Longtime member of the Dawson Creek Curling Club, Stan Hill, hasn’t let his age slow him down, and at the Farmers/Mixed Spiel he was playing in the late rounds on Sunday for a B-final championship.
At 87 years young, Hill has been a club member for over 60 years, and his experience helped him make it through the 20-rink field at a bonspiel he’s long attended.
“For years and years I’ve been curling at it. I don’t know, maybe 40 or 50 years,” said Hill about his time competing at one of the club’s longest-standing tournament.
Hill skipped alongside his wife Dot (third) and his daughter Lori Taylor (lead), and second Jim Taylor; the rink fell short, 7-4, to Tom Adams rink of third Lana Adams, second Joe Judge and lead Rick Hall.
But it’s not the first, nor the last time Hill will find himself among the top of the field, as he plans to continue curling for years to come.
“We’ve been in the prizes a few times,” he said on Sunday.
His knees aren’t what they used to be, so Hill uses a guide that allows him to stand while shooting, but as he showed in the B-final he still has a deft touch.
“We do the best we can,” he smiles. “It’s a great sport and I plan on doing it as long as I can.”
Hill said he’s curled long enough to see the game, and local club, go through some major facelifts.
“When I first started curling, the rink was in the parking lot, here,” he said, while gesturing towards the entrance of the Dawson Creek Curling Club. “There were six sheets of ice, three of them two feet off the ground, and three lower sheets right on the ground.
“There was no artificial ice or anything, so when a Chinook came in it was pretty tough trying to figure out enough weight to shoot through water on the ice,” he laughed.
While he no longer has to contend with puddles of water, Hill also noted changes to the game of curling, such as the four-guard rule, that have made the game more interesting and exciting.
And though the game has changed the Farmers Bonspiel has stuck with most of its conventions.
“In the olden days they would have a Farmers Bonspiel and you could have one player on the rink that wasn’t a farmer, but the rest of them had to have something to do with agriculture,” said Hill. “A lady either had to play skip or third and it’s still that way, so it makes for a great bonspiel.
Hill said that in curling’s heyday the club’s sheets were packed with curlers.
“It’s a shame we don’t have the numbers we used to. In those early days we used to have 60 rinks out there.”
Other results from the Farmers Bonspiel:
*Brad Richardson and his rink of third Lori Homme, second Brad Lyon and Irene Neufeld topped the Steinke family skipped by Tracy Steinke with third Deanne Steinke, second Tristan Steinke and leads Paul and Myrna Gardner. The final score was 9-2 for Richardson.
*In the C-final, John Hegge’s rink of third Estelle Mayoh, second Ron Mock, and lead Pauline Bates won by a 9-1 margin over Lou Kurjata (skip), Marilyn Carroll (lead), and Blair and Terri Foster.
*The consolation final went to Dave Armstrong (skip), Linda Armstrong (third), and Don (second) and Jan Brekkas (lead). Their rink won 6-5 over Bridgette Lamoureux, AL Langhoffer (third), Barry Ross (second) and Carol Painter (lead).