History of Moray Province
The recorded history of the Province is based upon the Annuals of the R.C.C.C. held at Cairnie House. The information assimilated in them has carried over the past one hundred years not only in presentation, but information recorded especially during the years of the two World Wars (see attached excerpt from 1917/8*) as well as the immediate years following the Second World War until the late 1950’s. Therefore this record of Moray Province is only as complete and accurate as these Annuals permit.
Extract from “The Annual for 1917-18”
“May we all live to see it, and thus once more be able to fulfil one of the purposes most dear to the hearts of those who founded the Royal Club, viz., a volume annually giving, not only lists of memberships and rules, etc., but portraits of eminent curlers, improved rinks, curling anecdotes, songs, and anything of general interest to curlers. It is matter for real gratitude that for seventy-eight years this publication has gone on fulfilling its purpose and improving more and more as it gets older, like good port. At last Annual Meeting Mr. D.R. Gordon, ex-Provost of Bathgate, with the fine exuberance of language for which he is noted, ‘regretted the disappearance of the Annual which was the literary crown and gem of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club’. The Regalia are just hidden away for a year – so we hope – and as ‘it’s an ill wind that blaws naebody guid’, so may the Annual receive still greater support when it reappears in 1917-18, the few who formerly had no enthusiasm for its contents becoming its most fervent supporters after they have felt the sadness of not seeing it for a year!”
(Printed with permission of the Royal Club)
Founded in 1896 as the seventeenth Province of the RCCC at the time, “Morayshire” before changing its name to “Province of Moray” in 1899 and eventually to the present day title of “Moray Province” had 16 member clubs. The original member clubs were Aberlour, Auldearn, Ballindalloch, Banffshire, Banks of Findhorn, Cawdor, Drummuir, Dyke, Elgin, Fochabers, Forres, Glass, Glenferness, Keith, Laggan and Rothes.
Whilst the number of member clubs currently stands at 21 only Aberlour, Ballindalloch, Cawdor, Elgin, Forres and Fochabers are still currently in existence and members of Moray Proince. Even amongst these six clubs only Cawdor, Forres and Elgin (although Cawdor during the Second World War were listed under “Nairnshire Proince”) hae remained entirely within Moray Proince with the others playing in Grampian Province for a number of years whilst Aiemore Ice Rink was in existence.
To further confuse matters (!!) from 1909 to 1922 Ardclach, Auldearn, Cawdor, Glenferness and Nairn were members of both Morayshire and Nairnshire Proinces. Nairnshire Proince also re-appeared in 1939 through the War years when four clubs Ardclach, Cawdor, Glenferness and Nairn were the member clubs. They amalgamated once more with the other Moray clubs sometime after 1946 and before 1958 when full Province records were once again recorded in the Annuals.
Two further period of “what happened?” are 1916-1918 and during the 4 years from 1930/1 – 1933/4 when Moray Province is not listed at all before re-appearing as the 35th Province of the Royal Club in season 1934/5. However, the assumption made is that clubs in existence in 1929/30 and 1934/5 were still active during those years.
The Province was at its ‘strongest’ in terms of number of member clubs in 1908 with 24 and its lowest in 1958 with 8 and one “associate member”.
With the opening of Moray Leisure Centre in 1993 new clubs were formed as well as some moving back from Grampian to Moray Province. The Province Leagues were split into East and West Divisions with an end of season play-off to determine the top rink in the Province. Knockout competitions continued to be all inclusive and played between Elgin and Inverness, where previously the Province’s indoor curling was solely centred on Inverness from its opening in 1968.
The list of member clubs, Presidents and Secretaries of the Province, as well as Honorary Presidents and Members recorded is, as previously stated, based on the available information. Should anyone be able to fill in the gaps/ correct any inaccuracies from Club Archives, such information would be most welcome.
Researched and written by Alan Stanfield of Nairn Curling Club