Parry Sound North Star – By Sarah Bissonette
An event started in Parry Sound is now part of the Tim Hortons Brier. The second annual 2-4 Supporting Our Troops Bonspiel was held at the Parry Sound Curling Club March 4 to 6 in support of the Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services’ Military Family Fund. Veterans Tom Traversy and Ray Pavlove organize the event.
This year’s event had 44 teams and raised more than $13,161, easily outdoing last year’s amount of less than $10,000. The opening ceremonies were held on the ice, with the curlers facing members of CFB Borden and OPP officers along with dignitaries, air cadets and Wasauksing’s Little Spirit Singers who stood below a large Canadian flag.
“We gather with pride here today beneath this beautiful, powerful, and enduring symbol,” said MC Jim Hanna. “We are forever thankful to the late Ernie Watthey (World Ward II veteran) for the use of this flag. It has seen our country from atop the Peace Tower, representing all of our nation’s greatest qualities.”
From the Parry Sound Curling Club Sunday Ray headed to the Tim Horton’s Brier in Ottawa with Al Bourgrois. There, Ray presented the cheque Monday afternoon as part of the first ever Support Our Troops day.
“This is really a significant step forward for us as curlers to show our support for veterans and all other men and women in uniform,” said Pavlove Saturday while presenting Connor Industries service manager Al Kroese with a plaque of thanks and showcasing the special scarf the company created. The scarf went to Ottawa with Pavlove and to the winners of the weekend’s curling competition.
“I ask today that you all consider the privilege of play,” said Hanna in his opening remarks. “It is a rare or impossible experience for people in our world whose daily lives are consumed by the search for safety, shelter, nutrition, and peace. Play is a child of freedom and security.”
During the opening ceremonies, club member Bob Gilman, whose father was a Second World War veteran and whose daughter Sheena Moore is a two-time Nova Scotia Scotties Champion and mixed double champion, and Terry Ideson, former Grey and Simcoe Foresters reservist, with wife Judy, parents of World Wheelchair Curling Champion and Olympic gold medalist Mark Ideson, presented the club with commemorative jerseys.