December 7, 2018
By Vince Clark
The Pine Falls Curling Club Men’s Bonspiel was held on the weekend of November 30th – December 2n, 2018. This year’s iteration of the annual tournament was dedicated to the late William “Billy” Earle, who passed away in May.
Billy was well known in the community for his quick wit and uncanny humour. Everywhere that man went, uproarious laughter followed. Billy worked at the Pine Falls Paper Mill for 35 years and made many friends along the way. He was also an avid golfer, but his true passion was curling. He was a fixture at local bonspiels for many years. Billy can even be attributed with the idea to break down the wall and expand the curling club bar to the hockey side of the complex.
The Billy Earle Memorial bonspiel saw 24 teams come out to play. “This was the most teams we’ve had in at least 15 years” said Steve Kulyk, who organized the event. Play began at 6:00 pm on Friday, with the championship draws being held on Sunday at 2:30 pm.
The A-Side title was won by Jim Sitar’s Whitemouth rink, which also consisted of Trevor Szajewski, Roger Ans and Reinhard Summafelf. They won a fly-in fishing trip generously co-donated by Ed Gaffray from Blue Water Aviation and Garth Evans from Gammon River East Camp. The B-Side title was won by Bill Lavallee’s motley crew from Pine Falls, consisting of himself, Pat “Peach” Watson, Dennis “Mouse” Cyr and Richard Wiebe. Finally, the C-Side title was won by Dwayne Hanson’s Pinawa rink, which was comprised of himself, Earnie Bialis, Marvin Ryz, and Robert Tiede.
On Saturday Evening, there was a fantastic dinner catered by Chicken Chef to celebrate Billy’s life, and two of his closest friends, David “Gazoo” Kemball, and Ron Chevrefils were invited as special guests. The three of them, and Gary Berthelette in recent years, spent countless hours together in Gazoo’s garage on Dupont street in Powerview. Dinner was followed by a speech about Billy from Bill Lavallee. He concluded his speech by leaving the mic open for anyone who had a story to tell about Billy. Many funny stories were told, and Kelly Sharpe even sang a song before teams reconvened on the ice to continue the evenings play.
The beer was cold, the ice was lightning fast (Special thanks to Karl Hutchison for his hard work and dedication to maintaining the ice surface), and great times were had by all. The Pine Falls Curling Club would like to thank everyone for their support, and we look forward to seeing everyone again next year.