We Tell You About the First Organized Tournament in Canada.

We Commemorate Canada’s First Organized Shuffleboard Tournament!

At the 2016 CNSA AGM, the Membership approved this event to memorialize the location, Tilbury, ON, and the hosts Alphonse and Phoebe Marchand. 

The celebration will take place on July 7th, 2016 at the Thames Horizon Shuffleboard Club, 9622 Longwoods Rd Chatham, ON.  The Club is holding a Mingles-Singles commencing at 09:00.  If you wish to participate, you are welcome to do so.  The Commemorative aspect will begin at noon; a light lunch will be served.  Speakers will include the CNSA President, Jim Corbeil; CNSA Past President, Henry Strong; Glen Peltier who served as President of the Tilbury Club for a period; and members of the Marchand Family.   Others wishing to speak will be given the opportunity. 

A Plaque will be presented to representatives of the Odette Library of Tilbury.  They will hang the plaque to ensure those visiting the library are aware of the role of Tilbury, the role of the Marchands, and the significance of Shuffleboard in their community.  The picture of the Marchands, above, and these words* will appear on the plaque.  (Pic will be on the left and will have acrylic cover; words will be in gold with black back plate, and will appear on the right side of the plaque.  Plaque itself is of Cherry Wood)  

* ORGANIZED SHUFFLEBOARD IN CANADA BEGAN IN TILBURY.

THE FIRST CANADIAN OPEN WAS PLAYED IN 1981

ON THE FARM OF ALPHONSE and PHOEBE MARCHAND

IN TILBURY EAST.

The Marchands built their courts in 1966 and all of their free
time was taken up with shuffleboard. Member-
ship increased every year. In 1980 the
membership was 110 and in 1981 it was 250. 

Marchand took money from his own pocket for
maintenance costs and for the food and drinks supplied at
the national tournaments played there on the 4 Courts.

North America’s renowned shuffler Glen Peltier, one time

President of the Club, described the Marchands as

MIRACLE WORKERS!!  

Stan: 2015 11 23.  E-mail from John Carson to Stan.

Firstly, thank you for taking the time to set up the opportunity to meet with Glen.  I was always aware that my grandparents, Alphonse and Phoebe Marchand were avid sports fans.  During their many years of wintering in Florida, I can remember many stories about the Lakeland area.  The topics would always be either about the Detroit Tiger’s or shuffleboard.  In the late ‘60’s, my grandfather made it a mission to build his first shuffleboard court.  With a family of six children and more than thirty grandchildren, the new shuffleboard quickly became very popular.  Shortly thereafter, three more courts were built and the players seemed to come from all over.  The farm on the 4th concession of Tilbury East became quite the centre of activity… and had nothing to do with farming.  I actually lived in that same farmhouse when I was about four years old.

It is no small pleasure to know that Glen and many others, continue to showcase, market and promote shuffleboard from the humble beginnings at the farm of my grandparents.  It is also great to know that Kent County folks are playing such an important role in the sport here in Florida.

I have certainly learned much about the history of shuffleboard as well as having met several individuals who are so committed to the sport. 

I must thank you Stan, for bringing all this to my attention.  I will be returning to Ontario this weekend for our family Christmas.  I will be sharing this story with my family, including my Dad, Hubert Carson, (Jean was my mother) who was a part of the years of shuffleboard in Tilbury East.  I am sure they will all be pleased to know that our grandfather and grandmother’s legacy lives in such a positive manner.

