HISTORY OF THE OLIVER CURLING CLUB
On October 29, 1969 the Oliver Curling Club was officially opened. Curling had begun several weeks earlier, but “just for the record” they cut a ribbon and invited dignitaries from neighbouring curling clubs to formally mark the opening of the four sheet ice surface. And a bonspiel in progress, complete with visitors from all over the Okanagan gave it a kind of “crowning glory” moment.
The new $85,000.00 building didn’t just “happen”. Many people put in much volunteer time and money under the persistent and confident leadership of the first president, Eric Bastian and his entire curling board. They were relentless in moving ahead and getting the job done. Almost $22,000.00 was raised through the sale of memberships and another $55,000.00 in debentures sold to local residents. Not a dollar of public tax money was involved in the building or maintenance. Only $7,000.00 was borrowed from the bank and was repaid within two years.
The rink was officially “born” at a meeting in the summer of 1968 when a committee of about 10 ardent curlers decided to go ahead and sell debentures. Volunteers spent hundreds of hours doing the labour and businesses provided free service or materials. Bill Seidler was the building contractor and made sure the job was properly done. Eric Bastian deserved much of the credit for the new building and will go down in history as “the guy who built the curling rink because he didn’t know it couldn’t be done”. The first officers and directors were Eric Bastian, president; Fred Fritz, vice-president; Mel Skaros, secretary; Dave Francis, treasurer; and directors John Loudon, Dick Goodall, Alex Bauder, Roy Henderson, Ewart Bowering and Blaine Francis.
In 1993 the club went high tech into a geothermal thermal system which drastically cut power bills saving the members much money.
In 2005 a large grant was received from the government to help install Olympic size ice. A major renovation took place within the building restructuring much of the downstairs and upstairs.
In 2014 the rocks had inserts put in them to enhance our curling skills. As well, a new gas-fired heater was installed to provide warmer conditions on the ice.