In recognition of a longtime Fruitvale resident’s commitment to the sport, the B.V. Seniors Curling Club honoured Phil Lifely on Wednesday with a lifetime achievement award and membership in the club.
Lifely turns 90 this month, yet, still hits the hack twice a week at the Beaver Valley Curling Club to play in the seniors curling league.
“If you’re going to say anything about this man, this man’s energy, enthusiasm, and wit put a lot of us to shame,” said senior club president Bud Lind. “He’s an amazing individual. When he comes to curl you can be sure he’ll be out there throwing rocks before the game, and he is 90 years old.”
Lifely first picked up a curling broom almost 20 years ago at the tender age of 71, and has enjoyed every minute of his time with the club and the men who gather to curl and socialize.
“I think to start off, the way this bunch treats you when you come in here, you are welcome to the club; that’s my fondest memory,” said Lifely smiling. “They look at you and they call you names, but they don’t mean it.”
The B.V. Seniors Curling Club is one of the most successful in the West and East Kootenays comprised of 20 teams that play two games a week, although most of the retired curlers show up almost every morning during the week for a coffee and lively if not colourful conversation.
The B.V. senior’s club was first organized when the facility was built in 1986, and started with four teams, which soon grew to over 20.
Yet, in the almost 30 years the club has been in existence this is the first lifetime achievement honour awarded.
As for the youthful 90-year-old curler, Lifely says he expects to keep playing indefinitely:
“It just depends on how long these guys stick around.”