BY IAN THORPE
It has been a busy season so far at the Nanaimo Curling Centre on Wall Street, with several successful bonspiels having been held. And there’s more action on the ice to come before the season wraps up, highlighted by the club hosting a major national event at the end of this month.
Heading up the NCC executive this year has been president Mary Ellen Konyer, assisted by vice-president Blair Franklin, treasurer Tom Weinreich and secretary Kellie Rice. Others on the board are Terry Miller, Janice Ainsworth, Ron Thompson, Debbie Erdos and Bob Palynchuk. Staff members at the club include Debra May in the pro shop and head ice technician Daryl Gordoncillo. Also this year, NCC welcomed a new club manager in the person of Matt Boll from Toronto who has been working hard to meet people and keep things running smoothly.
First bonspiel of the season was the Halloween Spiel at the end of October, which involved a dozen teams. The A event was sponsored by 460 Realty and was won by the team of Mary Ellen Konyer, Vic Brice, Tom Weinreich and Earle Plaine. In B event, sponsored by Sign Zone, top team was Ron Thompson, Blair Franklin, Steven Franklin and Bert Grzesiczek. Winner of C event was the team of Darryl Graham, Doug Hammermeister and Jim Reynolds.
November featured a unique Double Doubles bonspiel, with 12 teams of pairs in a competitive division and another 12 pairs in a social event. Organizer Steve Seixeiro points out that sponsors were BMO Private Wealth, Leakey and Lewicki Professional Accountants and Seixeiro Photography. Visiting squads swept the prizes in the competitive division, locals did well in the the social open event. In A event winners were Susan Chepil and Kathleen Hewitt and runners-up were Connie Swaisland and Peter Swaisland. Ron Membery teamed with Stephen Grant to win B event. In C event, winners were Chad Raill and Adam Sturgeon, with Vicki Hamilton and Russ Wiltsey in second place.
Also in November, the popular annual Hangover Bonspiel attracted 30 teams. The A event was sponsored by Crofton Shop and Wash and saw the Craig Bernes team from Comox win the final over Nanaimo’s Mike Kenefick, Bob Palynchuk and Stan Wheat. In the Windley Contracting B event final, Jim Beecroft, Nick Mangano, Ron Thompson and Barry Suhan got past Arthur Cantelon, Chris Parker and Ron Membery. Tops in the Pathfinder Asset Management C event was the team of Ray Michell, Blair Bezaire, Jade Jensen and Mike Morrissey. In second place were Brendon Plamondon, Dwain Black, Paul Konyer, Louie Papp and Dave Bandy. G-Spot Welding sponsored D event.
In the final, the Wheatsheaf Pub team of Steve Hobson, Neil Schott, Dean Mousseau, Rob Mitchell, Doug Freelund and Kevin Hay combined to get past the Oxy Pub entry of Jimmy Forrester, Steve McCaul, Chuck Passmore, Darren Wright and Ray Speiss.
We’ll catch up with other bonspiel results at a later date. For now though, local curling fans should know that NCC will be hosting the 17th annual Canadian Stick Curling Championships, to be held March 30-April 2. A total of 72 two-person teams will take part in this national event, representing nine provinces. There will be 18 teams in a women’s division and 54 in an open event. Opening ceremonies will be held at NCC at 5 p.m. on March 29, then games held Thursday through Sunday, leading up to the finals and closing ceremonies on April 2. Spectators are welcome and there is no charge for admission to what should be a very entertaining event.
Whatever your sport, a reminder in closing to play your hardest, play fair, and show good sportsmanship.