IT’S THE STORY…of a lovely volley-ball queen from a magnificient city (well this is my version coupled with the translation of Conchita’s text) who travelled to that Queen City (whatever!) called Toronto on Queen Victoria’s long weekend. During a break in her volley-ball tournament, she went to visit her ex playing tennis at Ramsden Park with the Toronto gay tennis club (TLGTA aka the Toronto Lawn and Garden Tennis Association!!!). There, she met the resident pro/slut who came up with the suggestion that it would be nice to hold a tournament involving the 2 cities. To that effect, the queen took upon herself the task to recruit players for the event which was to be held in August.
So the Queen at her most demure started recruiting a few friends from volleyball and the tennis rec league she was involved with. The numbers started to grow steadily: she’ll always remember her best coup when she pranced on an unknowing little fellow, André, she saw in a bar: “Hey! You play tennis for Jeanne-Mance Park, don’t you? Would you be interested in participating in a gay tournament in Toronto?” History in the making.
Finally, 10 were scheduled to make the trip; 9 managed to make it (Miss Saigon was on the road elsewhere), but someone was almost forgotten on the highway! The tournament was graced with absolutely gorgeous weather (the Queen’s trademark). Even though the Toronto girls swept the 32 draw singles leaving the consolation trophy to André, the doubles tournament which was organized by mixing Toronto/Montreal players provided the most drama punctuated by the longest doubles match I ever recall playing. Gracious as usual, the Queen let her daughter/roommate Princess Patsy-Cindy and her partner win… A great time was had by all, and the Queen promised to invite the Toronto girls the next year to continue a new tradition.
But her work had not ended, as she soon discovered that her other volley-ball princess Chrissy was interested in getting together with André for tennis and … Well, the Queen knows how to do things in grand style, and 8 years later she is still so proud of her daughter’s marriage to André (aka Macaire!). From then on, the Queen had found her true nature: she was the Queen (I have the skirts!), and a Queen Mother at that (cuz we like the Queen mum way more than the Queen E), and Mother Teresa for her goor heart and deeds. So that is how I became Queen Mother Teresa.
My matchmaking abilities have had quite amazing results, and several couples were created from the love of Tennis (hello French version, wake up, there are at least 3 couples from Tennis + 2 more that have been involved!)
So, Montréal Tennis Lambda began its activities in May 1992. The name Lambda was chosen in honour of Claude Mailhot who founded many Montreal sports organizations (Volleyball Lambda, Bowling, and Badminton) and played tennis at the 1990 Vancouver Gay Games. By adding Montreal in front of Tennis Lambda, the initials M.T.L. form Montreal’s abbreviation. The club organized a Saturday morning recreational league which quickly gathered a good membership every week.
A competitive league was added on Friday nights a few years later. The league used to organize two tournaments every year. The first one, Le tournoi du Président, was held the weekend of my birthday and was a singles event only (we even had a few guests from Ottawa the first year). Interestingly, that first tournament was the only tournament I ever organized that was ever hampered (ever so slightly) by a rain delay. The second event, held on Labour Day weekend, was called the Montreal-Toronto Challenge for two years until we changed it to La Coupe de La Reine/ The Queen’s Cup to reflect the growing participation of Ottawa players. This singles/doubles event used to provide more tennis for your money than anyone could ever ask for (1 year, we garanteed 3 singles matches and 2 doubles matches!) And the weather: GORGEOUS!
The Queen participated in a few GLTA events, winning the 1993 Ft Lauderdale D Doubles (OK I admit I should not have played D), and for the longest time was unsure about MTL’s implication with GLTA due to her small membership’s limitations (we are not that rich in Montreal to attend all those tournaments!) However, Lady Goolagong (Terry Brennan) told her Queen that it was time to join GLTA and invite all the American girls to discover the good time had by the Canadian players (and a few American guests) on Labour Day weekend. Sadly, we have had to move the tournament indoors for practical considerations, but we are very proud to hold the tournament at the Club de Tennis Ile des Soeurs (Nuns’ Island, not Sisters’ Island).
So, who will be this year’s new couple? Hope to see you there. HRH QMT