Quest in Roots:
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MENTMORE CURLING AND SKATING RINK
In 1934 people of the district decided they should have a skating rink at Mentmore and made an open air rink. A very few curling enthusiasts lead by Ken McDougal, the Manitoba Pool Elevator agent and storekeeper, also decided to build a one sheet curling rink. It proved to be a very popular family pastime, curling every night of the week for a membership of 16 rinks. The rink was lit by gas lamps that had to be pumped up quite frequently on account of the cold. There was a stable for horses which would be crammed full, for as soon as there was any amount of snow the roads were impassable for cars. Rinks at that time did not have many rocks consequently many members had their own pair of rocks.A few years later, in the summer of 1942 a tornado passed through and leveled the building. A two sheet rink was raised to replace it, ready for the following season. For this rink a lighting plant, powered by a water cooled gasoline engine was purchased and installed; this was a wonderful improvement over the gas lamps.
This was used until 1949 when the district was connected with Manitoba Hydro. Bv this time the club owned two full sets of rocks. A new set of eight matched rocks for one sheet were purchased. In 1949 a covered skating rink was built with the curved laminated rafters combining a skating ice and a large waiting room.
The highlight of the season was the annual bonspiel when three curling sheets on the skating ice and the two curling sheets were put to use and at times lasted seven days with as many as 48 rinks entered. The ladies'' curling club served meals and lunches every day. The ladies'' bonspiel followed the mens'' while all the ice was still ready.
The family bonspiel was an annual attraction when all members of the family who were able to throw a rock down the ice took part. This event was the happy result of the organization of William (Bill) Nagle and Mrs. Edna Nagle.
There have been many good curlers who have had their start as very young people at our rink.
Keith Reilly, son of Mr. and Mrs. Reilly (a former store keeper) did his first curling as a young boy in Mentmore. In 1969 or 1970 he was a member of the Phillips'' rink of Toronto area that won the Canadian Championship and went to Scotland.
Due to dwindling farm population it became more and more difficult to operate the rural rinks.
Mentmore rink buildings were finally sold and taken away in 1971.
OBERON RINK Late 1920''s Oberon rink is a lively place, It shortens the winter hours, For a crowd is always there Be the weather dull or fair.
You''ll always see some curlers And skaters, quite a crowd.
We generally see Ina there And also Madge and Merle.
And no matter what the night, You''ll always see Jack White.
On hockey nights the boys are there All on the ice to play.
There''s Harry, Mac and Austin too, With Jimmie, Lloyd and Tommy, Lome, Archie, Fred and Clare, And a referee so square.
On Mondays broom ball calls the girls Who play with might and main What matter if they do fall down, They''re up and at it again.
When all are tired and ready to sleep And Lyle puts out the lights, With reluctant feet they all go out.
To prepare for tomorrow night.
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