor Tom Brown hits a forehand on a courtroom on the membership in Pointe-Claire on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022. Picture by John Mahoney /Montreal Gazette

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