Friday, June 15, 2007

Bernadette On Deck

Word out of Gatineau, Quebec and the Canadian Curling Association’s annual Congress says that premier Saskatchewan volunteer Bernadette McIntyre (photo) will be acclaimed to the CCA Board of Directors, without a vote.

No surprise there: McIntyre is arguably the best-known event volunteer leader in the country, having chaired the 1998 Regina Scotties, the 2006 Brier, and the 2001 Olympic Trials along with multiple years of great cashspiels in the Queen City.

She is also a founding member the Sandra Schmirler Trust Fund (now Foundation), served on the board of the Saskatchewan Sport Hall of Fame and Museum, and won the CCA’s Ray Kingsmith Executive of the Year Award in 2003. She even volunteered, in a non-executive role, with the 2005 Canada Games.

“I believe if you volunteer and contribute to your community, it makes for a stronger community,” McIntyre said in 2005.

Now, McIntyre is volunteering to contribute to all of Canadian curling, and it says here that she will be a vibrant and valuable addition to the board. And not a moment too soon, as the CCA grapples with office turmoil, financial struggles and an irritable provincial membership.

Also ...

• First the Hungarians and the Czechs, now the Slovaks... indeed, “SĂ­ri novi Sport!” ...

• Oich. The planned world-class curling centre and home of Scottish curling – a £1.5 million facility – might fizzle out, due to complaints of country aesthetics and inherent danger to – wait for it – badgers ...

• The Ontario Curling Tour’s 2007-08 event schedule was released this morning ...

• Too funny: The Score’s “Tiger Woods of Curling” dons a fabled ice uniform, grabs Mike Harris and heads to “a very unfamiliar place for a nation of brothers” (aka the Toronto Cricket club). Yo, check this ...

• Finally, more frustrating news coming out of the Fredericton Golf & Curling Club, following the stiff-arm the golfers gave the curlers.

As reported in yesterday’s Daily Gleaner, curling member Ed Haggerty believes he and his fellow rock-tossers were hosed.

Haggerty says the members were told the curling club needed $125,000 to replace the ice plant, condenser and chilling equipment.

“I’m not a mechanical engineer but I’m an electrical engineer and a good deal of that is electric,'” said the retired Haggerty. “Having worked for 37 years at NB Power in construction, I’m aware of a lot of different kind of facilities. I was on the ice committee and I personally don’t believe the plant is in as bad a condition as what’s being told.”

At the Monday meeting which saw the shareholders vote to turf the curlers, a pro engineer “submitted a letter and said much the same thing,” Haggerty said. “Yes, the plant is getting older but, in his experience as a mechanical engineer, he felt with some maintenance it was certainly capable of operating for a good long time.”

But the golfers weren’t willing to give the curlers much time to try to round up the money.

“Who can come up with 125 grand in three weeks?” Haggerty said.

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