GGs love hockey, sports
GGs love hockey, sports
Canada has a long history establishing trophies
Indeed, that office has supported Canadian sport in ways that are historic and enduring, starting with the 6th Governor General, Lord Stanley of Preston.
Before leaving Rideau Hall, the official residence of the GG, Lord Stanley donated the Dominion Cup, to be given annually to the best hockey team in the country. It became known almost immediately as the Stanley Cup, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The Earl of Minto, who was 8th Governor General, from 1898 to 1904, donated the Minto Cup in 1901, given annually to the champion senior men’s lacrosse team in the country. From 1910-24 it was given to the professional champions, and starting in 1937 it was given to the junior champions (it wasn’t awarded 1925-36).
Perhaps Canada’s second-most famous trophy after the Stanley Cup is the Grey Cup, awarded to the football champions of the Canadian Football League (CFL). This was donated by the 9th Governor General, Earl Grey, in 1907. Grey held the position from 1904-1911.
The Duke of Devonshire, the 11th Governor General (1916-21), donated the Devonshire Cup in 1918. This was a hugely popular trophy contested between senior golfers (over 55 years of age) of Canada and the United States.
Lord Byng of Vimy was Canada’s 12th Governor General for five years, starting in 1921. It was his wife, Lady Byng, who donated an eponymous trophy to the NHL to be presented to the league’s most gentlemanly player.Continue reading
The Viscount Willingdon succeeded Lord Byng in 1926 and served as GG for five years. Another sportsman, he donated the Willingdon Cup to honour Canadian interprovincial amateur golf.
The 19th Governor General was Georges Vanier, 1959-67. In 1965, he donated a trophy to be given to the football champions of Canadian universities.
And, most recently, the 26th Governor General, Adrienne Clarkson, crafted a trophy in her name given to the women’s hockey champions of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (won twice by American teams—Minnesota Whitecaps in 2010 and Boston Blades just a few weeks ago).
And so, as His Excellency, the Right Honourable David Johnston, welcomes the women’s hockey world to Ottawa, his Rideau Hall home is fitting venue for a reception, for it has been within these walls that much of Canada’s sporting history has been established and celebrated.
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