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The curling rink executive appointed a committee of Nels Bergstrom, Marinus Neilson, C.A. Hill, and
Dawson McKay to approach the trustees of the skating rink property about obtaining land for the curling rink. It was built on the extreme south end of the property. The trustees were Marinus Neilson, Wyman Miller and Olav Olson.
In the summer of 1940, with the help of local farmers and townsmen, the building was erected. Ted Neilson was hired as head carpenter and the workers were paid 35¢ per hour to go toward shares in the rink. Windows were also donated so the biggest expenses were shingles and nails.
Mr. Heslop, the park superintendent, was to inquire about curling rocks in Winnipeg and each pair were bought individually by the following: Erickson Creamery, Erickson Legion, Marinus Neilson, R.J. McKenzie, John Wickdahl, T.D. Neilson, Linus Miller, E.F. Gusdal, Duncan McInnes, Ernie Forsberg, Fred Ostrom, Olav Olson, H.R. Paulsen, Fred Rognan, L.B. Gusdal, E.O. (Col) Hanson, and Lachie McInnes. With the help of Marinus Neilson, Frank Morris was the first caretaker with a salary of $35.00 per month plus $5.00 extra for December.
They got the ice made and wanted to finish with warm water, so they got a water tank from Dawson McKay at the creamery. Not realizing this tank had been used for buttermilk, it came off on everyone's clothes while curling and the odor in the waiting room was almost unbearable!
The curling fee for the opening bonspiel was 25¢ each.
Winter schedule men's fees were $4.00 and ladies and students under seventeen were $2.00. Bonspiels were put on in aid of the Red Cross.
The waiting room was enlarged by moving the walls toward the ice surface. They realized the sheets were ten feet longer than regulation from back to back.
In December of 1944, Dr. E.J. Rutledge, M.L.A. donated the "Challenge Cup" for curling competition. Clubs eligible were Erickson, Minnedosa, Onanole, Clear Creek, Clanwilliam, Bethany, Sandy Lake, Elphinstone, Basswood, Newdale and Strathclair. In 1945 the Men's Club joined the Manitoba Curling Association. Walter
Delmage donated a shield to be played for by the lady curlers.
A committee consisting of E.O. Hanson, Linus and
Wyman Miller was given permission to draw money from general funds to cover expenses of flooding and repair of the outdoor skating rink which was directly beside the curling rink. The caretaker looked after the skating rink and received skating fees as extra salary. This continued until 1946 when the skating rink formed their own committee and started a building fund for a new skating rink. In 1947 a new well was dug, paid for equally by the two rinks.
At a joint meeting, a motion was made by Mabel Neilson-Sadie Hanson that they would serve lunches in the curling rink with proceeds divided equally between the two rinks. Also a motion was made by Ethel Neilson L. Miller that the light and fuel bills be divided equally and paid from the lunch money. The ten cent coffee and five cent cake served by the ladies helped sustain the rink over the years and drew many spectators to watch regular curling games. It was often said, Erickson shingled its buildings with sandwiches.
The first Erickson Curling Rink.
Mrs. Gus Freko was an avid curling fan, always there for every game Beatrice played. One evening she came with pom-poms to put on the rocks so she could see what was going on at the far end.
Marinus Neilson, instrumental in the organization of the rink, spent many hours at the rink and was always around when needed, being maintenance man and drawmaster for many years. Ted Neilson was also drawmaster for a good long time. Wyman Miller and Olav Olson did the repair work and remodelling over the years and Harry Paulsen was the secretary from 1944- 1961. Emil Larson was caretaker and ice-maker until in 1957 he moved to Winnipeg to be employed as ice-maker there at the Civic Caledonian Curling Club.
The hydro was installed in 1950. This made flooding easier but they still had a tank in which they melted ice for the final flooding.
When the Erickson Memorial Arena was completed, it