About RCC

Club History

"There are many benefits gained from membership in a curling club, both for the individual and the community as a whole. The primary benefits are healthy activity, competitive sport, and the making of friends in a good atmosphere ....” (cited from a newspaper article authored by Bud Anderson in 1963).

  It was December of 1960 when curling was first played in Richmond, but it was the building of a Quonset-style hut, by the Agricultural Society, two years earlier that even made it possible. Bruce Kinkade, Dick O’Connor, Everett Hepton and Des Stapleton “planted the seed” for curling along with Elwin Vaughan, Bert Spratt and Stewart Nelson of the Agricultural Society. Together, these gentlemen are largely responsible for curling being introduced in Richmond. These gentlemen took a tour of the Agricultural Societies’ 4-H Calf Building to see if it could be converted to a curling rink during the winter months - and indeed, it could.   From there, a letter writing campaign was undertaken and a letter was mailed to every member of the Richmond community inviting them to try the game of curling and to become members of the newly formed club. Membership fees were established at $50 per family. Fees were made refundable, in case the person did not enjoy the activity. And so, in 1960 curling began in Richmond and a club was formed with approximately 50 members.

  The first two seasons of curling were completed on natural ice. Old stumps from sheep pen fences that were housed in the 4-H Building would let their presence be known heaving the ice surface during the winter months and making the stones take some unusual twists and turns. In the inaugural season curlers from the Ottawa West Granite Curling Club lent support and provided curling and ice-making instruction – only 5 of the original 50 Richmond members had ever curled before.

  The first set of stones, which were used from 1960 to 1971, was acquired from the Prescott Curling Club by Pat Kennedy and Gordon Nichol . The stones were donated to the club by Messrs. Kennedy and Nichol. Interestingly, these original stones were brought out of retirement when the new four sheet club was erected in 1980.

  In 1962, with the aid of a grant, an ice plant was installed and curling on artificial ice began allowing for a longer season of play. In 1963, the Club developed its By-laws and became incorporated under the laws of Ontario and in the same year celebrated with an official opening ceremony. In 1965, the floor was dug up, crush stone put in place and concrete poured. Some of the ice-makers night mares came to an end with these renovations. In 1966 more growth was happening when an addition to the Club was built by Everett Rae Construction and housed the lounge and viewing areas and provided a new kitchen area and club rooms upstairs. Early in 1970 more renovation ideas were being considered with visions of a licensed lounge and dining room.

  In April 1977, a Feasibility Report for a new curling club in Richmond was prepared by Roger Beckley. “The bottom line in terms of the feasibility and success of a new curling club is the desire, optimism and unselfish support of each and every member”. In 1978, when the size of the club was becoming a concern for its growing membership, the building was condemned as unsafe by the Department of Labour. It was also during this year that seven brave members of the Board of Directors made the decision to proceed with the plans to build a new four sheet curling rink and present the idea to members for ratification. The cost of the Club estimated at $325,000 to $375,000.

  And so, the fund-raising began! While a Wintario Grant of a little more than $300,000 was instrumental to advancing the building of the new facility, members of the club were busy as individual fund raisers, organizing car raffles, bake sales, cookbooks, garage sales, craft sales, catering events and the famous travelling ‘Dunk Tank’.

  In April 1979, Richmond Curling Club entered into a Land Lease Agreement with the Richmond Agricultural Society and in October 1979, RCC members volunteer hours to demolition an old Agricultural Society building to permit construction of the new facility. Demolition work began Saturday morning and by the following Sunday evening, there was only a cement slab remaining.

  In November 1979, the official sod turning ceremony for the new facility occurred and on hand for the ceremony were politicians from all levels of government, along with various who had a hand in getting the project underway.

  After four years, a great deal of persistence, many hours of planning and toiling, on May 4 first rock in the new four sheet curling facility is launched. It is also in this year that the Spring Spiel was born; however, warmer than average temperatures affected the ice surface to such a degree the 64 team event was cancelled.