Much appreciated.  John Carson

Glen Peltier Comments on Meeting John Carson. 2015 11 23

What a pleasure to meet John Carson today. We don’t think enough about our past but today it all came back for me. It is so hard to describe the surroundings at the Marchand farm. Large older farm house, big barns, large older clubhouse. The four courts were made to order. Cats and dogs everywhere. I cannot describe the atmosphere but i can tell you it was different and more magnificent than anything i have ever seen or will see again. Alphonse would bring his station wagon full of prizes and trophys to be given to the winners. Players came from all over Ontario and yes Michigan to be part of this club. Their daughter Hazel was the director for years but soon gave it to me. At the end of the day Pheabie always had a farm style meal for everyone. As shuffleboard spread throughout Ontario we held the first Canadian open singles on the farm. It was a huge success. One of the early members was our friend Marge Taylor. People like Nick and Vicky Klym, Jack and Peggie House, Maurice and Murial Baker, Winnie and Austin M,Donald came to every tournament. When i was very young, i watched Alphonse play fast pitch softball. He was a catcher and a good one. He and Pheabie were very good shuffleboard players. Their son Leanard often played with us. Playing there got me interested in playing in Florida. Those times will remain with me for life. Glen Peltier

Hi Glen and John! 

So glad you had the opportunity to meet >> but as you both seemed to think, just possibly you had met before!!!! Albeit some considerable time ago??

As Glen knows, and John may have guessed, I attempt to maintain “Historical items of interest” with regard to shuffleboard.

I would very much appreciate receiving from each of you “The Memories Stimulated” by your conversation to-day. Stan

I had arranged with Glen and John (Grandson of Alfonse Marchand) would meet at Lakeland Shuffleboard Club on 2015 11 23. 

John and Pat Carson moved into Woodbrook about one year ago!  John and Pat live at unit 159 and hail from Ontario. 

Although John and Pat have NOT YET begun shuffling, it is certain that John has Shuffleboard in his Genes!!

Let me explain.  Organized Shuffleboard in Ontario began in a small town in south western Ontario > the town of Tilbury. 

It was on the Marchand farm, Tilbury East, where Alphonse and Phoebe Marchand in the late 1960s constructed their first Shuffleboard Court. The desire, the motivation, to build the court was a result of their many happy winters in Florida.  The Marchands had 6 children and 30 plus grandchildren. It very soon became evident that one court was inadequate; accordingly 3 courts were added for a total of 4!!     

It was on these 4 courts in 1981 that Alphonse and Phoebe hosted the very first Canadian National Shuffleboard Tournament in Canada!  Alfonse (Alfie) Marchand is the Grandfather of John Carson, now of Woodbrook Estates!!

Glen Peltier* was closely associated, and involved with the Marchands and Shuffleboard at that time. Glen had this to say after being introduced to John Carson for the very first time at Lakeland Courts this winter; 2015 11 21: We don’t think enough about our past but today it all came back for me. It is so hard to describe the surroundings at the Marchand farm. Large older farm house, big barns, large older clubhouse. The four courts were made to order. Cats and dogs everywhere. I cannot describe the atmosphere but I can tell you it was different and more magnificent than anything I have ever seen or will see again. Alphonse would bring his station wagon full of prizes and trophies to be presented to the winners.

Players came from all over Ontario and yes Michigan to be part of this club. Their daughter Hazel was the tournament director for years but soon gave it to me. At the end of the day Phoebe always had a farm style meal for everyone. As shuffleboard spread throughout Ontario we held the first Canadian open singles on the farm. It was a huge success. One of the early members was our friend Marge Taylor. People like Nick and Vicky Klym, Jack and Peggie House, Maurice and Muriel Baker, Winnie and Austin McDonald came to every tournament. When I was very young, I watched Alphonse play fast pitch softball. He was a catcher and a good one. He and Phoebe were very good shuffleboard players. Their son Leonard often played with us. Playing there got me interested in playing in Florida. Those times will remain with me for life. Glen Peltier.

* For the very few who may not know, Glen Peltier is Florida’s, and Canada’s most successful shuffler, based on the number of games won. He is a Past President of both the CNSA and the FSA and is in the Halls of Fame of Canada and Florida. 

Stan McCormack.  2015 12 28.    

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4 Responses to We Tell You About the First Organized Tournament in Canada.

  1. Bill B says:

    Thanks Stan – A wonderfully informative article.

    Like

  2. Joan McCurdy says:

    Very interesting. Thank you.

    Like

  3. Glen Peltier says:

    It sure brings back happy times in my life. It seems just a few years ago. This past year has sure changed things,

    Liked by 1 person

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