Whether it is played on a professional level or as a pastime, sport is able to connect people of all walks of life to create a deep sense of community. As a founding member of the Lindsay Curling Club, J. D. was able to put an international spotlight on Lindsay with his world renowned skills.
Playing on the Scugog River at first in 1876, J. D. would arrive down to the river early to ensure that he would play the position of skip for the day for his rink (referring to a set of players or team). Over a course of 15 years, he developed his skill that would amount to the start of dozens of trophies and accolades. Lindsay was a must stop destination for visiting curling rinks/ teams in order to meet J. D. as one Scottish rink noted on their trip in 1904.
Beginning to tally his wins starting in 1883, by 1890 Flavelle’s rink began acquiring the most victories of any rink. Finding success at both local games and the annual Winnipeg Bonspiels, his fame and skill never diminished and by 1897, J. D. and his Lindsay rink won their first of six Ontario Tankards.
In one such instance, after winning the Governor General’s trophy in 1885 by beating the Halifax Club by 23 shots, J. D. and the Lindsay rinks were invited back to Rideau Hall in 1886 and 1887. Upon receiving a telegram from Governor General, Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, inviting the club to participate in the tournament in 1887, J. D. pushed around town that day to round up club members to form two rinks that would depart Lindsay the following morning. Lindsay was victorious in its 1887 match against Peterborough, winning by 20 shots.
Over a 59 year curling career, J. D. was often called the “Dean of Curlers” and “the greatest curler of all time.” It was not the only sport where J. D. excelled. He was an avid bicyclist, enjoyed golf later in life having founded the Sturgeon Point Golf Club, as well as some lacrosse, cricket and tennis.
Due to his skill and lore, J.D. had a trophy named after him in which clubs around the province would compete for. The Lindsay Curling Club currently still competes and plays for the Flavelle Cup amongst its own members in the community.