Beaumont Curling Club celebrates 60 years

In the winter of 1958, a group of Beaumontians and their parish priest, Father Lucien Robert, decided to form the first Beaumont curling league.

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In the winter of 1958, a group of Beaumontians and their parish priest, Father Lucien Robert, decided to form the first Beaumont curling league.

Paying a visit to Denis Hinse on his farm outside Beaumont, Father Robert brought the idea to start the club.
“[Father Robert] came in the early fall – I was busy milking cows – and he showed up at the barn and he talked about curling … He took me to Ardrossan to look at the curling rink there,” said Denis Hinse, one of the club’s founding members.

“I said [to Father Robert] ‘what is that?’ ‘Well’, he said, ‘you sweep the floor’, I said, ‘I sweep the floor every day in the barn here’,” Hinse laughed.

Of the small group of would-be curlers, only Father Robert had played and many had not even heard of the sport before. Under Father Robert’s guidance, the Beaumont curlers learned the sport and started to compete. The first season of the Beaumont curling league was played in Leduc for the 1959-60 season with 16 other teams and ended with the members enthusiastically planning the organization of a Beaumont curling club.

The first meeting of the Beaumont Curling Club was held on Mar. 31, 1960, and its members set about making their dream a reality with the construction of a new curling rink in Beaumont. The club was incorporated with a capital stock of $30,000, divided into 300 shares of $100 each. The first board of directors and shareholders included Gérard J. Magnan, Maurice and Laurier Gobeil, Aurelien Bérubé, Médéric Juneau, Hervé Bérubé, Denis and Henri Hinse.

Curling is the great family sport,” Hinse remarked. “And the most inexpensive. Buy a pair of shoes … and a curling broom and you’re off and running.”

The community of Beaumont rallied to the construction of a curling rink, with the option of putting down payment of $25 on a share and working on the new rink building for $1 an hour to pay off the rest. Once the natural ice rink was finished, it became a hub of the community and a central meeting place for the town.

Everybody in the community was curling,” Hinse said. “Everyone volunteered … my sister was looking after the coffee and Marie [Hinse] was making the pies … We used to have in the old curling rink a nice round sitting area in the kitchen where we’d sit around every night.

And we had a nice upstairs overlooking the ice and on the weekends we had dances up there.”

Over the years the Beaumont Curling Club has remained a staple in the community through good years and bad. Many of its original members are still attending events or curling with their kids and grandkids, passing on a love for the sport.

The 2019-2020 season starts up soon, and one of the club’s goals is to refurbish the club’s current home at the Ken Nichol Regional Recreation Centre and increase its membership. The club’s annual general meeting is scheduled for Sept. 13 next month.

Last year we’ve seen a little downturn in the membership but we’ve done a lot of work to better the curling club,” said club president Mike Homeniuk. “Things are going to look very fresh and vibrant … we’ve already seen an increase in membership. Hopefully, we’re going to have some full nights this year.”

To celebrate the club’s 60 years, a variety of events are in the works for February of 2020, including a competitive bonspiel for club members.

“We’re planning on a really special celebration week. It’s going to start over the Family Day long weekend and we’re going to have a free bonspiel for anyone who has ever curled at the Beaumont Curling Club,” Homeniuk said.

As the club gets ready for the upcoming season, the focus is on the future and keeping the local club growing.

“[The club board] all have a common goal of growing the club and we really want it to be a club atmosphere … this is everybody’s club.”