Chang­ing of the stones

Nor­folk de­nies Sim­coe Curl­ing Club’s $ 30,000 grant re­quest


As far as the Sim­coe Curl­ing Club is con­cerned, it was worth a shot.

The club went big last year when Nor­folk County called ap­pli­ca­tions for its an­nual grant pro­gram for non- profit groups.

The 64 stones at the club were pur­chased in 1955 and have fi­nally worn out. It will cost $ 40,000 to re­place them. So, the club, which was founded in 1953, asked the county for $ 30,000.

The ap­pli­ca­tion didn’t get past Nor­folk’s tourism and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee, the group that vets ap­pli­ca­tions on be­half of coun­cil.

Nor­folk coun­cil ap­proved the ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee’s rec­om­men­da­tions with­out changes Tues­day, so the curl­ing club will have to find the money some­where else.

The club is fine with that. It costs noth­ing to ask, and there are other ways of rais­ing the money.

“Over the years, the stones start to wear out,” says Dave Mcbride of Water­ford, a past pres­i­dent of the Sim­coe club and a mem­ber of the ex­ec­u­tive for the past 20 years.

“If they wear un­evenly, they will re­act im­prop­erly or poorly. You hear it some­times on tele­vi­sion when they re­fer to ` dead stones.’”

The gran­ite stones have a thin rim on the bot­tom that glides with min­i­mal fric­tion over the peb­bled ice. The stones are sym­met­ri­cal, so they were flipped in 1979 to take ad­van­tage of the fresh rim on top when the bot­toms wore thin.

Fresh stones strike each other with min­i­mal sur­face con­tact like bil­liard balls. Over time, strik­ing sur­faces will flat­ten. When that hap­pens, stones start do­ing un­ex­pected things in the house.

In 2001, the stones in Sim­coe were taken for re­con­di­tion­ing to Canada Curl­ing Stone in Lon­don. Glid­ing rims were re­ground and the club got an­other 18 years out of them.

How­ever, stones can only be re­con­di­tioned so often be­fore they no longer qual­ify for tour­na­ment play.

Reg­u­la­tion stones in On­tario must weigh be­tween 38 and 42 pounds. Be­low that and the On­tario Curl­ing As­so­ci­a­tion will not sanc­tion an event.

The old stones in Sim­coe have seen a lot of ser­vice but they are not done yet. Curl­ing ex­ploded in pop­u­lar­ity in the United States last year fol­low­ing the Amer­i­can men’s team gold medal vic­tory at the Win­ter Olympics in South Ko­rea.

Mcbride says rinks south of the bor­der are pop­ping up all over and there is high de­mand for stones. Canada Curl­ing Stone has agreed to take the Sim­coe rocks as a trade- in on the new set. They will be cleaned and sold to a U. S. rink.

Canada Curl­ing Stone will grind the Sim­coe club a new set of rocks from gi­ant slabs of gran­ite from Wales. The slabs ar­rive at the fac­tory mea­sur­ing 16 inches wide, 14 inches deep and 10 feet long. The new rocks will be ready for ac­tion at the start of the 2019- 20 curl­ing sea­son.

Other groups whose grant re­quests were de­nied in­clude Crime Stop­pers of Haldimand and Nor­folk ($ 5,000), Haldimand-Nor­folk Glow ($ 5,000) and the Artist’s Work­shop in Sim­coe ($ 3,500).

Long Point Coun­try Bayfest in Port Rowan ap­plied for $ 5,000 but in­stead re­ceived the stan­dard $ 2,000 grant al­lot­ted to it­self, Delhi Fal­lfest, the North Wals­ing­ham Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety ( Lang­ton Fair) and the Char­lot­teville Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety ( Don­ny­brook Fair in Walsh).

Nor­folk coun­cil also ap­proved its an­nual al­lot­ment of $ 500 bur­saries to Nor­folk’s five high schools for grad­u­ates pur­su­ing post- se­condary stud­ies in mu­nic­i­pal or pub­lic ad­min­is­tra­tion, the skilled trades, health ser­vices or agri­cul­ture.

Other ap­proved grant re­cip­i­ents for 2019 in­clude the Capi­tol Per­for­mance Group in Delhi ($ 3,500), the Car­il­lon Belles Sim­coe Chorus ($ 1,000), Church Out Serv­ing ($ 3,000), the Bran­tHaldimand- Nor­folk Le­gal Clinic ($ 3,000), the Nor­folk Friends of the Li­brary ($ 2,000), Church Out Serv­ing’s River­syde 83 fa­cil­ity in Sim­coe ($ 2,000), Lasalette Ru­ral Roots ($ 1,000), the Old Town Hall As­so­ci­a­tion in Water­ford ($ 3,000), the Port Dover Li­on­ess Club ($ 1,000), the Port Dover Power and Sail Squadron ($ 1,500), the Port Rowan- South Wals­ing­ham Her­itage As­so­ci­a­tion ($ 2,500), the Quance Dam Light­ing Com­mit­tee in Delhi ($ 4,000), Sim­coe Christ­mas Panorama ($ 3,500), Sim­coe Lit­tle The­atre ($ 1,000), the South Coast Cul­tural So­ci­ety ($ 3,000), Water­ford Pump­kin­fest ($ 3,000) and the Tri­cen­turena Skat­ing Club in Water­ford ($ 5,000)

Nor­folk coun­cil also ap­proved a grant to the Till­son­burg and District Multi- Ser­vice Cen­tre in recog­ni­tion that many res­i­dents in west Nor­folk look to Till­son­burg for their shop­ping and recre­ational needs.

Nor­folk’s grant pol­icy al­lots a pool of money each year of $ 1 per county res­i­dent, or about $ 64,000. The 2019 grants will re­ceive fi­nal ap­proval later this month when Nor­folk coun­cil rat­i­fies its 2019 levy- sup­ported op­er­at­ing bud­get.


The 64 curl­ing stones at the Sim­coe Curl­ing Club are 64 years old and due for re­place­ment. The club ap­plied for a county grant but was turned down. Other groups were more for­tu­nate. The Sim­coe club is a busy one. On Wednes­day, it played host to a se­niors in­vi­ta­tional bon­spiel that fea­tured teams from Sim­coe and five other com­mu­ni­ties. Show­ing how it’s done is Sim­coe curler Peter Wheat­ley, cen­tre. He’s flanked at left by team­mate De­nis Gra­sis of Port Dover and team­mate Jim Stephens of Sim­coe.

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