The survey includes questions about what would encourage you to return to curling this year and what protocols should be in place to mitigate risks associated with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Club executive intend to use the feedback to facilitate their planning. Further to that, the club’s annual general meeting is scheduled for Sunday, September 13, with limited in-person seating available (by prior arrangement with president Duncan Ferguson). The meeting will also be available for online participation.
Will you feel comfortable participating in curling this season? That is part of what executive members of the Lancaster and District Curling Club are trying to learn from the general membership, as planning continues towards potential re-opening this fall.
Last season came to a crashing halt in mid-May, when health authorities issued directives to help control the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not much has changed in terms of risk since then, but the provincial government and local health authorities have gradually reduced restrictions, allowing sports and recreation groups to begin preparing for a return to play.
The Lancaster and District Curling Club conducted its 2020 annual general meeting remotely this year, in June, at which the new slate of executive directors was confirmed.
As part of the group’s work, plans are being explored for the 2020-21 season, including a survey of members.
Among the questions asked, the board wants to know, “If authorities allow sports to reopen in the fall, do you plan on curling with us this year?”
Should the club re-open for play, a number of health-related changes are being considered:
In an effort to spread out games, the club is looking at having league games extend through the weekend.
Members are also being asked, “Do you think it is reasonable to ask curlers to help wipe down the rocks, brooms, and door handles before each game?”
For individuals uncomfortable curling this year, the Lancaster executive asks if they will return once there “is a vaccine / effective treatment.”
Wherever possible, activities should be re-located to outdoor settings.
Indoor facility ventilation systems should be both operational and appropriate for the activities practiced within.
Designate a responsible person to oversee activities to ensure public health guidelines are followed.
Consideration should be given on how to appropriately include or accommodate vulnerable persons such as seniors, those with disabilities and persons with compromised immune systems.
Remove unnecessary communal items such as candy, magazines, and complimentary phone chargers. Where disposable water cups are provided, place a garbage receptacle close by for any used cups.
Communicate to all participants (coaches/staff, instructors, officials, participants, and their guardians, volunteers) about the risk of COVID-19 and practices that should be undertaken to mitigate risk.
The guidelines go further, specifically detailing rules for screening, prevention, and outbreak management; mandatory mask use indoors; entrance signage; capacity and scheduling requirements to maintain physically distancing; cleaning and disinfection; locker rooms; participants and spectators; equipment; and food and drink.
The EOHU document states, “Amateur and recreational sports leagues may resume so long as they do not allow prolonged or deliberate physical contact between players, or if they have modifications to avoid physical contact between players.” It also suggests, “participants should be encouraged to bring their own equipment.” Any shared equipment must be “cleaned and sanitized between users.” The EOHU also recommends that organizations develop a publicly-available written plan.
North Glengarry’s Marshall MacPherson completed his university curling career in early March, capping off his time at the University of Western Ontario by being recognized with the MVP award for curling at the school’s athletics banquet, which this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was held remotely.
He tells me that the 2019-20 season was a year of transition for the Western curling program. The previous campaign saw the club claim bronze at the OUA Championships, going on to “have a strong showing at the nationals in Fredericton.” Following that year, the skip and third graduated, opening the door for MacPherson’s leadership.
The longtime curler out of the Alexandria Curling Club and graduate of Glengarry District High School stepped in the skip role, whilst throwing third stones.
“Thankfully, the entire curling season was able to be played before the COVID shutdown,” he notes. “We had a few tune-up events in St. Catharine’s and Waterloo, where we had very strong showings. We also had the incredible opportunity to play an exhibition game on arena ice at the Continental Cup (hosted in London this year) side-by-side with the stars of the sport and in front of a crowd of over 1,000.”
The provincial championships (OUA) were held in Guelph, where the Mustangs started 1-4.
“We won our last two games to end the round-robin at 3-4, but we just missed out on the playoffs,” MacPherson recalls.
He admits to me that he and his teammates were disappointed to miss the OUA playoffs and the opportunity to “make a run to qualify at nationals.” On the season as a whole, though, MacPherson says, “We were pretty happy with the successes we were able to create as a first-year team. I’m quite happy with where we left things.”
He graduated recently and believes “the rest of the team is in a really good spot moving forward (providing the season isn’t also cancelled for the upcoming year).”
At the end of the year he was named Male Curling MVP by the Western Mustangs program.
