Quest in Roots:
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The Brookdale ladies curled in the first rink over on the east side of town but not too much is known about it. Ladies'' curling started in earnest when the new one sheet of curling ice was built in 1934.It all started as mixed rinks, with a lady playing lead, on each rink. If there were not enough ladies for every rink that man was congratulated as not being hampered with a female lead. We were also expected to be able to sweep either left or right handed so as to let the man sweep the side he preferred.
After a few years the men thinking they would be able to compete in outside competition asked that the ladies make up their own rinks for the draw and compete against the men but they would be spotted fivepoints to start with. This was all right for awhile then it was decided we did not need the extra points and should compete on an equal level. As one lady put it when she beat her husband, he complained that she did not curl that well for him; she said that was because he did not give the right ice. We mostly curled on our own when we got enough rinks for a draw, otherwise we curled in the mixed league.
In 1934the first ladies'' bonspiel was held. Most of the regular curlers had to be promoted to skip because there were so many other ladies (first curlers) wanting to tryout the game of curling. With eight or so rinks it made for a lot of fun ifnot curling.
Then after a year or so we became brave enough to invite in outside rinks. The ladies then organized but these records are not available. Mrs. Lila Stewart was president and in the year 1954-55Mrs.
Dune McIntyre was elected president with Mrs.
Alice Chudley as secretary and Mrs. Ruth Lawrie as treasurer. The rinks were drawn up and ready to curl right after New Years.
Since then women have curled either in a league of their own or in the mixed league and some of the more energetic curlers in both. A bonspiel is held every year and has grown until they have had as many as 24 rinks in an open bonspiel held over a three day period. In 1963at the annual bonspiel the U.C.W. was asked to cater to a banquet in the basement of the church at one dollar a plate. The menu was scalloped potatoes, ham, green salad, pickles, buns and apple pie.
Donors for events of the bonspiel, are Bonnett''s, Fraser''s, and Jones''. Also the daytime curlers play for the Angus Lawrie Memorial Plaque, donated by Ruth Lawrie which goes to the team winning the most games throughout the winter.
Winners of this plaque have been the rinks of Anne Simpson, Rose North, Connie Thorn, Isabelle Bonnett, and Grace Loewen.
1f 1f 1f Remember when two young lads tried walking down the length of the curling ice.with their skates on.
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