It may have been the last bonspiel hosted at the Barwick rink and if it is, at least it went out in style.
Glen Jackson, organizer of the Chapple Centennial Bonspiel, said he was still getting phone calls Monday morning from curlers offering words of thanks and congratulations over the four-day event—despite record-breaking temperatures Saturday and Sunday which played havoc with the natural ice at Barwick.
Jackson said the ice was getting very heavy by Saturday. And by Sunday, organizers had to shorten the sheets by 30 feet due to heavy melt conditions.
“We put new hacks in, drew new houses, [and] played on really heavy ice,” he noted. “[The curlers] thought it was a heck of a great idea. They never took part in anything like that before.
“They said only could it happen at the Barwick bonspiel,” he laughed. “It went off great.”
The bonspiel attracted a full field of 24 teams and then some, Jackson said, noting it probably was the only one in the district that had a waiting list.
When all was said and done, the Bruce Nielson rink of Stratton, skipped by Craig Armstrong and with Keith Jolicouer at third and George Heyens at second, took top spot in the ‘A’-event over Norm Hyatt’s rink of Barwick.
Everett Jackson’s foursome (Fort Frances) came third.
Nielson’s rink also won four new curling stones, with “Chapple Centennial Bonspiel” inscribed on them.
Meanwhile, skip Clarence Shrumm and his rink of third Terry Lee, second Shawn McDonald, and lead Jack Vandenbrand beat out Bruce Matheson’s quartet (Fort Frances) in the ‘B’-event.
Kerri Tolen (Barwick) took third.
In the ‘C’-event, skip Maury Nielson and his team of third Cheryl Morrison, second Cindy Nielson, and lead Dale Morrison knocked off fellow Stratton rink Bob Fretter.
Doug Hodge’s rink (Emo) finished third.
“We’ve had three ‘Back to Barwick’ bonspiels since we closed the rink [to regular league play] and Maury Nielson’s rink has won the third event three times in a row,” Jackson noted.
Off the ice, Jackson said there was a full house on hand for both the banquet and dance Saturday night.
Auctioneers Telford Advent and Rod Salchert shared duties during the banquet, getting $150-$170 apiece for four antique curling rocks the rink had from 1947.
Proceeds from the bonspiel will go towards recreation in Barwick.
“We did a lot of renovations to our clubrooms before the bonspiel,” Jackson noted, adding further work at the Barwick Hall might involve upgrading the current rink surface into a dance hall.
Although nothing definite has been decided as to the fate of the curling rink there, Jackson said this will “probably be our last bonspiel in Barwick.”
“I’d like to put a good thank you to the organizing committee, the sponsors, and all the people that really spent countless hours on the [bonspiel],” Jackson said.
“I can’t say how many hours were spent [volunteering] by people. It was just unreal,” he enthused.