After a year’s hiatus, Powell River Curling Club came back with a vengeance to put on one heck of a summer bonspiel.
The 30-team event included 11 teams from out of town. Curlers curled at Hap Parker Arena, Powell River Recreation Complex, where four sheets of curling ice were laid on top of the hockey surface.
The bonspiel focused on family, friends and fun but when teams were drawn from as far away as Manitoba, and established clubs from Marpole and Richmond, there was also a high level of curling exhibited.
Possibly more than the curling, it was a terrific opportunity to showcase Powell River and the curling club at an event where the community really did shine.
Pat Walsh and his wife Carrie, who recently retired and moved to Powell River from Mission, seized the opportunity to meet people and dig their old curling gear out of the closet.
“As relative newcomers to Powell River,” said Pat, “it’s an excellent opportunity to meet a whole variety of wonderful people. It kind of reconfirms with us the reason why we moved here, which was the people and the lifestyle.”
Because a third of the bonspiel was made up of out-of-town teams, ice conditions and hospitality were paramount.
“It was absolutely fantastic,” said D Event winner Jason Rowland of Vancouver. “I’m a former curling club manager at Vancouver Curling Club for four seasons and Marpole for one year. I know how difficult it is, not only to put on a bonspiel like this but also to maintain ice conditions.” Rowland commended Al Sutherland and his crew for putting together pristine ice in an arena in the middle of summer.
“The organizing committee did a wonderful job,” he said, “and they made us feel very welcome.”
Sutherland, who hails from Victoria, is renowned for his ice-making expertise, but he had help, according to bonspiel chairman Barrie Phillips.
“I was really impressed with the staff of the complex. They were really, really helpful in getting this event set up.” He also acknowledged the support of Quality Foods, major sponsor of the event, who hosted the banquet.
The big winner was Felix Massullo rink who won the A Event final 8-2 in six ends over Jeff Cawker rink from Golden Ears Curling Club.
“It was my first in the A,” said Massullo, “and this win is very special because I was curling with my family and they did awesome all weekend.”
All winners in the four-event bonspiel were:
A Event: Skip Massullo with Corinne Franklin, Annette Massullo and Scott Franklin.
B Event: Skip Ken Abbs with Sherry Pagani, Roger Pagani and Lené Lindstrom.
C Event: Skip Greg Coomber with Marlene Jolie, Ken Whiteley and Lorna Downie.
D Event: Skip Rowland with Erin Ritchie, Todd Rowlatt and Kym Neutel.
Geoff Clarke Memorial Sportsmanship Award was presented to Dave Douglas, his wife Esther and daughters Michaela and Rebecca.
As if volunteers didn’t have enough on their plates, they have also been extremely busy throughout the summer with a number of major projects at the club in Cranberry.
Recent recipients of a grant from Powell River Community Forest, the club is now able to replace its roof. “We’ve just completed the new insulated ceiling,” said Phillips, “the new lighting is going in soon, and we’ll be replacing all the windows in the viewing area. With all of these improvements the ice should be even better than it has been so everything is looking very positive for the curling club.”
That’s good news for curlers getting ready for registration in September.