Plowing-1st World Match to Cobourg

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With entries from 11 countries the Cobourg International match is shaping up into the greatest yet
By: F.L. Kyte  - Family Herald and Weekly Star, September 10, 1953

IN ADDITION to close to 600 entries of plowmen, and boys and girls from Ontario, plus a few contestants from other provinces, teams of two expert plowmen from 10 other countries will compete this year at the International Plowing Match and Farm Machinery Demonstration. The Match is being held not far from Cobourg, Ont. and the dates are Oct. 6 to 9 inclusive.

After several years of discussion with United Kingdom and Scandinavian plowing authorities a World Championship Plowing Organization was formed last year in England, and the first truly International match was awarded to Canada, to be held at the same time as our regular International event. President of the World Organization is J. A. Carroll, ass't Deputy Minister of Agriculture for Ontario, and a former secretary manager of the big Ontario Plowmen's Ass'n Matches.

Eight European Teams
According to present Information Great Britain will be represented by two competitors plus a manager (the rules also suggest that a coach who could act as a Judge accompany each team); Northern Ireland and Republic of Eire will each have two contestants plus managers; Norway, two competitors plus a manager and the father of one of them, who is making the trip just to see his son compete; Sweden, Finland and Holland, two competitors plus managers; Germany, two competitors and, a manager.

On June 1st Germany held its first federal match when 36 county and state finalists competed to declare their national champions, who will be coming to Canada. Denmark and the U.S. are also sending a team of two plus a manager.

In charge of the overseas delegation will be S. G. Powell, chairman of the British Plowing Ass’n. and Alfred Hall, Roseneath, Seaton, Workington, Cumberland, Eng. The group is expected to arrive in Canada Sept. 30. and will make a brief tour of Eastern Ontario before reaching Cobourg.

The big Match is being held this year at the Durham-Northumberland, Counties’ Home and adjoining farms near Highway No. 2 east of Port Hope, where plenty of good land is available. Some 33 acres will be needed for 'Tented City" for 175 exhibitors have taken space, as well as 30 food concessionaires. As usual the Family Herald and Weekly Star will have its big tent near Headquarters, and will be printing day-by-day programs giving the names and classes of all the contestants, as well as the previous day’s winners.

In order to select the two Canadians for the World Contest, it was found necessary to stage a championship class for Ontario plowmen on Tuesday, the opening day. This will be followed by the Canadian class on Wednesday in which all provinces may enter one or two of their top plowmen. The winners will then move on to the World Match on Thursday and Friday.

There are many other highlights this year which should be mentioned. Plowmen, in particular, will be interested in the contour competition to be held Wednesday and Thursday; the top prize each day is $75.00 in cash. Similar to past years the Esso champions class sponsored by Imperial Oil Limited will be a prominent feature of the third day.

For Junior plowmen including those attending secondary schools, Canada Packers Limited will provide a trophy and a gold watch to each team member in a secondary school competition being held on Thursday. British American Oil Company is sponsoring a class in inter-county competition for Junior farmers. This will be held on the last day of the Match.

Many of our younger farmers are quite expert in repairing farm machinery and equipment and they will have an opportunity of showing their skill by entering the welding competition scheduled to take place on each of the four days. This feature will be under the direction of Professor James Scott, O.A.C. (Ontario Agricultural College) Guelph.

Local competitors, those from Northumberland, Durham and adjoining counties will not be required to face outside competition on the first day of the Match. A number of classes with substantial prize money have been arranged by the local committee. A new class which it is hoped, will interest those engaged in business or industry, other than farming is being sponsored by the House of James, Port Hope. This class calls for tractors with two furrows.

Five Mayors to Plow
The Mayor’s class, which drew so much attention from both urban and rural citizens at Carp, last year, will again be presented. This event is also scheduled for the first day and assurance has already been received that the following Mayors will be participating; Mrs. Grace MacFarland, Leamington; Mrs. Bernadette Smith, Woodstock: Mayor George B. Swayne, Smith’s Falls, Mayor Allan Lamport, Toronto and Mayor J. D. Burnet, Cobourg. No doubt there will be several others making entry by Match time.

The O.P.A. board as well as the local committee, is receiving excellent co-operation from the Ontario Provincial Police in arranging for control of traffic, the Ontario Hydro Electric Power Commission is supplying hydro services and, the Bell Telephone Company is installing a complete telephone system on Tented City. The town of Cobourg is working closely in supplying water under pressure for the benefit of concessionaires.

All communities are working hard to make this year’s Match one of the best on record. There will be bands to entertain the public each day, wagon tours to provide transportation to fields and aeroplane rides every few minutes for those wishing to see the Match from the air. Demonstrations of various kinds will be staged daily. These include fire-fighting, tree planting, forage crops, etc.

The opening of the Match will be staged at 2:00 p.m. on October 6th by Honorable Vincent Massey Governor General of Canada. The Prize Presentation Banquet will be held on the Friday evening at 7:00 P.M. in the Community Centre at Grafton. This is being provided by the County of Durham and Northumberland and the Towns of Cobourg and Port Hope. It is expected there will be around a thousand present including the overseas guests.

Reviewed August 2020

 

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