The Mixed League Open Bonspiel held Jan. 16-18 was extra special this season as it was dedicated to the memory of one of our more illustrious members, Sam Bender, who unexpectedly passed away last year.
Sam was instrumental in the huge success of the 2014 Tim Horton's BC Senior Men's and Women's Championship held at the Comox Valley Curling Centre last February. Sam’s power of persuasion was also paramount in securing our diamond sponsor, Ronni Lister of Remax, for this bonspiel which continued into this season. This was our way of saying: 'Thanks, Sam, you always delivered!"
Friends of Sam, both curlers and acquaintances, got together last summer and, with the support of the Hangover League through Steve Thurber, came up with the idea that a memorial bench for the club locker room be made in Sam's honour.
Rick Thomson and Richard Tanguay designed and constructed a beautiful oak with walnut trimmed bench that is now located in the locker room adjacent to where Sam had his locker. His memory will forever be with us all.
The 'spiel was a huge success with 28 teams participating in the quest for the big win.
The A event, sponsored by Finneron Hyundai was a nail biter with the Ray Michell team leading up to the seventh end. Brennan, going into the eighth one down but with hammer, rallied with three rocks buried in the house. Michell’s last rock missed the mark with the Brennan rink claiming first in the A. Dan Brennan skipped his team of Andrea Folk 3rd, Duncan McGeorge 2nd and Alyshi Birnie lead. Stu Larson's rink was third.
The B event sponsored by Thrifty Foods was won by the Cote rink, who took a commanding lead right from the start against the Whynott foursome. Norm Cote was skip, Lonnie Schopp 3rd, Miles Craig 2nd and Laura McLeod-Cote lead. Snelling of Victoria came in third.
The C event sponsored by Boston Pizza was a battle of two Campbell River teams won by Don Barnowsky skip, Gayle Barnowsky 3rd, Rene Quinton 2nd and Darcy Thulin lead with the Schmuland team coming in second. Cashman was third and Parry from Vancouver fourth.
The D event was a match amongst good friends albeit on opposite sides of the fence. Sponsored by "Friend of the Spiel", the Holden rink picked away at the Kim Jonsson team (all in good humour) to win. Jack Holden was at the helm with wife, Mary as 3rd, Tom Shaw 2nd and Sharon Walker lead. Third was the Richard Tanguay rink with Michelle Haider fourth.
Special thanks to our diamond sponsor Ronni Lister of Remax and contributors to the bonspiel, Sleemans, Natural Pastures Cheese, Butcher Block Meats, Bulk Barn, Shearlocks Family Hair Care, Francis Jewellers, Hyundai, Courtenay Mazda and Valley Auto Spa.
The bonspiel committee of Mickey, Sharon, Mary, Kathy and Vern, headed by chairperson Kim Jonsson worked for months in its planning and with the help of volunteers, all collectively made it all happen.
A bonspiel is not complete without a gastronomical meal put together by Mark and Becky Joneson and the bar staff, Emily and Ageliki who kept the libations flowing. And....if it were not for the magic and skill of the ice maker, Cody Hall and his assistant, Brett Friesen who made fantastic ice conditions for us to play upon, it certainly would not have been the experience we all enjoyed. Great job to everyone who helped out and to all the participants making this such a success.
– Bender Memorial Bonspiel