Curling club founders and Spare Chair

Visionaries who helped get the stones curling recognized for their efforts

PCC founders Tom and Jean Boag and George Gudbranson help launch the new Spare Chair.

On hand at the Parksville curling Club Tuesday were the club’s founding fathers (and mother), Tom and Jean Boag, and George Gudbranson. The three have long since hung up their brooms, but they still get down to the old barn on a regular basis. Collectively, they brought about 116 years of curling experience to the table.

Parksville Curling Club officially opened in the 2002/2003 season, “but we started gathering funds in June of ‘92,” Tom recalled during a quick trip down memory lane.

A photo of Tom and George snapped opening day hangs above the main set of doors to the rink.

“We delivered catalogues for 25 cents apiece for five years straight,” smiled Jean, 87.

“We raised close to $50,000 (through the catalogues),” George, 93, pointed out proudly, explaining how the club had already raised $50,000 through donations and government grants.

That, combined with a deal with the City of Parksville and the opening of Oceanside Place, cleared the way for PCC.

“The estimates we got to build a four sheet curling rink at the time was $1.2 million, and that wasn’t going to happen,” said the always amiable birthday boy — Tom turns 90 today (Friday).

Since opening, PCC has played host to numerous Island and Zone playdowns, and will host the 2012 BC Men’s Curling Championships Feb. 8-12.

The reason the three founders were on hand Tuesday was to officially unveil the club’s new Spare Chair. A seat designed for anyone wanting to get in on the action as a sub, the Spare Chair will go a long way in “helping our membership drive, making it easier for people to break into the club. It’s kind of a welcome wagon thing, and it’s also a tribute to these guys that got us started, the visionaries that made all this possible,” said booster Ken Meuckon.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Jean.






Nanaimo has full adult and youth leagues ongoing, and Qualicum and District Curling Club has had a high school league running for years.

Now, there’s talk of starting a Tuesday after school junior league at PCC, and the club also wants to put the word out inviting corporate teams “to join up and come play after work.”

For more information call either Cheryl Noble or PCC manager Al McAskile at 250-248-3764.


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