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A century of men's curling in the Valley

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Last weekend (Mar. 10-12) marked the 100th anniversary of the Swan River Men’s Curling Club, and this milestone was celebrated with the centennial bonspiel held at the Swan River Community Centre.

Forty-two teams attended the event and the club was hopping all weekend. The organizers decided to use a different format for the bonspiel so that everyone was in the game all the way.

“We did it to a point system and kept the tournament buzzing right through to the end,” said Scott Tibble, chairman of the bonspiel, noting that the curlers really liked the new format.

“The banquet was full, and this year, we invited the ladies to celebrate this marker with us.

“Overall, it was a huge success,” Tibble continued. “We planned for this starting last April, where we organized everything from the ceremonial bagpipes to the Legion Color Guard  to the RCMP.”

While the organizers put on a fun and successful curling event for the centennial celebration, they also honoured the history that this event marked.

“A big part, besides the curling, was the history that everybody shared in the club during the last couple days,” said event Master of Ceremony Lance Jacobson. “The people that came before us, it’s remarkable when you think about it 100 years ago.”

“Think of the 500 people organizing themselves in 1917 who gathered up $10 per person; if we did that in a time value of money, that would be $1,500 to $2,000 dollars per person in order to build and start that first club,” added Tibble.

While there were many memorable moments over the weekend, it was special to have three generations of curlers together.

“There were three teams here that had three generations playing; the Vestbys, the Parsons, and the Tibbles,” said Tibble.

At the end of the weekend, the results were as follows: First event winner - Rick Kinaschuk rink; Second event winner - Brian Cotton rink; Third event winner - Delvin Sauder rink; Fourth event winners (tie) - Grant Spicer and Brent Scales rinks.

Tibble advised that the Swan River Curling Club recognized Brian White for his participation in the club.

“Curling is a lifetime sport,” concluded Tibble.

During the opening ceremonies the club had a banner that all the curlers signed and this will be hung in a prominent spot in the club for future generations of curlers.

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Tara Mara
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