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Ruth & Ernie Ferguson

Ruth and Ernie Ferguson became interested in Figure Skating in the early 1940s and with help from Phyllis Denne, the daughter of former Mayor of Peterborough, they traveled on weekends to Iclandia, Toronto.  They took lessons in figure skating and dance from Professionals Walter Arian and Alex Fulton. They practiced on the Trent Canal, Omemee Arena and any other available ice surface that they could find.  A relative, Uncle Tom Doughty learned of their need for ice time and arranged with Jim Harkness and Herb Martin to skate at the Peterborough Curling Club on Charlotte Street. During the winter of 1946, they sent out flyers to local schools and were overwhelmed with the response.  In 1947 The Peterborough Figure Skating Club received its Charter and became a member of the Canadian Figure Skating Association, with Ms. Denne the Club’s first representative. Starting with 43 juniors, 25 intermediates and 26 seniors they soon had to cap the members at 200.  In 1948-49 Professional Kay Amys was hired from the University Skating Club – Toronto and the PFSC held its first carnival at the Curling Club. The Civic Arena opened offering more ice time, but with a natural ice surface. In 1950-51 the PFSC held its first competition.  The opening of the Peterborough Memorial Centre in 1956, followed by other artificial ice rinks, provided new venues for the PFSC to expand. As the Peterborough Figure Skating Club prepares to celebrate their 70th Anniversary it will be an opportunity to look back and acknowledge Ruth and Ernie Ferguson as the pioneers and driving force behind the formation of the Peterborough Figure Skating Club.

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