|Doug C. Delaney (born Douglas Clifford Delaney, February 6, 1926, in Winnipeg, Manitoba) was a proud teenage boy who excelled at the relatively young sport of yo-yoing, earning most of the awards that Cheerio offered from 1938 to 1940. Quite an accomplishment when you consider a particular region of a city had dozens of kids competing.
According to his daughter, "I recall that dad was very talented with yo-yo and could do many tricks. My favourite was having the yoyo end up in his pocket. He would make it go up and down and then by some magic he would flip it and it would end up in his pocket (this trick's name is traditionally known as "Bank Deposit"). He also did "Around the World" and "Rock the Baby".
Doug attended Laura Secord school in his youth. He lived and worked in the Winnipeg area his entire life. In 1949, he married his sweetheart Audrey who, at age 94 (May, 2017), is alive and well and carrying on the Delaney name and legacy. Together, Doug and Audrey raised three daughters: Nancy, Marney, and Peggy (1957-2002). On Saturday, September 18, 2010 at the age of 84, Doug passed away.
Today, what remains of Doug's yo-yo memorabilia are several Cheerio contest patches, a very rare Cheerio trick book, along with equally rare paper certificates from the Cheerio events he entered:
Bronze Award certificate - date earned unknown. Doug would have also been awarded the accompanying Cheerio Bronze Award patch seen here from the same time period.
All Canada Yo-Yo Sweater certificate - earned September 6, 1940. See Cheerio 99 Champion patch below.
Cheerio 99 Champion patch - earned September 6, 1940. This patch came separately with the All Canada Yo-Yo sweater that Doug earned. It was up to the parent of the child to sew it onto the sweater. While his sweater no longer exists, his patch does; it was never sewn onto his sweater! The patch and sweater together would have looked like those in this picture from the same time period.
1938 Yo-Yo Winner patch - the Cheerio 1938 Yo-Yo Winner maple leaf patch is somewhat of an anomaly in this collection. While the patch does not say "Cheerio" anywhere on it, the wife of Mr. Delaney remembered that it was her husband's. Also, the patch was found amongst all the other Cheerio memorabilia seen in this Delaney exhibit. The Canadian maple leaf patch was one of the awards you could earn under the Cheerio system. It is unclear why this patch is dated 1938 while most of the other Delaney yo-yo memorabilia pieces are dated 1940. A very hard patch to find.
Silver Award certificate - earned September 9, 1940. Doug would have also been awarded the accompanying Cheerio Silver Award patch seen here.
Official Cheerio Yo-Yo Cap - date earned unknown. Doug's style of Cheerio Yo-Yo cap was most likely this one from the same time period
Cheerio yo-yo class instructor/organizer certificate - date earned unknown. At some point during his yo-yo years, Doug was authorized to form and hold official Cheerio Yo-Yo classes in the district of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Whether that authorization also included holding yo-yo contests is unknown.
Doug's trick repertoire was quite extensive for a young boy, considering the time period and the fact that he was not a Cheerio employee. His skill was especially evident when you look at all of the tricks that he had signed off in his Cheerio trick book. Back then, it was reading and studying pictures in the book, along with shear determination and constant practice that helped you learn tricks and win contests. Very different from today's YouTube generation. "I do know my dad had an amazing ability with his yoyo and he kept it in his dresser for more than 65 years. As he was never one to show off or brag about his accomplishments, I just never realized how truly talented he was. And on those occasions when he brought it out I was duly impressed with his prowess," says his eldest daughter Nancy.
(As a longtime curator at the Museum of Yo-Yo History, I'm very impressed too! - RB)
A special Thank You to the Delaney family for their assistance in providing additional information about their dad, including sharing two photographs of him