The Duncan Shield Canoe Race
All Duncan Shield Winners and Times

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Invitation to Participate
Click to Play - "Transcript to Read Along with Below"

The funds have been transferred to Camp Duncan. Here was our photo shoot today!
Thanks again John and the best to you for the holiday season!
Clara Butikofer
Volunteer Fund Development
Camp Quality Northwestern Ontario
December 2010

2010 Winners

Duncan Clan

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Thank you so much for choosing to donate to Camp Quality!  Charitable Reg. # BN13342 3962 RR0001

On Friday, July 30th of this year, 2010, the 86th running of what may be the oldest canoe race in North America, The Duncan Shield, will be held at Loon Lake, Ontario, 20 minutes East of Thunder Bay.

The Duncan Shield canoe race starts on the sandy beaches of East Loon Lake, just yards from Camp Duncan and goes for about 1.6 kilometers to the community dock of West Loon.

It is usually against a slight breeze, in modestly choppy water.

The race is one of the highlights of the Sports Day weekend, held by the Loon Camper Association the first weekend of August every year.

Last year, my wife Helene and I traveled to Loon to watch the race.

We were guests of David and Melissa Dubinski on their new pontoon boat. David is this year's President of the Loon Lake Campers Association.

I think we were the first Duncans in more than 60 years to be in attendance.

On the way home, we decided that we would return to Loon this year, and that I would enter the race as a participant.

I spoke with my good friend, Ken Gamble of Early, here in Regina and talked him in to be my paddling partner.

Ken is 56 years old. and I am 68.

We most certainly must be the oldest people ever to team up and canoe in this race.

We started training last September. We have been training 5 to 7 days a week since then, at least 1-2 hours a day, sometimes 3 hours.

We did the well known 90 day intensive P90X workout. We went to our local YMCA here in Regina 2-3 times a week all winter to practice paddling in the pool.

We have been out paddling on Regina's Wascana Lake, a man-made lake in the center of our City, ever since the ice went out, and recently we participated in a 12 mile canoe race on a winding river North of Regina.

At our ages, physical changes come slowly, but we may well be able to finish the race in good decent time now, as a result of our preparation efforts.

Also amazing is the fact that we have not tipped our canoe so far, knock wood, and that we are still good friends after many many hours of training fact, our friendship is stronger and growing.

When Helene and I were visiting Loon Lake last summer, we also visited Camp Duncan, the camp named after our family and situated on land gifted to the United Churches of Thunder Bay by my Grandmother after the passing of my Grandfather.

We met people from Camp Quality when we arrived a Camp Duncan

Camp Quality rents Camp Duncan every year for a week to put on a camp for children with cancer from the Thunder Bay area.

The Camp Quality people were proud to tell us of how every year, many Loon cottagers arrive at Camp Duncan with their pontoon boats, and take the youngsters of Camp Quality on a tour around the Lake. They feel proud of this community support. It must also be a spectacular sight to see this train of pontoon boats travel around the lake.

And so it came to my mind, that I would seek financial pledges from my family, friends, neighbors and associates in support of my entry into the Duncan Shield race and that those pledges could go to maintaining and improving the Camp Duncan infrastructure used by the Camp Quality people every year.

By blending the Duncan Shield Canoe race with a Camp Duncan infrastructure project, it is hoped that we further and foster the understanding of the great history of this race.

I set up this website and I sought and was granted permission for the project from the Camp Duncan Executive, the Camp Quality Executive and the Loon Lake Campers Association.

Now I am able to challenge my fellow racers, not only in the race, but to register their boats on the pledge site and join us in seeking pledges for this cause.

Last year's Duncan Shield winner, and Past Loon Lake Camper Association President Dave Bradley is the first to join with Ken and I in this challenge. Dave is seeking his sixth win of the Duncan Shield. His paddling partner is Bruce Halvorson. Bruce also challenges his fellow racers to register and seek pledges.

The history of the Duncan Shield is enormous.

From my families point of view alone, my Father won the race in 1933. His brother, my Uncle Fred, won it the next year. My Uncle Jack Flatt won it several times setting a record time in 1924, the first year of the race. That record held for 53 years until 1977 when it was eclipsed by David Filipovic and Mark Maycock.

The all time time record of 9 minutes and 52 seconds was set in 1989 by John Francis and Andy Ritchie

To broaden our knowledge of this history, we have set up a section on the Duncan Shield website where we are able to dedicate participation and pledging as well as a memory section where people may share their memories of the event.

I am dedicating my pledge and my participation in the race to the Memory of my Dad and my Uncles, Fred and Jack.

Our Grandson Thomas Reis, who passed away from Leukemia 6 years ago at the age of eleven, having contracted the disease when he was eleven months old, is very much on our minds with this project with Camp Quality and so we dedicate our race participation to his memory as well.

There are many families that have been active in the History of the Duncan Shield. We managed to find a complete list of the winners since the beginning of the race along with the winning times. We have this list on the website. Some families can boast about winning the race many times. For example, McLennan, Dickenson, Maycock, Ritchie, Francis and Walsh to name a few.

We encourage you to write to us, by email, and send us pictures and stories that we can post to the website and so we can record your memories and personal dedications

Please join us in this worthy cause, as a participant racer, or as a person pledging.

Please take a moment to enter into the race and/or to pledge support for a favorite participant.

You can only imagine how much pride we have to be part of this continuing history.

John and Helene Duncan - July 1, 2010

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