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To watch a Canoe Kayak Regatta on the Mississippi in Carleton Place is to participate in history. For in the cradle of these waters, the Ottawa Valley Canoe Association (OVCA) was born in 1893. The Carleton Place Canoe Club is the oldest continually operating club in the country and is the only surviving charter member of the Canadian Canoe Association. The club has consistently produced athletes who qualify for the highest levels of competition at the provincial, national and international level. These range from Ontario team members to Canada Summer Games team members, Junior World Championship competitors to Senior National Team members, Pan Am Games to the Olympic Games.
The Club has been on the forefront of developments through the years. Its membership was opened to women in 1903 and Ladies' War Canoe training and competition was an early feature. The Club was an early advocate for the inclusion of Ladies Classes in the C.C.A. Race Schedule. Year round training became a feature in the late 1960's with startling results and the Club became one of the first to apply scientific methods to the assessment of training needs and design of training programs. Since the founding of the OVCA, the Club has been adopted by the social, business and political leadership of the Community. It was soon recognized as a major social centre for recreation and youth training and something worth working for. All through the Club's history, what is remarkable is the number of people who have maintained a life long association with it in some active capacity or other. Perhaps this, more than any other thing, can explain the success of the past one hundred and twenty five years.
Photograph taken by Will H. Hooper.
(l to r) Norm Gibson, Bob Green, Bill Sims, Billy Janoe, Jack Virtue, Harry McEwen, ___, Dr. ____, Howard Morphy, ___, ___, Tom Scott, Herb Singleton, Jack “Baldy” Welsh.