50 years of Jam Pail curling

Kids will be learning the joy of curling for the 50th time at Jam Pail Curling this Sunday. - Contributed
Kids will be learning the joy of curling for the 50th time at Jam Pail Curling this Sunday.
— image credit: Contributed

Fifty years ago in an old and small curling rink on Columbia Street in 1967 was held the first Jam Pail Curling for children five to eight years old and nine to 12 years old.

The event was operated by the Smithers Lions Club and the Smithers Curling Club, who gave up the two sheets of ice for the event. The rink was located across from the present day St. Joseph's Catholic Church. A house now sits where the curling rink was. The curling rocks were made from jam pails filled with cement and topped with an iron handle. If a curler dropped the "stone" then the pail was dented, so the dents had to be hammered out so that the "stones" did not scratch the ice. This happened for the first two years when the Lions got some empty plastic rock that were patterned after the large adult granite rocks. This posed a problem too because the rocks had to be filled with water and frozen. Some of the rocks came out lopsided and made it difficult to get a straight shot, so back to the suppliers in Saskatchewan who sent us plastic rocks filled with sand and sealed.

At the new curling club rink in Heritage Park we were able to split the rink in half so that the young five to eight-year-olds had a shorter curl to the bull's eye. Meanwhile, the Houston Curling Club closed and donated the smaller granite rocks to Smithers, which was used by the nine - 12 year olds who could throw further than the younger curlers.

On Feb. 26, Jam Pail Curling will be held for the 50th time at the Smithers Curling Club. The curling club will be opening their concession so the hard working curlers can get a hot dog and pop. Registration is at 10 a.m. and curling matches start at 11 a.m. Each team is two and if you are alone then the registration committee will find you a partner. Registration is a $1 each.

We are urging all past child curlers to come and watch the new kids try it out. Past curlers are now adults and are bringing their children and their grandchildren.

The Smithers Lions Club wish to thank the Smithers Curling Club for 50 years of partnership and help with this event at no cost except for the low cost concession.

- Submitted article.

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