Compiled by Roger Shaw
The Masters Curling program of Lunenburg Curling Club was initiated in November, 1984. It was meant to act as a men’s “over-60” association within the structure of the Curling Club, although there has never been any strict adherence to an age requirement.
There were eight charter members: Skips: Ray Tanner, Paul Demone; Mates: Ed Levy, Einar Zakariassen; Seconds: Dawson Wilkie, Fred Spindler; Leads: Lawrence Crouse, Gus Vickers. Extra players were added over time and, today, the active membership of the Masters is around fifty players. Initially, the player who skipped a game would have to play lead the following game. That scheme was abandoned and, nowadays, positions are generally on a first-come-first-served basis with random selection of team membership.
The Masters operate on an independent basis with no extra dues beyond regular club membership fees. They select their own director and form a loosely-knit “executive” formed of the director, treasurer, and organizers of the “home-and-away” games, the Thursday competitive games, the Rofihe Trophy, and kitchen “staff” plus additional interested members. The director represents Masters Curling and reports activities to Lunenburg Curling Club.
The ice is available for Masters Curling each Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday morning during the season. Thursday morning is reserved for fixed teams that are selected at the beginning of the season and which remain together throughout round-robin play and end-of-season playoffs. The Morrow-Saunders Shield is presented to the winning team at the Masters annual banquet.
When the membership of the Masters reached fifteen, inter-club competition was discussed and began with home-and-away games against the Bridgewater club. Gradually, other clubs were added to the home-and-away schedule and, now, Lunenburg Masters routinely competes against six other teams: Bridgewater, Liverpool, Chester, Wolfville, Kentville and Mayflower. Cups exist for specific competitions. For example, the Ernkin Cup is for the match between Lunenburg and Bridgewater; the Apple Trophy is between Lunenburg and Kentville; and the Dory Trophy is between Lunenburg and Liverpool. An annual competition for the Rofihe Trophy takes place between Lunenburg, Bridgewater and Liverpool with the event being hosted by one of the three clubs on a rotational basis.
Additional activities throughout the season include the occasional breakfast created in the kitchen by faithful, and extremely handy, kitchen “staff”, regular 50-50 draws, and “Inside-Outside” competitions between Lunenburg residents and members from outside town borders. A Christmas lunch party is held each year as well as an end-of-season lunch banquet. Monies raised by these activities go towards funding prizes, miscellaneous expenses, and allow for a donation to the Lunenburg Curling Club at the end of the season.
Overall, the Masters are an integral and important component of the Lunenburg Curling Club, providing support for many of its activities. Several members of the Masters program made great contributions of time and effort during the renovation of the club a few years ago. They provide volunteers for officiating at club bonspiels, and are active in the kitchen whenever needed. Each year, the Masters sponsor one of the club’s Friday Fun Nights. They are active in several other club activities such as teaching Little Rocks (ages 8-10), and coaching junior and new adult curlers. The Masters have promoted the use of helmets for safety on the ice, and approximately half of the men are now wearing such headgear on a regular basis. The use of sticks is also encouraged, and many Masters curlers are extending their safe curling “life” in this way.