1962 – 2020 Bezanson Curling Rink – The End of an Era

As with all great endeavours, there is a time of closure as age takes its toll.  The Bezanson Curling Rink has come to the end of its time due to its failing infrastructure.  However, what is not lost in this era is the respect, teamwork, dedication, volunteerism and the significance of a community and families working together to build a dream and achieve a goal.  The dedication of volunteers is still the foundation of the growth and vibrancy of Bezanson and all it represents. 

These are the first minutes recorded in the organization and building of the Bezanson Curling Rink.  The minutes are on file at the Bezanson Agricultural Society.  These minutes and subsequent excerpts including the organizational minutes of the Ladies Curling Club depict the historical significance and the volunteerism that were the roots of the Bezanson Curling Club over the years.  The Curling Club eventually amalgamated with the Bezanson Hall Society and became the Bezanson Agricultural Society in 1981.

The curling club and rink recordings are indicative to the significance that curling brought to the community socially and recreationally as well as to the growth of the community.

Unfortunately, due to the erosion of the foundation of the curling rink and the astronomical costs to rebuild the curling rink, the Bezanson Agricultural Society Board of Directors had to make a tough and emotional decision to close the Bezanson Curling Rink in 2019.  In 58 years since the birth of the curling rink, the changes that have occurred in regulations to maintain building codes and liabilities have changed significantly. The recordings of these minutes not only depict the historical information of the building of the curling rink which has led to many memories from square draws to bonspiels and the subsequent entertainment at the hall and in the rink, but the names represented here still have family connections in the growth of  this great community. 

Curling Club Meeting: February 5, 1962 (As per Recorded Minutes)

Clyde Norton has offered to saw lumber for curling rink if some men would go and cut the logs and pay the stumpage.

Harold Ford will supply water if the rink is built within a reasonable distance of the store.

It was suggested that shares be sold to those interested in curling.  Prices suggested were $15 and $25.

Beaver Lumber has pre-fab building that can be put up for $3200.

Moved by Harold Ford, seconded by Melford Newman that shares be sold for $15.  Carried.

Elmer Bulford and Gordon Heasler to canvas from store road west and north of Highway 34.

Moved by Jock Coney.  Seconded by Art Rees.  Carried.

Art Rees and Alf Robideau to canvas from Jensen road east and south to river. 

Moved by Harold Ford.  Seconded by E. Bulford.  Carried.

Bill Nellis, Jack Wales to canvas from Jensen road west and south of highway. 

Moved by Art Rees.  Seconded by M. Newman.  Carried.

Melford Newman to canvas Goodwin district.

Next meeting to be held March 5/62.  And all canvasers to have their reports in at that time.

Moved by Art Rees meeting adjourned, seconded Alf Robideau.  Carried.

March 5, 1962 (Excerpt from Minutes)

Ted Coney was chairman for this meeting and June McLaughlin acting secretary of the evening.  The attendance was very good with a representation from districts surrounding.

The minutes of the last meeting held on February 5, were read.

Moved by Harry Nellis, seconded by Harold Ford, that minutes be adopted as read.  Carried.

Reposts from the canvasers were heard.

Elmer Bulford – 26 shares sold and a total of 51 prospective members and more to contact.

Art Rees had sold no actual shares but had contracted many who were interested.

Jack Wales reported no members.

Melford Newman reported no interest from Goodwin area.  An estimate of cost of a curling rink was given from Beaver Lumber and also an estimate from Lloyd Nellis.  Discussion followed and it was decided to accept Beaver Lumber offer.  Moved by Julian Jobson.  Seconded by Vern Ford.  Carried.             

It was agreed that the rink is to built on the Sports grounds on the corner east of Harolds General Store.

The suggestion was made that executives of the Club inquire from reliable sources the possibilities of obtaining good second hand rocks.

Election of offices for the coming year were as follows.

For President:  Harold Ford.  Nom. by Lloyd Nellis.  Moved by Julian Jobson nominations cease.  Seconded by Mike Kapalka.  Carried.

For Secretary:  June McLaughlin.  Nom. by Vern Ford.  Moved by Art Rees nominations cease.  Seconded by Dick Hawarth.  Carried.

Vice President:  Ralph Girvan.  Nom. by Geo Laverick.  Moved by Mel Newman nominations cease.  Seconded by Willis Johnston.  Carried.

Treasurer:  Shirley Ford. Nom. by Gordon Heasler. Moved by Elmer Bulford nominations cease.  Seconded by Julian Jobson.  Carried.

Directors:  Harry Nellis nom. by Dick Hawarth

                    Julian Jobson nom. by Mike Kapalka

                    Jack Fitzpatrick nom. by Julian Jobson

                    Elmer Bulford nom. by J. Dillabough

                    Mike Kapalka nom. by Harold Ford.

Moved by J. Fitzpatrick nom. cease.  Seconded Willis Johnston.  Carried.

Building Committee:

                    Lloyd Nellis nom. by Keith Laverick

                    Bill Moon nom. by Lloyd Nellis

                    Gordon Heasler nom. by Jack Fitzpatrick

                     Dick Hawarth nom. by Art Rees

                     Alf Robideau nom. by Pat Ford

Moved by Art Rees nominations cease.  Seconded by Vern Ford.  Carried.

Ralph Girvan moved that the Bank the curling club contact for the purpose of a loan be the Treasury Branch. Seconded by Julian Jobson.  Carried.

Moved by Pat Ford that the President’s and Secretary’s signatures be on all cheques written by the curling club.  Seconded by Art Rees.  Carried.

Moved by Melford Newman meeting adjourn.  The next meeting to be held April 3.  (written by June McLaughlin – secretary).

Curling Club Meeting:  April 3/62 (Excerpt from Minutes)

Motion was made by Lloyd Nellis that when 100 shares have been collected that the committee contact a lawyer concerning incorporating the curling club.  Seconded by Mike Kapalka.  Carried.

Ralph Girvan moved that an offer from Norton Bros, Bezanson Service and Harold’s General Store be accepted on a raffle for the curling club.  Seconded by Elmer Bulford.  Carried.

Mike Kapalka moved that we nominate a committee for canvasing Gr. Pr. Business places for donations to the club.  Nominations as follows:

                                Julian Jobson nom. by Mike Kapalka

                                Lloyd Nellis nom. by Elmer Bulford

                                Mike Kapalka nom. by Harry Nellis

                                Ralph Girvan nom. by Harry Nellis

                                Art Rees moved nominations cease.  Carried.

Ralph Girvan made a motion that a general meeting be called for Monday, April 16 for discussions concerning the Curling Club and the Bezanson Hall.  Seconded by Mike Kapalka.  Carried.

Bezanson Curling Club Meeting:  April 16/62 (Excerpt from Minutes)

Moved by Harry Nellis that a list of the donors to curling club be appropriately posted in curling rink.  Seconded by Art Rees. Carried.

Meeting Curling Club:  May 1st/62 (Excerpt from Minutes)

Elmer Bulford made motion that Harold Ford contact Imperial Bank of Commerce or any other bank concerning necessity of forming a corporation before club obtaining a loan.  Seconded by Julian Jobson.  Carried.

Moved by Ted Coney that executive order building from Beaver Lumber.  Seconded by Alf Robideau.  Carried.

Meeting Curling Club:  October 31.  Legion Hut (Excerpt from Minutes)

It was moved by Lloyd Nellis that Beaver Lumber be paid one thousand dollars on account.  Seconded by Harry Nellis.  Carried.

Ralph Girvan moved that the rink be insured for six thousand dollars.  Seconded by Alf Robideau.  Carried.

Meeting:  January 19/63   Curling Rink

A letter from W.J. Murray, insurance dealer was read where he stated that the rink could be covered for fire and lightning for $90 per year or for collission, hail, wind, smoke and explosion for the sum of $112.50.  Moved by Julian Jobson that insurance be taken out for fire and lightning only.  Seconded by Harry Nellis.  Carried.

It was decided by those present to hold a general meeting on Jan 23rd in the curling rink in order to discuss particulars concerning rates of curling fees, age limit and to enable anyone interested in joining a curling rink to present their name to be posted.

Moved by Harry Nellis that these suggested prices for curling fees be presented to general meeting.

                Non member (men)   10.00

                        Member                7.50

               Non member (ladies)   5.00

                        Member                4.00

               School Students            5.00

Seconded by Elmer Bulford.  Carried.

It was felt that no money should be borrowed until definite arrangements be made with bank.  Ralph Girvan made a motion that all debts, with exception of Beaver Lumber, be paid immediately.  Seconded by Julian Jobson.  Carried.

General Meeting held January 24 on rink… (Excerpt from Minutes)

Ralph Girvan made a motion that the previously suggested curling fees be accepted by the organization.  Seconded by Harry Nellis.  Carried.

There was a motion by Harry Kapalka that the rink have open curling on Sunday afternoons for games at 2 and 4 o’clock.  Fee for such games be $2.00 per game.  Seconded by Glen Ames.  Carried.

Jack Fitzpatrick moved that the rink be open on Saturdays from 2 to 5 o’clock for children curling under supervision.  Seconded by Elmer Bulford.  Carried.

Moved by Joan McNally that Gladys Rees be in charge of kitchen for season.  Seconded by Allie Ames.  Carried.

It was moved by Chuck Stewart that Harry Nellis act as draw master for the season.  Seconded by Art Rees.  Carried.

Keith Laverick moved that the club purchase 1 set of used rocks at a cost of $15.  Seconded by Fred Ames.  Carried.

Moved by Julian Jobson and Seconded by Art Rees – that the Bezanson Curling Club borrow from the Treasury Branch Grande Prairie, the sum of $1500 to pay for building materials.  The loan is to be secured by members notes payable to the Curling Club and lodged with the Treasury Branch as collateral security.  The president and secretary treasurer are authorized to arrange for and sign the necessary documents in regard for this loan.  Carried.

Meeting Held in Rink:  February 27 (Excerpt from Minutes)

Plans were discussed by those present concerning the possibility of holding a club bonspiel.  It was decided that as soon as curling recommenced definite plans would be made.  Moved by Harry Nellis that a sheet be posted in the rink in order for anyone interested in a club bonspiel to enter their rink at a cost of $2.00 per rink.  Every rink is guaranteed 3 games.  Seconded by Moose Nellis.  Carried.

Concerning the material that has been collected by Harold’s Store and has been donated to the Club by various companies and individuals, it was decided to hold a raffle.  Moved by Bill Nellis that these donations of materials be raffled and arrangements concerning the raffle be handled by the President and Secretary.  Seconded by Art Rees.  Carried.

Meeting May 6th:  1963 (Excerpt from Minutes)

A financial discussion by those present followed the statement of proceeds gained from the dance on May 3rd and the raffle on donations drawn for at the dance.  Total received from the raffle was $117.40 and from the dance a profit of $85.25. This additions has totaled the amount in the bank to $1010.36.

Moved by Lloyd Nellis that the Curling Club repay the amount of $750 to the Treasury Branch on the loan.  Seconded by Elmer Bulford.  Carried.

Annual Curling Club Meeting:   Dec 17/63 (Excerpt from Minutes)

Meeting was then opened for nominations for the New Board.

President – Harold Ford was nominated by Keith Laverick.  Moved by Ted Coney that nominations cease.  Carried.

Vice President – Ted Coney was nominated by Harold Ford. 

Secretary – Earl Weegar nominated by Gordon Heasler.

Moved by Glen Ames that nominations cease.

Remaining directors are as follows –  

Harry Nellis nominated by Ted Coney

Art Rees nominated by Bill Nellis

George Laverick was nominated by G. Healser

Glen Ames nominated by Ted Coney

Grant Moon nominated by Art Rees

Henry Ford nominated by Glenn Ames

Moved by Lloyd Nellis that nominations cease. Motion seconded by Keith Laverick.  Carried.

Bill Nellis nominated as Draw Master by Glen Ames, seconded by Grant Moon.  Carried.

Jan 11th 1964  (Excerpt from Minutes)

Minutes of the Bezanson Curling Club Meeting

Moved by Harry Nellis, that the Women may curl two afternoons a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:30 pm at the regular Sunday Fee of 0.25 per person.  Motion seconded by Grant Moon.  Carried.

Moved by Ted Coney, second by Art Rees that Sunday and Holiday Games must be booked by members or shareholders at the cost of $2.00 a sheet or 0.25 per person.  Carried.

Motion made by Art Rees, seconded by Ted Coney that each playing team must have two regular players a game and the subs be played in the first and second positions in the teams.  Carried.

Moved by Harry Nellis the penalty for violation of the above rule be a forfeit of a win on the square draw sheet.  Motion seconded by Grant Moon.  Carried.

Moved by Ted Coney, seconded by Glen Ames that the Curling Club have a raffle of $50 bill to be drawn at a Curling Club Dance held on March 6/64.  Carried.

Moved by Bill Nellis, seconded by Harry that the bell rings at a quarter to nine.  Players must finish the end they are playing and one more end.  Carried.

Minutes of Special Meeting at the Curling Rink:  Tuesday, January 28/64  (As per Recorded Minutes)

Topic – Bonspiel

Motion made by L.J. Nellis, seconded by Bob Whalen that a Bezanson Club Bosnpiel by held here.  Carried.

Motion made by Lloyd Nellis that any team be allowed one sub once play began providing said person is a member.  Motion seconded by L.J. Nellis.  Carried.

Motion made be Bill Nellis, seconded by Glen Ames that the Bonspiel begin on February 19/64.  Carried.

Moved by Bill Nellis, seconded by Russel Ames that a fee of $2 per rink be charge for Bonspiel Entries.  Carried.

Moved by Bob Whalen, seconded by Donald McDonald that six dozen Crests be ordered.  Carried.

Nominations opened for Prize Committee. 

                Bob Whalen nominated by Glen Ames.

                Lloyd Nellis nominated by Bill Nellis.

                Glen Ames nominated by Earl Weegar.

                Earl Weegar nominated by L.J. Nellis

Draw Master – Bill Nellis – nominated by L.J. Nellis

Earl Weegar moved that nominations cease.  Seconded by Glen Ames.  Carried.

Mrs. Earl Weegar is to be Canteen Convenor.

Meeting adjourned by L. Nellis.  Carried.

Regular Board Meeting:  February 19/64 at Curling Rink (Excerpt from Minutes)

Motion made by Grant Moon that the Bonspeil be played as the draw is made today Feb 19/64 and that the Rinks enter a list of the four players on their teams.  All games must be players with no more than one sub, who must play lead throughout this Bonspiel.  Motion seconded by Ted Coney.  Carried.

Minutes of March 31/64 Meeting (Excerpt from Minutes)

Motion made by Earl McLaughlin, second by Moose Nellis that the Bezanson Curling Club install a cistern by the rink to be used for making ice.  Carried.

Mrs.  Rose Ames, representing the Ladies Curling Club, requested a three afternoon a week curling program instead of the twice weekly as it is now.  The Board were in favor.  More discussion and the arrangements to be made at the first fall meeting.

Lunch was to be served the men during the building of the cistern.  Mrs. Rose Ames volunteered to be in charged.

Annual Curling Club Meeting November 27, 1964 (Excerpt from Minutes)

Letter from “Edmonton Butchers and Packers” on artificial ice was read.

Discussion on shingles for the curling rink and various price lists given by some of the members. 
Motion made by Harry Nellis, seconded by Moose that we accept the single deal made us by Standard Roofing.  Carried.

Nominations for New Board of Directors for Season 1964-1965 (As per Minutes)

President – Grant Moon nominated by Earl Weegar.

Glen Ames nominated by Bill Nellis

Earl Weegar moved nominations cease.

Grant Moon is President.  Carried.

Vice-President – Glen Ames nominated by Bohdan Hawrylak.  Moose Nellis moved nominations cease. 

Glen Ames is Vice-President.  Carried.

Secretary – Chas. Stewart nominated by Bill Nellis.  Moved by Moose, second by Bohdan that nominations cease.  Carried.  Chas Steward is Secretary.

Board of Directors

  1.  Jim Clarkson nominated by Glen Ames.
  2. Earl Weegar nominated by Mavis Ames.
  3. Art Rees nominated by Bill Nellis.
  4. Donald Sorenson nominated by Melford Newman.
  5. Bill Nellis nominated by Earl Weegar.
  6. Jim Boyd nominated by Bill Nellis.
  7. Melford Newman nominated by Chas. Stewart.

Moved by Harry Nellis, second by Gordon Heasler that nominations cease.  Carried.

Nov. 27/64 (As per Recorded Minutes)

The new President and Secretary are now in charge of the new business of this meeting.

Moved by Gladys Rees, seconded by Allie Weegar that the Ladies Curling Club take care of the canteen operation.  Carried.

Moved by Lloyd Nellis, second by Gordon Heasler that the Ice Committee be given permission to hire someone to fill the cistern when necessary.  Motion carried.

Nominations for Ice Committee

Harry Nellis nominated by Jim Clarkson. 

Harold Ford nominated by Glen Ames.

Elmer McLaughlin nominated by Earl Weegar.

Bohdan Hawrylak nominated by Bill Nellis.

Ross Moon nominated by Lloyd Nellis.

Moved by Earl Weegar, second by Gordon Heasler that Curling Fees be the same as last year.  Carried.

Moved by Lloyd Nellis, second by Glen Ames that we have an Opening Cash Bonspiel.  Carried.

Moved by Art Rees that curling be started by a Square Draw – same as last year.  Motion seconded by Earl Weegar.  Motion defeated.

Moved by Earl Weegar meeting adjourn.

Ladies Curling Club (As per Recorded Minutes)

A meeting was held in March 1964 to organize a Ladies Curling Club.

Rose Ames was chairman, and Betty Nellis Secretary, for the meeting.

The majority voted to organize now instead of waiting till fall.

Nominations for President:

Nominated were –

Mavis Ames by Mary Withers

Bea Fells by Vivian Johnson

Rose Ames by Grace Nellis

Betty Nellis by Molly Laverick

Polly Patterson moved that nominations cease.

Rose Ames was elected President.

Bean Fells to be Vice-President.

Nominations for Secretary:

Gladys Rees nominated by Grace Nellis.

Moved by Joan Ames that nominations cease.  Sec. by Diane Goff.

Betty Nellis was elected to make the square draw.

The decision on which days we should curl was left until Fall when we know how many rinks there will be.

Fees payable would be brought up by the President at a general meeting of the Curling Club.

Meeting was adjourned by Betty Nellis.

The curling rink was another foundation to this great community that was built on teamwork. The rink brought the community together and we are grateful for the hard work of the volunteers and the opportunities that the curling rink brought to the
Bezanson community.

Vivian Johnson Memorial Grand Challenge Winners
Grand Challenge Donated by Ed’s General Store
3rd Event Grand Challenge Donated by York Hotel
2nd Event Grand Challenge Donated by Tommy McNally Logging

Written by Audrey Hewings

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