Cycling enthusiasts attend debut of private collection at Royals as part of the Royal Canadian Bicycle Club history display
On December 4, 2017, the Royals held a vernissage at the club, celebrating an exhibition of cycling memorabilia from the collection of Lorne Shields.
The event offered attendees a first-time look at the Royals’ significant cycling history and permanent exhibits in both the entrance and dining area of our club. A selection of hors d’oeuvres were well-received by the more than forty visitors who attended, including a museum administrator for the city of Toronto. It was particularly exciting that most attendees were newcomers to the club and many had an involvement with cycling.
For this event a new installation in the front hall display case was made available by generous loans from Lorne Shields’ private collection of cycling memorabilia. His collection spans three centuries and includes printed materials such as advertising, letters, photos, books, posters, decorative arts, bicycle accessories and numerous bicycles, including several penny-farthings. Artefacts from Lorne’s collection have been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution, the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada’s Science & Technology Museum and the Museé d’Art et Industrie in St. Etienne, France.
Our thanks to Rob Retchless who selected and prepared the food; Brian Bobbie who helped with event preparations and photography, and Ontario 150 for funding this celebration.
Father and son connect with their family history at Royals’ Doors Open Toronto 2017
On May 27-28, over 600 visitors dropped in to the Royal Canadian Curling Club for 2017 Doors Open Toronto. They came to find out more about the game of curling and to learn about the club’s rich 125-year history. Many were surprised to learn that one of the city of Toronto’s most significant historic establishments was hidden away near the corner of Queen and Broadview.
Two guests of honour, Frank Shortt and his son Dave, attended the Doors Open event to see some of their family history on permanent display. Frank’s grandfather, Joe Shortt joined the Royal Canadian Bicycle Club in 1898. He promptly set a record for the fastest time at the Dunlop trophy race that year that remained unbeaten for an astonishing 15 years. This individual win, coupled with another first-place finish in 1899, propelled the Royal Canadians to win the team race in two consecutive years and giving our club permanent possession of the Dunlop Shield. Joe was also on the winning team that won the sterling silver Dunlop Cup in Montreal in 1899. Frank and Dave Shortt were thrilled to see their ancestor’s contributions featured prominently on the walls of a club that meant so much to Joe.
Thanks to Margaret Bryce and Sue Gillespie who organized the club’s participation in this year’s Doors Open. Members of the History Committee assisted in the smooth running of the event: Brian Bobbie snapped photos and, along with Margaret, Sue, Ashley Waye and Jeremy Weeks, talked to visitors about the club; Steve Yano, Rob Retchless and Stu Gibbs answered the many questions our installation incited, which included two new panels in the foyer; Both Robs (Retchless and Ainsley) ran the bar and sale of 125th anniversary t-shirts; Club curator, Cynthia Waye, conducted four tours each day for the curious onlookers.