The Toories in “Capital Society”

by Anne Pryor

Back in the mid-20th century, when The Capital Times newspaper was printed six days a week, the Madison Toories were featured at least twice each year. Two events, the winter Mixed Invitational Bonspiel, held jointly by the Toories and MCC, and the spring post-season Toories banquet, were regularly featured with extensive coverage in the paper’s “Capital Society” section, which covered “women’s features, society, and club events.”

Articles dating from the 1960s about the Mixed are very detailed, listing the clubs of participating teams, the draw times, the hosts of the opening cocktail party and their home address, and where the concluding dinner and dance would be held, typically the East Side Business Men’s Club. All MCC and Toories members who held organizing positions – such as the chairs as well as those responsible for food, ice, registration, hospitality, registration, pins, publicity, and rules – were all named.  Multiple posed photos in front of a scoreboard or club emblem covered half a page, if not more. 

This photo, taken by staff photographer David Sandell from January 2, 1965, has the key organizers posed in curling regalia in front of the Madison Toories sign. They are (left to right) Mr. and Mrs. Harland Hogan, Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Lake, and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Jackson. Women’s names were never listed although each of the couples’ home address was. What a difference in privacy conventions from then to now!

t the end of the season, the Toories held a banquet at a local country club such as Blackhawk, Maple Bluff, or Nakoma.  As the caption for this May 4, 1966 photo explains, “Traditionally, the Madison Toories conclude the winter curling season with a banquet, highlighted by the awarding of trophies and the election of officers.”  A series of photos covering the banquet would include photos of each team that had won a Toories event with their trophy, such as the All-American, Ferguson, Jamieson, Johnson, or Knowles Event, as well as a group photo of the incoming and outgoing officers. 

This photo, taken by staff photographer Tom Barlet, shows the Stevenson rink, the winners of the Knowles Event in 1966. “In addition to receiving the silver bowl, the rink that wins the Knowles Event also wins the right to represent the Toories at the United States Women’s Curling Association’s national bonspiel next winter,” continues the caption. Skip Celia (Skye) Stevenson, listed here as Mrs. Donald J. Stevenson, holds the Knowles trophy, which sits on our shelves today. Behind her are (left to right) Mrs. Robert Murphy, Mrs. Robert Voss, and Mrs. Russell Teckemeyer. 

Posted by Miranda