With the national under-18 curling championships coming to the Mac all next week, our local history feature for the next little while will focus on the roots of the sport in Timmins.
Museum director-curator Karen Bachmann tells us that in 1916, McIntyre Mines president Col. Alexander Hay offered trophies to get curling started. There were no takers then, or in 1919. Then in 1920, Iroquois Falls and North Bay started curling clubs.
“So of course,” Bachmann recounts, “there was editorials printed in the Porcupine Advance saying things like ‘Why not Timmins? What is wrong with us?’ and ‘My gosh, let’s have a meeting.’ Well, there was no meeting that happened.”
The third run at it came in 1921, when the editor of the Porcupine Advance spurred it on.
“So he says ‘Okay, let’s have a meeting, let’s call a meeting. We’ll hold it in Council Chambers at Town Hall. We know there are people interested, so let’s do it.’ They held the meeting and three guys show up.”
We’ll sweep back in next Monday, when it finally hits the button and a “house” is built for curling.