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Celebrating 75 years of History, Memories and Events

March 6, 1946

More than 30 men met at Welland City Hall to discuss a potential curling club in the city. A preliminary estimate for a 6-rink facility was discussed at an estimated cost of between $27,500 and $30,000.
A temporary committee was formed to study the matter and report to a meeting called for March 20th.
The committee consisted of Messrs. Hopper, Baker and McKellar from Port Colborne, Mr. Myles of Fonthill and Messrs. Sturgeon, Thorpe, Colbeck, Walker, Lathrop and McCrindle from Welland.

March 20, 1946

The second meeting was held. Those attending the meeting were advised “that a fully modern building was proposed, to be erected adjacent to the arena and of similar construction.” The cost of the building, housing 6 rinks of artificial ice, was projected to be $35,000 (Note: The City View Curling Club in Ottawa is the most recent curling club built in Ontario. It opened in January 2016 and the 4-rink facility cost nearly $4 million).

Membership was to be limited to 350 in total, with a fee of $100.00 for lifetime membership. Annual dues were to be held to a minimum, approximately $15.00, depending on the operating costs which were yet to be determined.

April 10, 1946

At the Welland Court House, 34 men met as Dr Sturgeon noted there was sufficient interest to start a curling club. Nominations were called to fill the executive. The first Executive Committee included:

  • President             O.J. Thorpe
  • Vice-President     C.R. Hopper
  • Secretary             L.W.C. Sturgeon
  • Treasurer             Edwin McCrindle
  • Finance, Building and Membership committees were also established.

A motion was passed that the name of the curling club was to be the Welland Curling Club.

As the Club was to be a non-profit organization, it was hoped land could be leased from the Welland Health and Recreation Committee, who operated the Welland Arena, for the sum of $1.00 a year!

May 22, 1946

The Executive Committee meeting of the newly formed Welland Curling Club reported that 140 members were signed up!
It was agreed, the Club President O.J Thorpe, was to enter into negotiations with Atlas Steel for an option on the current King Street property adjacent to the Welland Arena.
A motion too was passed to purchase curling stones from the Niagara Falls Club for $225.00. There is no mention of how many stones were in that purchase.

Messers Farquhar and Bennett agreed to prepare a drawing to provide an “Artist’s Concept” of what the proposed curling club building would look like. This was to be presented to the Building Committee on July 6th, 1946. As we know today, these plans changed when the opportunity arose to purchase the Niagara on the Lake drill hall, that the Department of National Defense deemed surplus and offered for sale.

July 6, 1946

Messrs. Farquhar and Bennett, having prepared an “Artist’s Concept” drawing mimicking the adjacent in construction Welland Arena, presented the design to the Building Committee.

The plan changed when the opportunity arose to purchase a drill hall from Niagara-on-the-Lake, which the Canadian Department of National Defense deemed surplus and offered for sale.

October 29, 1946 

The Executive authorized the purchase of land from Atlas Steel, our current property at 497 King Street, with a frontage of 150 feet by 225 feet deep for $750.00!

September 8, 1947 

Our Club requests ice time at the new Arena next door until our new facilities are built. The minutes of a of meeting on December 28, 1947, note the Executive requesting volunteers to assist for ice preparation for curling in the arena.

January 15, 1948 

A motion is passed that a Ladies Curling Club be formed.

February 5, 1948 

Motion passed to secure an option on the building at Niagara-on-the-Lake for $500. A second motion was passed, authorizing the Building Committee to buy the building for $5000.

March 18, 1948 

Having been provincially incorporated on March 8, 1948, the Welland Curling Club receives its Letters Patent.

December 30, 1948 

The trusses of the old drill hall have been erected on our current site, with work continuing on the walls and roof. It is anticipated ice-making will commence by the end of February 1949.

March 28, 1949 

The Welland Port Colborne Evening Tribune reports on the  1st Banana Belt Bonspiel!

February 22,1952 

The new curling stones, ordered from Scotland in the fall of 1950, arrive and are entered into play in a “jitney” event. “Non active players” were contacted for the event and charged 25 cents in the belief the new stones were an attraction.

1958 

The Welland Curling Club captures its first Ontario Provincial Championship, the Ontario School Curling Championship. The Welland High and Vocational School team included skip Gordon Stibbards, Laurie Stibbards, George Morrissey and Bob Dolishny and were coached by Archie Moffatt

January 17, 1959 

The Welland Curling Club hosts it’s first Provincial Championship – the Ontario School Curling Championships. 

March 3,1962 

The current 2 storey structure fronting our building, opens. The first floor contains the men’s and women’s locker rooms, the Pro Shop and a Board room. The second floor includes the kitchen and the lounge overlooking the rink.

Autumn 1972 

The Industrial League, featuring teams from Welland’s impressive industrial base, is formed and begins play. Over the ensuing 20 years, the league, played on Thursday nights, grows to a peak of 3 draws and 48 teams with a waiting list.

1990

Nearing the end of the 1980’s, the old wooden military surplus drill hall which housed our curling ice, was well beyond its best before date. The structure was demolished in May 1990 and incredibly, the new structure was built and ready for the next curling season by mid November 1990.

2011

As our building aged, updates were needed. Major expenditures included a new sign, condenser, scraper, carpeting, all new lighting, air conditioning for the lounge and heating for the ice area. Welland was no longer the coldest rink in Niagara!

November 2018

A “Buy a Rock” fundraising campaign is started. Anchored by the overwhelming support of the membership, new stones were ordered in 2019.

February 26, 2020

The new curling stones arrive, almost exactly 68 years after the original matched stones arrived at the curling club!

Stay tuned. The COVID pandemic has put a damper on our celibrations. However, when convenient, it will be recognized. 


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Welland Curling Club

497 King St.
Welland, Ontario

L3B 3K4

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Welland Curling Club

P.O. Box 282
Welland, ON L3B 5P4

Phone: 905-734-9411 

Email: [email protected] 

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The Trillium grant has allowed our club to complete the purchase of new curling stones and other much needed equipment.

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