International Ice Hockey Federation

GGs love hockey, sports

GGs love hockey, sports

Canada has a long history establishing trophies

Published 04.04.2013 16:01 GMT-4 | Author Andrew Podnieks
GGs love hockey, sports
(l-r) Nathalie Dery, Lisa-Marie Breton, The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson, CWHL Commissioner Brenda Andress, Caroline Ouellette, and Kelly Sudia during the Clarkson Cup celebration, March 25, 2012. (Photo: HHOF—Rick Denham)
While the current Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, acts as patron to the Women’s World Championship, it’s worth noting that he is following in the footsteps of many predecessors.

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.

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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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