From now until spring, Friday night is curling night in Glendon. The three-sheet community rink was full for two draws for its opening night January 6.
The ice was keen, the competition was friendly, and the clubroom was filled with curlers and spectators enjoying the spirit of “the roarin’ game” over a drink.
Club president Rocky Doonanco was happy with the turnout. He said the club has been thriving the past few years thanks to the enthusiasm of the players and the dedication of volunteers.
Doonanco has been involved with the club for 17 years. “We’ve had many years where we could not get enough teams to run this league,” he said. “The last probably four or five we have had such a great turnout, and we’ve had renovations. We have people showing interest again.”
The facility looks new on the inside, but it has a long history. It had been the village office in the
1960s, and the curling club took it over when the village office moved. They added the ice facility and renovated the former office space to its new purpose.
“Where we’re standing right now used to be the mayor’s office. The bar was the reception counter—and it still is!” Doonanco said. But, he said, it took matching grants and a lot of work to renovate it.
“That takes community volunteerism, and the time and the hours people put in. We do not have a paid icemaker, we do not have a paid bartender. We have no paid people here,” he said. “This is all volunteer. And let me tell you the volunteerism is just incredible.”
The club has retained a lot of its historical character. Doonanco can tell you the story of each of the two moose heads in the lounge, and there are vintage advertising boards in the rink itself. These reflect the history not just of the curling club, but of the community as a whole.
Old-time curlers will appreciate the old scoreboards with the MacDonald Tobacco “Lassie” on them—once a staple in every rink across the country.
But it wasn’t just old-timers on the ice last Friday. Half of the curlers appeared to be between 20 and 40, a situation any community curling rink would love to have. And everyone was having fun.
“It makes my heart sing to see how good this little place is going,” Doonanco said.