History of The Ardrossan Curling Club (est. 1955)
By Edith Marler
One winter evening in 1955 Red & Evelyn Hartwig and Rusty & Vi McLean went curling at the Thistle Curling Club in Edmonton. Evelyn & Vi had never been on a curling rink before, so imagine their surprise when they walked onto the ice in plastic overshoes and tried to get the rocks from one end to the other. However, it seemed interesting and fun, and on the drive home the four agreed that a curling rink was needed in Ardrossan.
On February 22, 1955, the first executive meeting was held with Red Hartwig as President; Rusty McLean as Vice President; Ollie McKenzie as Secretary/Treasurer. The first directors were: Ed White, Don Hutchison, Neil Marler, Jack Corcoran, Alvin Patriquin, and Glen Reynolds. These directors agreed to canvas the district to get signatures pledging financial support with the objective to sell $150.00 shares.
The building committee consisted of Rudy Dux, Rusty McLean, Alex Bell, Ernie Hanlan, Paul Reynolds, Joe Miller and Harry White. The social committee was M. Olson, Ed Degen and Vi McLean.
The following were responsible for canvasing the area for members: Jack Corcoran – east of Baker School; Roger Parker – south of Highway 16; and Ernie Hanlan – north of Highway 16.
It was agreed to build a three-sheet rink north of the Ardrossan ball diamond. Many helped to construct the arch ribs in Willie Jackman’s yard, building of the waiting room was started and cement was run for the rink. Many loads of gravel were hauled by Alvin Latam.
In February 1957 it was decided to have debentures printed and ready for the members at the annual meeting in March.
On April 20, 1957 a bee was held to raise the rafters. It is impossible to name all who gave their time to help in this project.
On November 26, 1957 the first rink was ready with Harry White as the first ice maker and caretaker of the building.
On December 5, 1957, two years after the first thought of a curling rink, the Ardrossan Curling Club was official opened. Rudy Dux was President. After the cutting of the ribbon by Roger Parks, Ollie McKenzie threw the first rock and the Ardrossan Curling Rink was officially opened. Teams from Fort Saskatchewan, Josephburg and Ross Creek were invited. The A.C.A. president, Art Skinner, was invited with his team, along with TV and radio teams and six teams from Ardrossan participated. Four ends of curling were played.
On November 5, 1959 another official opening was held for the installation of the artificial ice.