The Trail Ladies Afternoon Curling Club is celebrating a historic milestone and calling out all past and present members to join the club for its 90th birthday next week.
Organizer Doreen Burnham is the senior member of the club, having spent almost half that time, 44 years, throwing and sweeping rocks with the afternoon ladies. Burnham was part of the 50th and 60th celebrations and recognized the need to mark the event.
“Because I have been here for so long, I just feel I have to do something about it,” said Burnham. “I guess because we’re getting older and we’re still active, I want people to know that and how long this club has gone on.”
The ladies club started in 1927 and curled in the Fruit Fair building until the move to the Trail Memorial Centre in 1951. The club’s executive has kept its meetings’ minutes since the beginning, and Burnham along with members Sandra Stajduhar and Penny Fennell have poured over the documents to get a sense of its historical context, the many changes, and the few things that haven’t.
“Today the Ladies Club also runs the kitchen for special events, like the retirees spiel etc.,” said Stadjuhar. “And everything in the old minutes that we went through from the 1937 minutes or whatever, everything referred to how much we’re going to charge the men for their bean feeds; $1, $1.25. It was hysterical.”
The ladies also added to the Presidents Scroll that was started in 1991 by Adrienne Leaman, designed by Doolie McDonnel, and printed by Mary Winstanley with all the names of the club’s presidents from 1927 to present.
The Afternoon curlers have helped organize and run the Senior Ladies Provincials, Scotties Provincials, and the 2003 Junior Ladies Provincials, in addition to countless bonspiels at the Trail Curling Club.
The changes to the game over the years have been extensive, and while the ladies club has seen a league of 22 teams reduced to six teams in the past few years, the goal of the afternoon club hasn’t changed – to remain active and have an enjoyable afternoon of curling and good company.
“We’re very social and very friendly, and we just have a good time,” said Burnham. “We sit and have a glass of wine, and yack for an hour after we curl.”
The club would like to see more ladies involved and encourages anyone interested to contact the curling club that meets Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
The Afternoon Club is celebrating its 90th year on Sept. 30 at the Trail Curling Club from 1 to 4 p.m. The club has sent out invitations but, if anyone was missed, they are invited to come out and enjoy the memorabilia, DVD of a past skit, scrap books, old photos, appetizers and refreshments.
Afternoon Ladies Curling Club trivia:
The City of Trail installed an artificial-ice plant in the Fruit Fair building in 1925 and added four curling sheets.
By 1929, there were 13 ladies rinks and over 50 curling teams.
Up to 1955 the club minutes referred to the ladies by their husbands’ name, ie: Mrs. John Doe.
In 1955, annual dues were $16. In 2016, $410.
The Butorac and Blaylock Cups have been a part of the club since its inception in 1927.
C.M.&S Co. Ltd (Cominco, Teck) has sponsored the club championship trophy for all of the 90 years except one.
Isabel Morris was named honorary life member of the BCLCA in March 1990.