One man is on a mission to bring awareness to the sport of curling, and small town curling clubs across the world, meanwhile raising funds for his hometown curling club in Harvey Station, New Brunswick.
Rob Swan included Fox Creek on his list of towns and curling rinks to visit. He curled a game at the local Curling Club on Feb. 10th during the mixed league night. He was welcomed by several members of the club and posed for a group photo, with a special made sign for his visit.
Fox Creek’s small town curling rink was number 164 on the list of clubs Rob played. He curled an eight ender game, playing third on Darlene and Craig Jeanveau and Stephon Desrosiers’ team, versus Troy and Sarah DeCiccio’s team.
Rob first started his journey in October 2014 and intended to curl 100 games in 100 different clubs across Canada. That original goal has surpassed his expectations.
“A year and half later, I had no idea it was going to be this big!” said Rob. “Its great and the support has been phenomenal!”
Just before visiting Fox Creek, he curled at the Debolt, Valleyview and Grande Prairie clubs and then was on his way to Merritt, British Columbia.
Chair of the Fox Creek curling board, Liz Mostowich welcomed Rob to Fox Creek and was glad he took the time to play at our local club.
Recently, Rob was invited to Belgium. This coming October, he will start his new journey of curling 10 games in 10 days in 7 countries; including Netherlands, France, Germany and Austria.
He travels at his own expense, as his career as a licensed electrician allows him two weeks on and two weeks off at his job at Horizon North.
In the past, Rob did curl competitively, however he took a six year break because the “competitiveness changed him.”
The enthusiastic 50 year old has experienced curling with all ages, from juniors to 96 year olds. He’s curled with the visually impaired, juniors, mixed, world champions and Canadian champions.
“There is no excuse not to curl” he added.
He mentioned, in his opinion, there is a major lack of support of funding for curling and small town curling rinks from the municipal and provincial government, and the lack of publicity curling receives, compared to hockey.
Rob hopes to continue to curl across Canada and overseas for another eight years, a total of ten years. Originally, he started the journey to help his local club and was influenced from experiencing, and beating a battle with testicular cancer.
“I made a choice, do what I want to do in life and be happy and keep moving forward – I don’t let anything stop me. I think every curling club in Canada needs exposure and I am having a lot of fun doing what I am doing. I wouldn’t do anything different.” – Rob Swan
His hometown has a population of 400 and the two sheet curling rink was built in 1961.
Fox Creek was proud to be a part of his journey.
Fox Creek’s Curling Club, History in Focus: (Source: Iosegun Reflections History Book)
By Otto Ritter
The first curling rink in Fox Creek was constructed in the mid-1960’s. (located in the same spot as the current one, confirmed by Barb Jantz and Velda DeCiccio). The building was built for two sheets of ice with wood archribs with one inch lumber over the ribs and then asphalt shingles on the outside. Labour was mainly voluntary. There was one carpenter hire, by the name of Gerald Coulson from Sangudo (uncle to Des Ritter). Money came from a grant from ID 16 and local people also donated.
Artificial ice was installed in the late sixties with a centennial grant.
People involved at that time were: Derald Palmer, Otto Ritter, Joe Herold, Richard Handford, Walt Young, Jim Espeseth, Hank McArthur and Don Tattersall.
The local forest ranger at the time was Ken Wheat, who lived across Kaybob Drive from the Red Rooster. He helped greatly in getting lumber donations from the following sawmills; Jim Rehn mill, Pat Rehn mill, George MacDonald mill, Bill and Ross McCorkle mill, Steve Mostowich mill and Midwest Lumber company.
The ice the first few years was natural ice, so it came and went with the weather. At times, the ice was fairly good but when the weather got warm, we would end up with water on the ice. When the ice was poor, it was not a matter of skill, but who had the strength to throw the rock to the house!
The maintenance and caretaking were done pretty well on a voluntary basis the first few years. The club never borrowed money to build or operated the rink and we never operated in the red. There was real commitment in those years.
Did you know? Fox Creek did NOT have a curling rink from 1978 – 1983!
The New Curling Rink
By Terry Zalasky
After the original curling rink was condemned in 1978, the community was without a facility. In the fall of 1982, a group of volunteers – Merv Zadderey, Gary Firth, Don Deputan, Manny Kutschinski, Richard Handford, Bob Marple, Nick Ozoroff, Cheryl Babb, Judy Oshanek, Cathy Palmer, Fern Trottier, Pat Tattersall and Terry Zalasky – decided to form a building committee and attempt to get a new facility built in the community.
After receiving various proposals and cost estimates, the committee decided to have the current facility constructed at the approx. cost of $475,000. Upon the agreement of the design and cost of the new facility, the committee’s next major task was to attempt to raise the funds needed. The funds were attained through donations from the Alberta Government, the Town of Fox Creek, Chevron Canada, Petro-Canada, Dome Petroleum, Amoco Canada, the residents and the businesses of Fox Creek.
From generous donations, the building committee was only left with a deficit of $50,000, which was needed to furnish the new facility. These funds were borrowed from the Town of Fox Creek.
Construction was started in the spring of 1983 and completed in the fall of the same year. The new facility was named the Fox Creek Memorial Curling Rink, in memory of five men – Darryl Trottier, Brian Trottier, Rick Gascon, George Maurer and Larry Anderson – who disappeared on a flight from Fox Creek to Prince George, B.C in April 1982.
Today – 2016: The curling club continues to function because of volunteer efforts and the ongoing support of businesses and donations. The 2016 board members include: Liz Mostowich, Todd DeCiccio, Wade Martineau, Darlene Jeanveau, Arnie Mostowich, Sarah DeCiccio, Gillian Petch, Angela Martineau, Robyn Ewert and the ice makers are Andrew Mostowich and Craig Jeanveau. The club’s fundraising goals include a new roof and a new commercial kitchen.
Traditionally there are three bonspiels in the season; Resource Spiel, Ladies and Mixed, in addition to the men’s and mixed weekly curling league and junior curling lessons. Most leagues play once per week and curling season usually runs from October to March.
Fox Creek’s Curling Club has a website: http://www.foxcreekcurlingclub.com/ and you can find them on Facebook too: Fox Creek Curling Club.
For more information on Curling Across the Nation, checkout Rob’s website @ http://www.curlingacrossthenation.com/ or his Facebook page: Curling Across the Nation.
Print This Post