In the early 1930s, trips to play squash across the Atlantic began to take place. These, of course, were of an unofficial variety and really only a group of friends going one way or the other, combining business with pleasure.
Between 1932 and 1936, five Canadians were elected members of the U.K. Jesters. In 1934 the U.K. Jesters toured Canada and the United Stated. In 1934 the Americans reciprocated and were all elected members of the club.
Canada formed a separate organization in 1948, and the size of the Club grew along with the development of squash in this country. In 1957 the South African branch of the Jesters Club was formed and tours between the U.K., Canada, United States and South Africa have been a regular occurrence.
[Based on Ian Stewart's "Summary of the Jesters Club"]
Off to our match at the Toronto Cricket Club, and a super close affair, generally, with the Canadian hosts being Jesterly in letting us sneak in 4-3, and then showing us how to properly play hardball doubles. I really enjoy this game. Tracey was a little lax in following the dress code, going for a rather off-white, black number for her skort. Off to dinner at Tim and Mary Bovaird, and another royal treat. A host of Jesters there, including Lolly Gillen, the President of Squash Canada. Really interesting conversations about the direction of squash. Thanks so much for all the assistance, hosting and playing from amongst others, Tim Mallory, Leslie Freeman, Mike and Heather Hobart, Tim and Mary Bovaird, Steve and Suzanne Seider, Chris Deratney and Tammie Sangster, John Harvey and Catherine Fournier, and Brian Murray and Shirley Fleming. And of course Bert Keene and Jim Bruce. We have been spectacularly looked after. In to bed at 12:30am, but asleep by 1:30am after clearing through mail and stuff, so the trend continues.......
Read the full South African Jesters Tour diary.
Tim and Mary Bovaird (Toronto) Captain
Paul & Jackie Stevenson (British Columbia)
Michael and Laura Letourneau (Alberta) Scribe
Alan and Gwen Kerr (Ontario)
Brian Murray & Shirley Fleming (Ontario)
Dennis Bishop and Esther Mettier (Quebec)
Cape Town Sept 11 – Sept 14
Gansbaai Sept 15
Knysa, Sept 16
Saint Francis Bay, Sept 17
Durban, Sept 20
Pietermaritzburg, Sept 22
Drakensburg, Sept 24
Johannesburg, Sept 25
Kambaku Safari, Sept 27
Leave South Africa Sept 30
We enjoyed fine wine and conversation before Martin Brossy (Cape Town Jester chair) prepared us for the next 3 days to come with a most detailed itinerary. The first item was to make sure we got good and fat at the Braai as there was no shortage of great food, great company and beverages. We caught on real fast to the South African master plan of killing us with kindness.
Bob and Diane Dubeau (Montreal)
Ivars and Susan Sayfy (Montreal)
Vinnie Taylor (Ottawa)
Molson and Lynn Robertson (Toronto)
Dave Clements (Calgary)
Doug and Jan MacDougall (Vancouver)
Dave and Barb van Wely (Toronto and ex S.Africa)
Simon Dorey (Vancouver)
Alan Hunt and Carla Faris (Toronto)
Frank Legacy and Leah Burton (Moncton & Ft.St John)
My first glimpse of Southern Africa was the vast Namibian desert emerging from the morning mist with craggy mountains dotting the landscape. I am sure that we flew over various coastal towns as we approached Cape Town but inland it was pretty devoid of people until we saw the outskirts of Cape Town...
Fabulous hosting, wonderful things to see and do and great comradery on the team, definitely not a tour to be missed!
Highlights: warm weather, eating outdoors, no bugs, great hosting, wonderful scenery, meeting fellow Canadian Jesters from across the country, and, despite what we had read, no issues regarding security. A trip of a lifetime.
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