It was 100 years ago that the Copper Cliff Curling Club formed.
Back in those days, all of the curling was done on natural ice. The members were largely Inco miners looking for recreational activities.
At that point, all of the club's members were men, although it started accepting women starting in the late 1940s. In 1949, the club took a huge step forward when Inco built a modern seven-sheet curling facility at 39 Veteran's Rd.
The Copper Cliff Curling Club purchased the venue from Inco in 1976, and it's now a non-profit organization operated by the club members.
“It has huge history in the community,” said Bev Goudreau, the organization's secretary and a member of the club's afternoon ladies' league.
The club is still very popular, as are the city's two other curling facilities.
It's presently home to about 420 active members, ranging in age from seven to 93, in leagues which vary from pensioners to the Frood-Stobie Industrial League to bantam and junior.
Students from Copper Cliff Public School — where Goudreau taught school for 24 years — regularly receive curling instruction at the club.
Because the Copper Cliff Curling Club has a cement pad, it hosts roller derby events in the summer.
It also hosts a number of bonspiels, including the ever-popular “Liquor Pigs” event, which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013.
The club also has a number of competitive athletes, such as Jason Strelezki, Chris Gordon, Jason Gauthier and Derek Crew, who represented Northern Ontario in Thunder Bay at the Dominion National Club Team Championship last November.
Goudreau said she started curling at the club when she retired from teaching in 2000 because she already knew a lot of the members. “The afternoon program is terrific,” she said.
To celebrate its centenary, the club is putting on a Funspiel tournament Jan. 18. Dinner and a live band after the tournament are included in the $180 per team and $45 per person fee.
The club's manager, Doris Lafond, said she hopes the tournament — which has attracted 28 teams so far — will bring in $5,000. The money will go towards repairing the club's roof, which is starting to show its age.
A commemorative 100th anniversary pin is also available for sale at the club.
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