A founding member of The Napanee Curling Club, a lovely gentleman now over 90 years old, just this year had to give up curling. He is missed in the club, because he is its history, having served, during the course of the club’s over 60-year existence, in one capacity or another – from icemaker to almost every board position, to prime rib carver for our locally famous bonspiel dinners. The members enjoyed curling with and against him, having a drink with him and listening to his stories. He isn’t able to curl any longer, but one of his daughters and her husband belong to the club now and the legacy goes on. His story, like those of many others, highlights the ideals of our small, welcoming, non-profit club. Run almost entirely by volunteers (only the icemakers and the cleaner are paid), so many members give of their time and energy each week and year to organize leagues, run bonspiels, teach juniors curlers, run new-curler clinics, recruit members, do house maintenance, help with the ice install, run the bar and the kitchen, not to mention take care of the paperwork from financials to memberships and correspondence and all the work involved in hosting an Ontario Tankard and a Canadian Junior Championship. All volunteers, working for the enjoyment of a wonderful sport that keeps the older members physically active and socially connected and teaches young people teamwork and good sportsmanship and the value of giving freely of one’s time for the benefit of others.
And to add to all of this we have had the pleasure of seeing a young man, who was mentored by some of our club’s “volunteers”, make it to the elite level of curling in Canada today. And he is giving back by running a clinic for other young curlers this month here in his own home club – paying it forward, helping to secure the future of curling in Canada, creating a story – our story.