Scottish Rugby gives a big happy birthday to Canadian side, Toronto Scottish as they celebrated their 60th anniversary this month.
The celebration, which runs for a week from Saturday 15 June in Toronto, Canada, celebrates the club as it is today, as well as the triumphs of their past. Visit their website for more details, www.torontoscottish.ca.
Toronto Scottish was established in 1953 when a few immigrant Scotsmen combined their talents to form a rugby team in the city.
At first they overwhelmed their league opponents and withdrew from the league for a time to play exhibition games, tour, and help promote the game in Canada. However, league opponents quickly improved and the talent gap closed.
The club has been represented many times on provincial and Canadian sides, three alumni of the Toronto Scottish have gone on to captain Scotland. Dougie Morgan led a Presidents XV against the club at the 25th anniversary in 1978, and former players, David Sole and Gordon Bullock, have represented Scotland, as well as the British and Irish Lions.
Extensive touring and enthusiastic hosting have helped the club make friends in distant places. Cartha Queens Park, Portobello, London Scottish, Ayr, Cambuslang, Dalziel, Dalkeith, Heriot-Watt and Preston Lodge have all visited Canada to play Toronto Scottish, to name a few. Over the last 60 years many wayward Scots have found their way on to the pitch with Toronto Scottish. Some have just stayed for a summer and others have never left.
Like the men, the Toronto Scottish women have dominated Ontario rugby for most of the 25 years since their inaugural match. In that time, nearly 20 players have been capped for Canada, Scotland or Ireland.
Throughout its history the club has supported junior development and is today teaching the game to Canadian boys and girls of all ages. Its provision of qualified coaches to Toronto high schools is especially important to growing our game in Canada.
While proudly Canadian, Toronto Scottish has never lost sight of its heritage. The Club hosts The Burns Supper at Hart House, thought by some to be one of the finest Burns Suppers in the Commonwealth. Every year, on the last Friday of January, 400 lucky guests converge on Hart House to enjoy some delicious haggis with neeps and tatties; the best whiskies, the wittiest speakers; and some of the worst singing imaginable.
Friends of the Club are invited to leave a message: