A Short History of Curling in the Alberni Valley
The idea to start a curling rink was proposed in 1950 by a group that included Chris Stevens, Ed Price, Ivan Hedman, Ed Davis, Roy Hill and Jack Beggs.
First problem was to raise the money necessary. As enthusiasm grew the next problem was to get a suitable building. The above mentioned group of men with major help from Lorne Jordan, Mayor of the City, arranged to lease the REME Hall at the end of 10th Avenue which had the required width for 4 sheets of ice. Then the work and fun began of extending the building to meet the regulation length of the ice. Wilf Souther was asked to oversee the renovations and the work was a volunteer effort as many men came out night after night.
Curling started in 1952. The first Bonspiel was held in February 1953. Curling carried on in the old rink until February 17th, 1962 when the rink burned to the ground early Saturday morning in the middle of the Men's Bonspiel.
Our present rink was opened a year later and began with the Men's Bonspiel in February 1963. In 1964, 48 rinks, the limit set by the host club, participated in the Men's Bonspiel, 30 rinks had to be turned away.
During Port Alberni's Golden Years 200 men and approximately 200 ladies were curling in the 1974-75 season as well as 40 school kids. There were at least 15 league draws every week plus many bonspiels.
The members of the A. V. Curling club are still enjoying the camaraderie and good times every season.