  In the Fall of this same year, a Grand Opening Dinner and Dance, November 8th 1980 is held to officially open the new club. Bruce Kinkade, complete with cigar in mouth, and head dressed in a curling tam, throws the first rock in the new curling club. Bruce was bestowed the honour of throwing the first rock as a result of a “Chinese Auction” fund raising event – he was the highest bidder.

  Wintario grants and Trillium Foundation funding have been important contributors to the success of Richmond’s curling club. In addition to the significant funding made available for the building, funding was also made available to support the purchase of an ice scraper in 1985, and a complete set of new rocks (Ailsert double cub made out of Blue Travor granite) made by Ailsa Craig in Wales, and additional rocks for the robust Little Rocks Program.

  The “new” club has continued to build on the friendly reputation established in the early years. Richmond moved to host its first Fall Spiel in October of 1982 and in 1983, with Richmond hosting the International Plowing Match, the curling club was recognized as the site for evening meals and hospitality for exhibitors and plowmen. Moving to the new four sheet facilities has also provided Richmond with the capacity to become hosts to both prestigious provincial and national event final competitions, including participation in a Scottish Curling Tour in 1998.

  Two years after the club celebrated its 25 Anniversary in 1985, it celebrated with the burning of its mortgage on March 28, 1987.

  In 1992, Richmond curlers earn the first ever Provincial Championship banner for the curling club in a Double rink Governor General Competition. Warren Reddick, Bill Johnson, Ronald (Ron) Reddick, Frederick (Rick) Reddick and Cliff Wilson, Dan Roy, Herb O’Heron and Al Wilson combined their efforts to bring the banner home. Eight years later, in the year 2000 as the world was turning over into the new millennium, at the 7th Annual Induction Ceremony, Richmond Curling Club and the curlers from the double-rink Provincial Championship teams were inducted into Goulbourn’s Sports Wall of Fame for outstanding contribution to sports in Goulbourn Township. The Goulbourn Sports Wall of Fame Committee award is presented annually to a person, organization or business which has made an outstanding contribution to sports in Goulbourn.

  The Club’s unique crest, showing the monument to the Duke of Richmond, was designed by Bill Deacon, an early member of the Club, and first Draw Master. From 1960 to 1979, the Club operated under two Sections with a Ladies’ Club President and a Mens’ Club President. In 1979, with the preparations for the new club, the Boards became combined. The club obtained its first liquor licence in 1974.

  And then it rained – The final club championships played in the old club in 1979 were nearly paralysed by rain. Good sportsmanship, however, shone through as opposing skips took turns holding buckets, strategically located to catch drips from the leaking roof, so each other could make the required shots behind the buckets.

  In December 1979, Richmond Curling Club publishes a Cookbook. What is unique about this cookbook, you ask? The then Prime Minister, the Honourable Joe Clark, and his wife, Maureen, were provided with a copy of the book.

  The mirror hanging in the lower lounge was saved from the old exhibit hall that was torn down to make way for the new club. The raised seating area in the lower lounge is courtesy of Howard Moffitt, Gord Steinburg, and Ken Hartin.

  March 1980 a “Kitchen Shower” is held for the new Curling Club to ensure it was properly out-fitted for operations. May 8, 1980 – RCC hosts inaugural Spring Spiel accepting 64 rinks. Entry fee is $60. The Spiel is cancelled when outdoor weather conditions affect the ice surface. The seat of Bruce Kinkade’s pants let go as he releases the first curling stone in the new club. “Curl with a Member” was the first event held in the new club with 120 non-members signing up for the curling action.

February 1982 – Richmond hosts Ontario Provincial Championships for Junior Women.

First 8-ender scored in the new club during the 1982-1983 season by Glenda Conley, Vic Hepton, Marg Paproski, and Rosemary Desjardins.

50 and Over Program inaugural season is 1984-1985

Mortgage burning party March 28, 1987

Drive and Slide Bonspiel, 1987 – Curling season opening event.

1993 Club begins hosting Summer Golf Events for members.

Parking Lot paved for 1991 1992 season.

In the Spring of 1996, World Curling Champions Marilyn Bodogh and Jeff Staughton visit Richmond Curling Club for the taping of a Good Morning America segment on curling.