Over the many decades I have played, curling has given me a chance to meet interesting people, created great memories, and kept me physically active.
During the winter of 1952-53, as a newbie miner working at the Giant Yellowknife Gold Mine, I started curling at the local club. I would usually play at night, so on my way back to the bunkhouse, I was always in awe at seeing the Aurora Borealis dancing overhead. It made me reflect, even at the young age of 21, on how lucky I was to be living in the capital of the Northern Lights. When I joined the RCAF, I played at the Seaforth Curling Club in the winter of 1955. I experienced the camaraderie of playing with the team from the Clinton RCAF base.
In 1988, now living in Timmins, I started curling at the Dome Mine Curling Club in South Porcupine. That winter, at a Company mixed curling tournament, my team included 3 generations – my 76-year-old mother-in-law, the only regular curler, two of my children, and me, as skip. Unexpectedly, we managed to win first place!
Jump to 2022, where I played with the New Horizons Seniors Curling Club at the McIntyre Arena in Timmins for nearly 30 years. At the Crooked Broom Funspiel, I was presented 5 certificates, at the club, regional, and provincial levels, as well as from Curling Canada. At the same presentation, much to my surprise, I was awarded a personalized regular curling rock. The caption on the rock, “91 and still curling”, and the certificates are a testament to the sport I have had the privilege to play.
Curling transcends any age and skill gaps. At a recent game, my team was red, and at our turn, I accidentally threw a yellow rock. My two teammates, new to the game, did not know what to do. When the other team’s players saw their yellow rock slide by, they jumped into action, sweeping energetically until the play was called. We all had a good laugh afterwards, but it was an excellent time to have an impromptu lesson on the rules of the game. It is always gratifying to mentor new players, but most of all, I hope to inspire them to keep playing for many years to come.
Last fall, I had the chance to meet a young fan at a game, the grandson of a fellow curler. To me, he represents the curlers of tomorrow and the future of this sport. As I reminisce, curling has been more than just winning or losing a game; it’s always been about getting together, young and old, with those you know and those you meet along the way.