On the academic front, he completed his dental school studies in June.
On his university curling career he reflects, “Stepping up to skip and being amongst other provincial, national, and world champions was really exciting, and I’m really glad I got to finish off my varsity career as skip.”
MacPherson adds, “I’m really thankful for my teammates, coach, and the entire faculty at the dental school who were all very understanding with my commitment to both finishing up a very busy program all the while leading the curling team. Despite the end of my university days coming to a very abrupt halt, I’m very satisfied with what I’ve been able to accomplish in my years at Western.”
Coleman MacDonald, a long-time member of the Lancaster and District Curling Club, died peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving family, on June 15.
The 85-year-old Williamstown resident was predeceased by his wife Joan P. The couple were active at the curling club. Among their contributions over the years, they established the Glengarry Cup, an annual curling challenge with rinks from each of the county’s clubs competing in a friendly rivalry for county curling supremacy.
“Coleman was born at home, on the family farm – one of the few remaining bi-centennial farms in Glengarry. He milked cows with his brother, Mickey, until 2002, and continued to work the land until his passing. Coleman is known for having some of the best yielding crops in the area and was among the first to plant soybeans. Coleman made a lasting impression on those in the agricultural world, especially the young people who worked on the farm. Although he died at the house next to the farm where he was raised, Coleman was fortunate to have travelled throughout his life. He had a passion for curling and took every opportunity to sing its praises to those unfamiliar to the game. For this, he was inducted to the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame. He was proud to tell others of his Scottish heritage and his Glengarry roots. He will be remembered for the sparkle in his eye, the stories and jokes he told, and for his ability to make people smile.”
Mr. MacDonald was inducted into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame in 2015 when he was recognized for his 52nd consecutive season of curling.
In his induction biography, Coleman was recognized for his numerous accomplishments in curling: receiving the 40-year pin (in 2012) for participation in the Moose Bonspiel hosted annually by the Alexandria Curling Club where he won all-star skip in 1986, receiving the 20-year pin for participation in the Monctonian Bonspiel which at its peak hosted over 70 teams from eastern Canada and the United States, skipping his Lancaster team at the prestigious Lord Elgin Bonspiel in Montreal a spiel that once hosted over 80 teams, and winning the 11th Annual Moose Bonspiel in 1975 playing third.
Over the years, he also won numerous awards and trophies at various local clubs, including those in Glengarry, Vankleek Hill, Hawkesbury, Brownsburg, and Morrisburg.
In 1997, the Lancaster and District Curling Club granted Mr. MacDonald a lifetime membership, in recognition to his contribution, which included 29 years serving on the executive board.
In his hall of fame induction, Coleman was described as a “popular skip and an excellent ambassador for the sport he’s so passionate about.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a celebration of Coleman MacDonald’s life has been postponed, to be held at some point in the future. A mass of Christian burial was scheduled yesterday, for family and close friends, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in Williamstown.
Memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, Friends of the Ruins, The Bishop’s House St. Raphael’s, or to the Lancaster Curling Club would be appreciated by the family.
While the boys competed at the separate Ontario championships, Glengarry’s mixed and girls rinks battled at EOSSAA, in Pembroke and Eganville.
The mixed team of Virginia Vander Byl (lead), Rowan McPherson (second), Abbey Lowe (third), and Matthew Bill (skip), coached by Lindsey Howes (coach), automatically qualified for EOSSAA, as there was no competition at the SD&G bonspiel. At the regional event, the Gaels nabbed bronze, in a four-team pool.
They started round-robin play at the Eganville Curling Club against Holy Cross Catholic School from Kemptville. GD got off to a slow start but came back in the 4th end to score a single, making the score 5-1. The Gaels stole a point in the 5th end, while Holy Cross took 3 in the 6th. The teams shook hands at this point, on a final 8-2 score.
Glengarry’s second game set the Gaels against St. Mary’s Catholic School from Brockville. This game had some great shots. GD opened the match with a 3. St. Mary’s scored 1 in the 2nd and 1 in the 3rd to tighten things up, but the Gaels responded with singles in the 4th and the 5th. St. Mary’s came back to score 2 in the 6th and 3 in the 7th to end the game with the win, 8-4.
In the third round-robin game, Glengarry tangled with Opeongo DHS from Douglas. It was a tough game, where the Gaels conceded after 6 ends, with a final score of 10-1.
