The first meeting to establish a permanent home for a Tennis Club in the Rockcliffe area was held on September 9, 1922. At that meeting the following officers were elected: President: D.P., Cruikshank, Vice President: Col. F.L. Armstrong, Secretary-Treasurer: Lawrence J. Burpee and the Executive Committee consisted of H.S. Southam, Dr. R.E. Wodehouse and H.W. Brown. On September 8, 1923, Letters Patent were issued incorporating the Club as the Rockcliffe Lawn Tennis Club.
The current locataion was leased October 28, 1923 from Charles H. Keefer to H.S. Southam at an annual rent of $1.00 with an option to purchase the property for $2,250.00 The option was not acted upon until October 1, 1938 when a sales price of $5000.00 was agreed to. However, after the Club continued to make further payments, the title was transferred by the executors of the estates of Wilson M. Southam and Harry S. Southam for a payment of $4000, on July 25, 1956. Other transfers of land occurred on December 29, 1948 while other residents either sold small pieces of land or waived their rights to land encroaching on their property (such as the practice court area) to allow the Club to expand its property to what it is to day. There were temporary clubhouses beginning in 1923 but the current one was a Lindal Cedar Home, which was erected in 1972.
Over the years, the Club has enjoyed members from all walks of life including some distinguished Canadians such as The Right Honourable Lester B. Pearson, Her Royal Highness Princess Juliana (later Her Majesty the Queen Juliana of the Netherlands,) The Right Honourable John Turner as well as members of the Diplomatic Corps. Our President in 1946/47 was Howard Measures, Canada’s First Chief of Protocol and his son Michael Measures was our President from 1962-1970.
A more detailed History of the Rockcliffe Lawn Tennis Club is available at the Clubhouse.
Rockcliffe Lawn Tennis Club members have included historically distinguished Canadians such as RH Lester B. Pearson, HRH Princess Juliana (later Her Majesty the Queen Juliana of the Netherlands,) and the RH John Turner.
Our club continues to draw a wide range of fascinating members, many with significant global presence, yet an undeniable connection to our local community club.
In Memory of Evelyn Hustwit
A heartfelt poem written by long-time member Jim Steele
The tale I tell has a happy ending
So listen well to the rhyme I'm rendering
About the year two thousand and three,
A couple from England visited me
Tim and Diane were distant in-laws
About half my age and loving applause
After a chat, my guests did announce
They would love to play tennis, and this old man to trounce
They hinted in fact that at their level three,
They'd outrun and out-volley a novice like me
They'd played tennis a lot, knew the game well
And would pick me up if I ever fell.
So I booked a court here--number four on clay
And wondered how I'd survive that day.
I soon figured out I'd need a partner strong
To keep the match even and help me along.
I'd noticed a woman whose stroke was quite awesome
And hoped against hope she would make up a foursome.
I knew her name was Evelyn and about my year
Sinewy, supple, and laughing with cheer.
So I got on my knees and to Evelyn did say:
"Will you join us tomorrow in doubles to play?"
Sweet Evelyn said "Sure, I'll partner with you."
We'll have lots of fun, and test your guests too.
We met under the sun, and played a good game; took it easy and watched Evelyn flame.
Her aces were awesome, her volleys like lightning
Her lobs just stellar and her drop shots amazing.
Needless to say, we won the day
And our English guests went on their way.
They'd laughed a lot, and had seen strokes stupendous
And gained much respect for Canadian tennis
Only years later did I learn that my mate
Had been famous as a player with victories great
Her first name was Evelyn, and Hustwit was her last
A champion she'd been in the distant past
In nineteen hundred and seventy eight
The Canadian Ladies Singles had been her trophy great
She had later coached, both here and elsewhere
And played in matches in foreign air.
Only at Rockcliffe could a novice like Jim
Play tennis doubles with a lass so trim
So here's to the memory of Evelyn Hustwit
She made Rockcliffe renowned for her champion hit
Thank you for listening to my little story
About a time past--and my moment of glory.
My doggerel's done; your dessert is awaiting
You will find it delicious and quite salivating.