Curling season in Hope has begun

The club is hosting a no-cost funspiel on Oct. 3 to help attract new members

Taking up house painting in his retirement years… Hope Curling Club member Ken Campbell applies a coat of paint

Eight houses were flooded multiple times in September — but no one bothered to call the insurance company. In addition, a bearded man was seen liberally tossing pebbles while others were hurling large rocks… but no one reported the incidents to the RCMP.

That must mean: “Curling season has begun!”

Hope Curling Club’s iceman, Roman Petryk, said that in preparation for the coming season, he had the twin cooling plants running for two days to get the floor temperature well below freezing. When the time was right, the water was hosed on.

“We’ve got about an inch and a half (four centimetres) of ice now,” he said on Tuesday. “We had six floodings to get the floor level, then we applied white wash and painted the lines and circles (known as houses) — then it was four more floods on top of that.”

As club member Ken Campbell found: you don’t have to wait for the paint to dry. In fact, if you forget to keep the roller moving, it freezes in-place.

After the final flood, the bearded Petryk cleaned up with a shave… of the ice, to remove dirt and minerals that rose to the top. His finishing touch was to pebble the surface with a spray of water droplets, which will give the curling stones more predictable action.

With the Monday men’s and Wednesday-Thursday mixed leagues commencing the week of Oct. 13, the club is opening its doors to members and newcomers this week and next, to boost its numbers and get teams set up.

Tomorrow (Friday), the club is hosting a no-cost funspiel.

“Everyone is welcome,” said Petryk. “It’s a one-night event for members and non-members. Non-curlers are welcome, too.

“We’d like people to get here by 7 p.m., then we’ll make up the teams and take it from there.”

Monday through Thursday next week, the ice will be open for free practice, starting at 7 p.m. Those without curling footwear should bring a clean pair of running or walking shoes. And please: no sequins or feather boas… one foreign object on the ice can ruin a shot.

“I’ll be there, along with other club members, to give lessons to newcomers,” said Petryk.

“A year’s membership for one night per week is $250,” said Petryk, “and if you want to curl two nights, the second night is another $150.”

One problem with season-long commitment is that a number of retired residents like to travel southward during the winter.

“We discussed that at our general meeting,” said Petryk. “Some people want to curl just to December. We’re still working on that. There are also quite a few who put their name on the spare board, in case a team is short a player for a night.”

The club has planned a men’s and women’s combined bonspiel (two separate events under one roof) for the Jan. 30 weekend and the mixed bonspiel is slated for the Feb. 27 weekend.

The club’s phone number is 604-869-5119, while Campbell can be reached at 604-869-7281 and Petryk 604-869-9334. All three have answering machines.