The Oliver Curling Club is proud to add two more people to the ranks of Honorary Life Members. This award recognizes members who have devotedly, consistently and unselfishly contributed to the club over many years. Our newest Honorary Life Members are Cathy Pidduck and Phil Ramsey. Here's more about Cathy:

Cathy has been a dynamo on and off the ice in the Oliver Curling Club since 2007. True to her roots as a former school teacher, she ran our junior program for several years, including taking youth teams to compete in other towns, and she continues to coordinate our school program. Each year she visits the elementary schools in our area to introduce curling basics then arranges for students to come to the rink for three on-ice sessions. Over the years she has instructed dozens of classes and hundreds (maybe thousands??) of students from Oliver Elementary, Tucelnuit, Sen Pok Chen and OK Falls Elementary—and also home learners and parents this past season—as she continues to lead the mission to teach every elementary school-aged child in Oliver how to curl!

Windup Dinner Awards 2019 52 Honorary Life Member Cathy PidduckCathy also initiated two family events in 2019 involving over 60 kids, parents, grandparents and others, and next season plans on running a regular family night (by popular demand!). She always makes time to come out to teach adults too whenever asked, encouraging the new curlers to join a league or taking them under her wing in a bonspiel to get that experience. She drives many of our activities to bring more and new curlers to the club, especially the kids who are going to be the curling future.

Cathy organizes several of our bonspiels, participates in many out-of-town events, and has a costume to match every one of them. She is a great ambassador for our club, and no job is too big for her to take on, including leading a crew of volunteers from the Oliver Curling Club when the Scotties were held in Penticton last year. She is like the Energizer Bunny…she just goes and goes and goes!


And here's why Phil is an Honorary Life Member:

Phil Ramsey Honorary Life Member 2019Since Phil joined the Oliver Curling Club in 2002, he has been one of our hardest working members. His caring and concern for this club’s survival and success is unrivalled. His duties as caretaker for the past few years have exceeded his job description, and the meticulous care that he has provided is simply amazing. No matter what work is set before him, he goes above and beyond to be sure it is done to perfection. Never has any job been too great for him to do, including helping to change the rink floor from sand to cement during renovations to Olympic-sized ice in 2003, painting much of the building inside and out, checking on the building in summer and holidays to make sure all is running smoothly, coming in to clean in the middle of night during weekend bonspiels…. The list is endless!

Phil has been an active curler all these years too. He has attended many outside bonspiels to show his support from our club. Locally, he has mentored new curlers, helping them to build their skills and to enjoy the game as much as he does. Taking the time to teach new curlers is so valuable for the club because he helps to retain new curlers by giving them the confidence to improve. And his curling stories are hugely entertaining too!

Phil is a man of honesty, fairness and great work ethic, and his dedication to the Oliver Curling Club is unmatched.

(P.s., Phil wasn’t able to attend our Windup Dinner & Awards Night to receive this award, although we did consider having a plumbing emergency that we’d have to call him over for!)


The curling season has just ended and the winning teams got their coveted wine glass awards at our recent Windup Dinner & Awards Night. New and familiar faces were among this year’s league champions:

  • Day League (1st half): Al Cade, Fernando Anjos, Roberta Dodge, Jean Lederer
  • Day League (2nd half): Ed Shugalo, Diane Tetreault, Jean Lederer, Rick Reimer
  • Ladies League (1st half): Cathy Thompson, Wanda Casorso, Johanne Smith, Tracy Boen
  • Ladies League (2nd half): Diane Tetreault, Pat Batchelor, Pat Stephen, Jean Lederer
  • Mixed League (1st half): Bob Hale, Diane Tetreault, Fernando Anjos, Pat Batchelor
  • Mixed League (2nd half): Norm Card, Sylvia Lowe, Dave Wilson, Margie Ganzeveld
  • Men’s League: Dale Dodge, Dave Arnold, Mike Kelly, Tony Murray

For the record, the men insist on a battle to the near death, so Team Dodge won the first half and a playoff game to take the overall men’s title. The winning men’s team in the second half consisted of Kelly Haslett, Gary Stene, Brad Ottenbreit, Patrick Campbell and Brandon Paetkau (and they'll get glasses too, just don't tell the other guys).

Some of our curlers have been playing for decades and some have just ventured onto the ice. All our new curlers were also congratulated during the awards ceremony for taking on a new sport with a definite learning curve and some rather odd language. As Donna Cooke described how she mentored rookie Tracy MacFadden this past season and told her (so often she’ll hear it in her sleep): “Keep your head up!” Sounds like good curling and life advice!

While the ice has melted for now, join us at Eastlink Curling Centre in October for another fun-filled season. Check our website for learn to curl events and free practice sessions with club members on hand to help you figure out in turns, hogged rocks and take outs (hint, they’re not dinner)!

Oliver Curling Club rookie Tracy McFadden and mentor Donna Cooke small




Oliver Curling Club rookie Tracy MacFadden and mentor Donna Cooke toast their season.


Winners on and off the ice were toasted at our Windup Dinner & Awards Night. In addition to all the teams that won their leagues, many of our hardworking volunteers who do so much behind the scenes were recognized for their invaluable contributions that keep our club running.

President Dave McCombe handed out special certificates he created for:

  • “Down Then Back Up Award” to Mike Kelly for bouncing back after a health setback days before to be at the dinner.
  • “Comeback Kid” to Ron Pidduck for overcoming a serious health crisis last year that has kept him on the curling sidelines but not from helping out at almost all of our events, taking lots of photos and taking a regular shift at the bar.
  • “President’s Awards” to our fabulous bonspiel cooks, Ed Shugalo, Sylvia Lowe and Tony Murray.
  • “Elder Award” to Joyce Kuzyk for her devoted support for the club over many, many years and the wisdom and encouragement she generously shares with us.

The Johnson family (Mike Johnson, Wanda Casorso, Paul Johnson) were also recognized for their many ongoing contributions over the years (including most recently the expertly barbequed steaks for the dinner and linen tablecloths).

On behalf of the club, volunteer coordinator Gail Barriskill thanked all the volunteers for their time and hard work, including many of them who put in over 15-20 hours each. All the current board members were also saluted, and flowers and a huge “thank you” were given to each of the departing members: Pat Stephen, Polly McKay and Diane Cameron.

Each year the provincial curling association invites curling clubs to nominate a male and female club volunteer of the year to be recognized by Curl BC. Our Club Volunteers of the Year (2018-19) are Bruce Schroter and Jean Lederer.

Curl BC Club Volunteer of Year Bruce Schroter Dave McCombeDave McCombe commended Bruce’s dedication in supporting our local junior curlers to develop competitively and described how Bruce could be found at the rink every Sunday coaching them, as well as at many bonspiels out of town. In accepting his award, Bruce related how one our young curlers, Tyler Antunes, came to him a few years ago and asked how do you get a championship banner to hang above the ice at the club. Bruce has committed to helping them achieve that dream (that we all share for them!) and will continue to work with the team as they get closer each year to reaching it.

Volunteer of Year Jean Lederer going up to accept award

Dave described how Jean’s background as a librarian and analytical skills have brought a different way of seeing things to the board. She has taken on the website, media and fundraising portfolios after taking up curling less than three years ago. (Although Dave noted she and partner Barry also have been at Sunday practices every week, they realistically don’t aspire to a banner.)


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