Back in Eganville, Glengarry faced Holy Cross again, this time for the bronze medal. It was a back-and-forth game. HC opened with a single. Then GD scored 2 in the second and 1 in the 3rd. HC came back with 4 in the 4th end and 1 in the 5th. Glengarry scored 3 in the 6th to tie the game 6-6. HC was forced to 1 in the 7th, so GD had the hammer for the final end. With a nice draw to the 4-foot, the Gaels scored two for the bronze medal. The final score was 8-7.
Meanwhile, the girls, who were undefeated at the SD&G championships held in Cornwall and Morrisburg, competed at EOSSAA, which had two pools of four teams each.
Glengarry opened round-robin action at the Pembroke CC playing Opeongo High School from Douglas. The girls played a great game. GD scored 2 in the first end and a single in the second end. In the third end, OHS scored 1. In the 4th, the Gaels picked up 2 more, going on to add a single in 5th and 3 more in the 6th as the squad extended the lead to 9-1. OHS took 2 in the 7th, and GD finished off the game with 2 more points, winning 11-3.
In their second game, Glengarry’s girls tangled with South Grenville DHS from Prescott. This was a closer contest. GD scored a single in the first, and SG took singles in the 2nd and 3rd. The Gaels came back with 2 points in the 4th, while Prescott nabbed 3 in the 5th. GD rebounded to score 4 in the 6th, and SG took 1 in the 7th. The score was 7-6 for GD coming home with hammer. The Gaels clinched the victory, scoring 2 in the final end to win 9-6.
Their third round-robin game saw the Gaels play Notre Dame Catholic High School from Carleton Place, in Eganville. This was a back-and-forth game. GD made some great shots to tie the game in the 8th end (7-7) and force an extra end. Notre Dame came through to score one with the hammer to hand Glengarry its first loss.
In their semifinal, GD struggled to find their weight and readjust to conditions back in Pembroke. The Gaels lost to North Dundas, in a rematch of the SDG final, with a final score of 8-2 after 6 ends.
Still on the ice in Pembroke to close out the bonspiel, the Gaels had a rematch with Notre Dame. GD opened the scoring with a single. ND scored 2 in the 2nd to take the lead, but Glengarry replied with 2 in 3rd. ND got a single in the 4th to tie the game 3-3. GD scored one in the 5th to take a brief lead until the ND skip made a beautiful tap on her last shot in the 6th to score 5 points. GD scored a single in the 7th to bring the score to 8-5.
Glengarry ended its run with a fourth-place EOSSAA result.
The Alexandria Curling Club is the 2019-20 senior men’s inter-club champion, with its rinks clinching the trophy at the March 10 finale hosted by the Vankleek Hill Curling Club.
Morning games saw Lancaster collect 10 points by defeating Vankleek Hill, while Alexandria had winds in their wings defeating Maxville to also pick up 10 points.
The leading contenders, Alexandria and Lancaster, were separated by only six points heading in to the final action.
In the second set of matches at noon, Alexandria was off and running form the first end, which saw the men score five, en route to winning over a team from the host club to collect 10 points in the standings. The other game featuring Maxville and Lancaster seesawed back-and-forth, before Maxville eventually triumphed to snag the valuable 10 points.
Both Alexandria and Lancaster finished with 62 total points, followed by Maxville with 56, and Vankleek Hill with 44. By rule, in order to claim the trophy from the holder the previous year, a club must finish with more points, in other words winning outright. In this case, Lancaster would have needed to end the campaign ahead of Alexandria. As the clubs finished in a tie, the prestigious plaque remains with the previous holder, Alexandria.
The senior men’s inter-club competition is a season-long event, with bonspiels held in each of the local clubs: Lancaster, Glengarry (Maxville), Alexandria, and Vankleek Hill.
Event convenor Claude Cuerrier extends his congratulations to the curlers from the Alexandria Curling Club. Team One was Bob Hayes, Dan Sloan, Denis Barsola, and Pius Schlauri. Team Two included Ian Fraser, Jaques Pilon, Lance Laviolette, and Raffaele Magliocco.
Cuerrier adds his thanks to all curlers representing the four clubs for ” a tremendous effort for this season. See you all, God willing, next fall. Cheerio to all, and have a good summer. We shall come out victorious at the end of this coronavirus-19 period.”
