A lot of fun was had by a lot of people at the 125th Heritage Bonspiel Classic at the newly renovated Rossland Curling Arena on the weekend.
The Rossland Curling Society and its members put in over 2,000 volunteer hours to renovate the lounge and bar, with a poignant historical presence thanks to contributions from the Rossland Museum.
The Heritage Bonspiel served as its grand opening and iced a full slate of 24 teams from Rossland and the surrounding area competing in a ladies tournament and a mixed Skins game.
“Our Heritage Bonspiel was a fantastic success, and I’m pretty sure it could not have gone much better,” said curling society vice- president Frank Conradie.
The official opening ceremony was held on Friday night, with a tribute to three generations of the Albo family, who have played a significant role in the history of curling in Rossland.
Jim Albo threw out the ceremonial first rock, accompanied by bagpiper, Shannon Lloyd, and two Greater Trail and District RCMP officers carrying the iconic trophy, the Rossland Cup (circa. 1898).
“We celebrated our 125 year anniversary by honouring all the generations of curlers and volunteers who have ensured that curling in Rossland is still going strong,” added Conradie.
“As a fun aside, we estimate that over the span of 125 years there have been more than a million rocks thrown, and over 30,000 miles of sweeping done in Rossland – more than once around the planet.”
The Golden City Fiddlers entertained the crowd after this opening ceremony.
On Saturday night, the club hosted a fabulous banquet dinner and dance in the historic Miners Hall in Rossland, with 150 guests attending.
The Boomtown Garter Girls provided dinner entertainment before the River Rockers band inspired spirited dancing until late into the night.
Sunday saw the teams take to the ice for the semifinal and final games.
When the last rock settled, the Open Division Winners of the A Event were Team Darrah, comprised of Rob Darrah, Kevin Maffioli, Payton Maffioli, and Sam Maffioli.
The B Event went to Team Drystek with Joanne Drystek, Tom Hall, Richard Hueston and Mary Hueston.
The C Event was won by Team Devo, skipped by Devo Devine, with Cody Bartlett, Kenny Coles and Lanny Labelle.
Team Meger was crowned the Ladies Division champion with Sandra Meger, Mariah Davis, Kathy Person and Rhonda Baldwin beating out second place Team Bartlett from Grand Forks, which included Hannah Bartlett, Erinn Bartlett-Gregory, Kim Bartlett and Cherisse Bartlett.
Volunteerism has been one of the society’s strengths, and has grown to unprecedented levels, which contributed to the bonspiel’s success and a wonderful way to kick off the season.
“The extensive summer renovations to the lounge, kitchen, and bar, largely volunteer driven, has provided us with a facility with unparalleled ambiance that everyone enjoys and feels proud of,” added Conradie.
“A great platform for the next 125 years!”