By Johanne Smith

Murray Soder and Mike Firman

Oliver Curling Club 50th Anniversary History

The story continues

November 1970 saw the official ribbon cutting ceremony was held with many dignitaries from neighboring clubs in attendance.  This was the kick-off to the first Mixed Bonspiel with 40 teams in attendance from the Okanagan and Boundary Regions and as far away as Revelstoke, Trail and the Coast. 

This had been preceded 2 weeks earlier by the first Club Mixed Bonspiel that hosted 32 teams composed of club members.  The entry fee was set at $10.00 per rink.  The “A” team winners appropriately where President Eric Bastian team which included his wife Helen with Charlie and Phyllis Miller.  During the balance of the curling season several well attended bonspiels were including the Kinsman, First Men’s Open and the first Ladies Open.

Of note the clubs first 8 under was achieved during the men’s night league by the Bob Armstrong team which included John Rotheisler ,  Dave Nicholas and Ted Mickolas.

From 1970 to 1975 the club was doing so well that Awards Night was held in the Legion Hall.  The club lacked the space and had insufficient chairs and tables. 

In 1975 four 1000 watt heaters were installed in the corners of the ice shed, to the delight of all members, who had been grumbling about the cold.

When the new curling season started in 1976 curlers were greeted by a newly redecorated upstairs and downstairs lounges. Boards around the ice had been painted by the ladies. The upstairs lounge area had been redecorated to improve acoustics and ventilation.  The walls were finished in cedar siding and the ceiling was finished in cork tiles. The President at the time Murray Soder reported that the work had been carried out by club members on a volunteer basis.  In the same year club member Dick Topping was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame for his involvement and dedication in running the Canadian School Boy Curling Championships.  

The Day League that is so popular with members today began in 1977.  The avid curlers in the Oliver club wrapped up the club’s seventh year of operations with a steak dinner and awards night in their upstairs newly renovated lounge.

A new ceiling was put over the ice surface in 1981 resulting in better lighting and noise reduction.  Corn brooms could be very loud.

Picture and article submitted.

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