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Saturday, Apr. 21, 2018
Looking to preserve memories of the Falconbridge Curling Club
2017-11-18
by Randy Pascal

Dating back to my start in providing local sports coverage in early 2004, I have always considered it an important part of my responsibility to both help celebrate and preserve the history-rich tradition of sport in Sudbury.

I tend to derive as much enjoyment in perusing the Sudbury Star microfilmed editions dating back some fifty or sixty years as I would in covering a current championship final. It’s a similar story when I have the chance to sit down and reminisce with those who lived through those bygone eras.

In the world of curling, preserving the memories of folks like the late Bill Groom and still active Chucker Ross are critical to those still involved with the sport, those who can appreciate the context of curling in this city.

Failing to archive that nostalgia inevitably dooms us to seeing the very vestiges of this Canadian tradition buried and forgotten in local landfill sites. Sharing the memories, the recollections of the pillars of any local sport is a role that I tackle with pride.

Even as an admitted casual, recreational curler, I look back with fondness on a Star bonspiel held in Onaping Falls many, many moons ago, in which Norm Mayer and I teamed with a pair of non-curlers to kick the snot out of a Harold Carmichael skipped side. Harold’s rendition of this epic battle might differ somewhat, and truth be told, I suspect his version is much more accurate.

Hence the need to salvage these valuable curling snippets while they remain fresh on the mind of those involved. This is part of the reason why I am continuing to reach out to folks who were at the heart of the action with the Falconbridge Curling Club, at a time when the joint was rocking with activity.

Sadly, this will no longer be the case, the Club closing, likely for good, earlier this fall. While I cannot recall ever competing on the four sheet ice surface over the years, I certainly remember catching play at regional playdowns and such, back in the early 2000s.

Carmichael himself was a former club president, noting that while a series of challenges created an ever more difficult environment to sustainability, perhaps the single biggest blow came with the closing of the Falconbridge Arena, directly adjacent to the Curling Club.

The proximity had allowed many a parent who had enjoyed the game of curling in some way, shape or form to create a vivid visual image in the minds of their children, making a quick stop next door after completing their weekly trip to the hockey rink.

Now a regular at the Canadian Senior Men’s Championships, Dion Dumontelle recalled the time spent in Falconbridge during much of his developmental years, a gathering place of family and friends. With that in mind, I welcome the opportunity to sit down with at least a couple of folks who can relate back to the 1970s, 1980s, or earlier, with stories to share of the Falconbridge Curling Club (email me at info@sudburysports.com).

Science North
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