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Page Index of Forest to Field Volume One
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was offered to the Curling Club for use during the Annual Mixed Bonspiel. Some years saw as many as 67 rinks competing from Erickson and surrounding districts. Donations were made for the use of the arena.
With the arena's space and kitchen facilities came the custom of serving meals during the Bonspiel. Ladies from the entire community served throughout the week and the meals were well supported by curlers and non-curlers alike. This tradition has always been a drawing card to Erickson's Bonspiel.
Curling reports were phoned in daily and aired over CKDM. John Gustafson and Garth Lee performed this task for several years.
With the great interest in curling, it was decided to add a third sheet of ice. This was never completed and plans for the new Rec. Centre began in 1968.
A Men's Curling Club was formed in 1959-60 and the Ladies' Club had been formed in 1952. Interest in mixed curling dropped.
Another set of matched rocks were purchased in 1961.
The waterworks were installed in 1964.
In 1965-66 an afternoon mixed "Farmers' Club" was started and also in 1966 came the first thoughts about building a new recreation centre which would include four sheets of curling ice. This first committee consisted of Einar Lundman, Art Holmberg, Louis Penonzik, and Marland Furevick. It was later changed to the "Erickson and District Recreation Association" with Richard Paulsen, Marland Furevick - Men's Curling Club, Mary Hartry, Marge Gregorash - Ladies' Curling Club and Bob Uhl, Ron Mcinnes - Farmers' Club. Being unable to get any grants or much support at this time, things didn't really get started until 1973.
Erickson and District Recreation Centre.
In June 1973, with John Ewashko as President, these committees were formed: Finance - John Ewashko, Basil Woloshen, Bob Uhl, Edith Earley and Mary Hartry and Building - Ed Oshust, John Ewashko, Edith Earley, Marland Furevick and Einar Sundmark. A motion was made by John Gustafson-Joyce Robinson that they build a four-sheet curling rink on the property north of Erickson Collegiate. The committees were then kept busy looking at other facilities, costs, etc. and inquiring as to grants. Canvassing for donations was done and co signers were needed in order to borrow money from the Royal Bank. It was decided to accept contractor, Steve Maximchuk of Stran Steel to construct a building, 60 feet by 198 feet. Sod turning took place on Sept. 8, 1973 and the building was underway. There was to be a utility room to house the artificial ice plant, and also at that time it was decided to install a fireproof ceiling. Mr. Goodman of Industrial Maintenance was contracted to put in the artificial ice plant at a price of $18,500. The first pour of cement was done by volunteer labour while Western Concrete and Finishers supervised the labor and trowelling of the finish coat. Ken and Newman Hall were electrical contractors and Ernie Brookman put in the plumbing.
During this time the committees were very active.
Grants had to be applied for, Governments approached, and money-raising functions planned. Local organizations worked extremely hard. Erickson Lions Club was one of the major donors, also the Chamber of Commerce, the Curling Clubs, Legion, Rolling River Reserve, Women's Institute, Hilltop Club, Snowmobile Club, local merchants and many personal donations were made. They also received donations such as fridges, deep freeze, stoves, chairs, kitchen supplies, grill and chipper. Parkwood Auto donated a skidoo, John Ewashko gave a steer and Bob Uhl donated a hog, all for raffle. Volunteers painted and did whatever they could to have the building ready for winter curling.
On November 30, 1974 an "unofficial" opening was held, with a community supper and dance. The new cement sweated and made dancing rather treacherous. The ice was made the next week with the expertise of Metro Maximchuk, who has each year since been responsible for the icemaking.
A public meeting was held December 3, 1974 at the Rec. Centre and a financial report was given by M. Hartry; the total cost of the building to date - $139,000, proceeds to date were $83,000, expenses to date were $70,000, and the bank balance read $11,000. There was a per capita grant of $24,500 approved and a grant of $12,500 was applied for from the R.M. of Clanwilliam. An operating committee was set up consisting of Bob Uhl - Clanwilliam Municipality, John Ewashko - Harrison Municipality, Lawrence Siwak - Village of Erickson, Viola Miller - Women's Institute, Dwayne McDonald Chamber of Commerce, Florence McDonald - Ladies' Curling Club. There was a two-year term committee of Lawrence Siwak, Norval Lee, John Ewashko and Florence McDonald, a one-year term committee of Wilma Jacobson, Lillian McKay and Earl Wickdahl, with alternates of Viola Miller and Henry Wickdahl.
The Opening Bonspiel was held in December of 1974.