THE HISTORY OF SUN PARLOUR CURLING CLUB
Sun Parlour Curling Club is a non-profit curling club established in 1959. We have 4 sheets of ice and a newly renovated licensed clubhouse. SPCC hosts league curling from October through April as well as Bonspiels and other events.
Prior to the Sun Parlour Curling Club building being built in 1959, the old arena hosted men’s business league curling one night a week. The rings were painted into the ice along with all the lines for hockey.
The rink would get quite worn on the outside due to the public skating, making a fall towards the boards on both sides of the ice. This made for challenging curling on ices 1 & 4 and thus the idea for dedicated club ice was born.
It was then that the gents had decided they wanted dedicated curling ice. Most curlers also golfed so they went to (what now is ) Erie Shores Golf Course and asked if they could build a rink there, the idea being it would keep the kitchen and bar making money year round. They were turned away.
Frank T. Sherk was president of H.J. Heinz Canada at the time and donated the land they needed. The next step was funding the construction of the building.
No banks would offer a loan to fund the full cost to build the rink BUT they would provide them with a loan that would match the amount that the men could raise themselves, so they came up with a plan. They would sell memberships. (any numbers and dollar amounts are rough recollections). They needed 200 members to each pay a $200 membership to get their plan up off the ground.
Al Jackson, who was president at the time, was having a hard time getting the last few men to sign up. He went out to talk with Elliot Scott, vice president, to see if he had any ideas. Elliot suggested they ask some farmers. Keep in mind, the Scotts and the Adamsons were the only farmers of the group, the rest were businessmen. Al agreed and Elliot, Harold (need a last name here) & the Adamsons were able to sign up a few of their friends & neighbours down the 5th concession.
When Elliot’s son, Bob (17 yrs old) and nephew, Doug (18 yrs old), heard they were needing more members, they asked if they could pay the $200 to join. At the time, the drinking age was 21 and there would be a bar at the club so it was something they had to check on, but in the end, they allowed them to join.
It was close, but they found the numbers and were able to begin the process of building.
The build was not without issues, however. The Leamington Post & News dated January 8, 1959. “When the Wind Blows – Newly erected trusses for the Sun Parlour Curling Club’s building on Seacliff Drive were toppled by a stiff wind Saturday night. Although damage was slight, the task of putting the timbers back into place will mean a delay of about a week in the construction program. Officials doubt any curling will be done before early March.