How it began..
It was in 1953, with Mr. Robin Scott as instructor and Mrs. Ernest Gorrell as President, that the Port Elgin Figure Skating Club first started with 40 skaters. After the first year, however, the Club was dropped until 1957, when several mothers, keenly interested in figure skating lessons for their children, were instrumental in getting the club started again. In that season, 1957-58, all town children were registered free, and out-of-town children were charged 26 cents per lesson.
In November 1959, with an enrollment of 125 skaters, the Club applied for membership in the Canadian Figure Skating Association. On the very morning that the acceptance was received, the Arena burned to the ground. Undaunted, carpenters volunteered to rebuild temporary dressing rooms. Oil stoves were set up. The skating surface was fenced in. One week after the fire, skating lessons resumed outdoors. The club was at a standstill until 1962, when the new Arena, with a much larger ice surface, was opened and figure skating started that fall with Mrs. Gorrel again as the President. In the fall of 1963 Mrs. Gorrell handed over the presidency to Mrs. Pat Fenton.
In the summer of 2003, the Southampton Figure Skating Club amalgamated with the Port Elgin Figure Skating Club to form the Saugeen Shores Skating Club (SSSC).
Over the past 60+ skating seasons, Presidents, executive members, parents, and skaters have made many contributions to the Club which is the reason we are still going strong today.
Do you have photos, a favorite memory or piece of skating history from the Port Elgin or Southampton skating club?
Barbara Underhill started skating with the Port Elgin Skating Club and began pair FIGURE SKATING with Paul MARTINI in 1978. They won the Junior World Championships that year. They were Canadian champions 1979-83 and World Gold medalists at Ottawa in 1984.
In 1984 she received a world champion award from the federal government and in 1985 was inducted into the Canadian Amateur Sports Hall of Fame.