Bonspiel marks 25 yearsAnnual curling tournament sees 14 registered teams knock rocks
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, February 5, 2015
LIIDLII KUE/FORT SIMPSON
The Merchants Curling Bonspiel marked 25 years this past weekend in Fort Simpson.
Silene Hebert, left, and Kathleen Primeau sweep during a curling match in Fort Simpson on Jan. 31. - Shane Magee/NNSL photo
The annual event brought out 14 teams for three days of curling at the village rec centre.
The ever-popular event seemed to be even busier this year said Colin Munro, one of the organizers.
Fort Simpson Curling Club president Michael Rowe said they had lots of teams out on both of the rec centre's rinks.
"It's an amazing tournament, everyone played great and had fun," Rowe said.
Coming out on top of the A division after all the ends was Team Pilling whose members included Roger Pilling, Val Gendron, Forrest McWade and Alex Roach.
They came out ahead of Team Simpson Air made up of Michael Rowe, Neil Mitchell, Aaron Gage-Cole and Erin Wyatt.
Munro first started curling when he arrived in Fort Simpson 14 years ago.
"I never threw a rock before Fort Simpson," he said.
Munro said he always enjoys the bonspiel weekend.
"It was a hoot. It's always a hoot. It's a great event," he said.
New and experienced players took part in the bonspiel, sharing a few laughs as rocks went in an unintended direction.
After a team's turn on the ice, plenty of participants retreated upstairs to the curling club's lounge for food and drink.
The weekend also helped raise money for the curling club.
Right now, there is a sand base under the ice. It takes a lot longer to prepare the surface for the curling season and so the club is trying to raise money to get concrete down in the rink.
The concrete surface will allow the curling season to begin earlier.
The final amount raised over the weekend wasn't known at press time.
Happening at the same time at the village rec centre was the first Moosehide Mammas home
tournament in three years.
The female recreational hockey event drew teams from Hay River, Fort Nelson, B.C., and Fort Smith.
The tournament drew steady crowds to watch the games.
Rowe said despite the double bill, there were plenty of people at both events.
Quick action may have saved the day. Acting senior administrative officer Forrest McWade told councillors on Feb. 2 that just as both events were gearing up Jan. 30, there was a sewage line backup at the rec centre.
McWade said Mitch Gast, the village's waste water treatment operator, went to work to fix the issue to allow both the bonspiel and tournament to go ahead.
"Big thanks to Mitch for getting that done," McWade said.