The convenor also extends his appreciation to club volunteers, icemen, kitchen workers, and all personnel involved in the senior bonspiels circuit throughout Ontario and Quebec, as well as to those involved in the Parnell and McLellan bonspiels, and a special thanks to president Phillippe Rouleau and secretary Jean-Paul Boily.
Glengarry District High School has qualified two curling teams to compete at EOSSAA, which is scheduled for March 4 and 5 in Pembroke.
The Gaels girls rink garnered SD&G gold in Morrisburg on Tuesday. After qualifying for the day of play from round-one results the previous week in Cornwall, the girls started their playoff action with a game against St. Joseph’s CSS, winning to advance to the championship match.
North Dundas DHS provided the opposition, in what coach Lindsey Howes described as “a really great, back-and-forth game.”
Glengarry prevailed with a “nice heavy draw, tap to sit on the button.” The final score was 7-4 for GDHS, sealing the championship for the Gaels.
Joining the girls team at EOSSAA will be Glengarry’s mixed rink of Abbey Lowe, Rowan McPherson, Virginia Vander Byl, and Matthew Bill. The quartet automatically qualified for the regional bonspiel, as there were no SD&G opponents.
As for the boys rink of Addison Hay (skip), Braeden Hay (third), Camden Van Loon (second), and Caleb Raymond (lead), they opted to compete in the separate Ontario School Curling Championships, advancing to the provincial event in Chatham where they garnered bronze. Please see this previous story for all the details.
Competing in Chatham last week at the Ontario School Curling Championships, the boys rink representing Glengarry District High School garnered bronze, the team’s lone loss coming in the semifinal.
On Saturday morning, the Gaels squared off against Carleton Place High School. Coach Lindsey Howes reports that “it was a very close game and it came down to the last end.” The Glengarry boys were set up to score 1 without the hammer. “On our last shot, the guard was a little shy of where we needed it, and the CP skip capitalized for the win by stealing 3. As you can imagine this was a tough loss.” The final was 7-6.
The defeat sent GDHS on to play a team with home-ice advantage, Ursuline College School, for the bronze medal. Again this one was close. Gaels skip Addison Hay, with the help of precise line calling from third Braeden Hay and intense sweeping from Camden Van Loon and Caleb Raymond, made two beautiful shots in the last end for the 6-5 win.
The Gaels opened the competition with a 5-3 round-robin victory over Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate. The next morning, This morning, GD played St. John’s College from Brantford, prevailing 9-4, as the opposing team conceded after 6 ends.
In the afternoon, the Gaels tangled with Haliburton Highlands SS. After two blank ends, Haliburton stole 1 in the third. The fourth was another blank. GD scored 1 in the fifth and then stole 1 in the sixth to take the lead, but their opponents scored a single in the seventh to tie.
In the eighth end, the Haliburton skip made a beautiful draw to the button almost completely buried under a centre line guard. Glengarry’s skip responded, though, able to tap out the Haliburton stone to sit one for the win, 3-2.
“We played some really close games which helped us gain some great experience playing in high-pressure situations. My team really came together to win the bronze medal, making the long trip to Chatham worthwhile,” says skip Addison Hay.
The GD team was further honoured when two of their team members won positions on the all-star team. These awards are based on player stats during round-robin play. Addison Hay earned the spot of skip on the second all-star team and Braeden Hay was chosen as third on the first all-star team.
The GDHS rink would like to extend thanks to all the organizers, the Chatham Granite Club, and a special thanks to Denis and Jackie Bray who hosted the boys in their home during the tournament.
The Glengarry DHS girls curling team had a successful opening day at the SD&G high school championships in Cornwall.
Coached by Heidi MacRae, the Gaels participated in round-robin play on February 12 at the Cornwall Curling Centre. They won their game against Char-Lan DHS, lost their second match to Seaway District High School, and closed out with a victory over St. Lawrence SS. GDHS’ girls advance to the finals, set for February 25 in Morrisburg.
Glengarry’s mixed team of Abbey Lowe, Rowan McPherson, Virginia Vander Byl, and Matthew Bill has automatically qualified for EOSSAA, scheduled for March 4 and 5 in Pembroke, as there were no opponents to face them at the SD&G bonspiel.
The Gaels boys opted out of the SD&G event to focus on the Ontario School Curling Championships, underway today in Chatham. Their first game is this afternoon.