History of Stratford Skating Club
It was in October, 1938 that a group of figure skating enthusiasts met to discuss the possibility of forming a skating organization. At that time figure skating was not the well-known sport it is today. A schedule of fees and skating hours at the “City Arena” (now known as the William Allman Arena) was drawn up and the Stratford Figure Skating Club began. The name was shortened in 1959 to Stratford Skating Club.
It wasn’t long before the activities of the Club began to attract attention and adults and children alike soon joined in this exciting and graceful sport. Membership increased so that by 1942 a full-time professional instructor was needed. In 1940 the Skating Club was elected a member of the Canadian Figure Skating Association (now known as Skate Canada). Skate Canada Tests and Club Competitions form an important and interesting part of each season’s activities.
In the early years, the Club accepted numerous invitations to skate exhibitions in other centres, which provided pleasure for all the members and popularized the sport throughout the district, so that now most communities in the area have their own skating clubs. In 1967 several clubs from the area formed a group known as Interclub (now known as Interclub North). Interclub North is part of the Western Ontario Section (WOS), which was formed in 1957.
Ice exhibitions and carnivals are an exciting opportunity for the Club members to display their talents. These annual shows have been a part of the Club since the first one was held on April 10, 1939 in which 75 members participated. Over the years outstanding skaters have appeared as guest performers. One of the highlights in the Club’s (and the City’s) history was 18 year old Donald McPherson’s achievement in winning the Canadian and North American Men’s Figure Skating Championships and continuing on the win the World Championship at Cortina, Italy – all in the year 1963.
The operation of the Stratford Skating Club over the years has depended on the diligent and faithful efforts of volunteers giving greatly of their time and talent in serving on the executive and on various committees. To these volunteers, past and present, we thank you!