Here’s a full report from the Cornwall Curling Club on yesterday’s visit by the Scottish male curlers taking part in the century-old Strathcona Cup competition. Although Cornwall didn’t win any of their games, a great time was had by the participants from both countries!
The Scots were also at the Charlottetown Curling Club Friday night, the Montague Curling Club Saturday morning, and finished up their Island tour this morning at the Crapaud Community Curling Club.
The Strathcona Cup Tour rolled into Cornwall on Saturday, with the Scottish curlers arriving by bus, and being greeted by the Cornwall curlers as they entered the building, with our team holding their brooms up in the traditional “Canopy of Brooms”.
After changing, and singing a couple of rousing songs, the Scots were ready to take to our ice!
The piper was busy today, piping the Scots into the building, piping the teams onto the ice, and later on piping both the head table, and the Haggis into the building for the Robbie Burns dinner.
It was time to “pay the piper”, with Myriam MacLean providing a toast with a “wee dram” of Scotland’s finest to our piper, Brady Singleton.
Gordon Lank, one of the organizers, who had also been on an earlier Scottish tour, threw out the ceremonial first rock, which Jim Farquharson and Roddie MacLean, from the 2009 tour to Scotland were able to sweep to the button.
It was game time, with the Scots quickly adjusting to our ice conditions, which they (as indicated by many of the scores!) found to be excellent.
The tremendous efforts put in by both sides made it necessary to take a “Fireball” break after the fourth end, before heading back to the ice for the final half.
By the time that the last rocks were thrown, the quality of the Scots’ curling became evident, as we did not manage to win any of the games. Our team on ice 3, skipped by Ernie Stavert, had a chance to win, needing a hit and stick on the last rock to count two, but we didn’t quite make it, and the Scots took the victory.
After changing into our “Sunday best” and drowning our sorrows with a few drinks, everybody got ready for the next event, the “Shuck in”.
Here’s a photo of the team that took on the Ernie Stavert foursome, waiting in anticipation for the oysters:
(L-R) Don Rutherford (lead), Dave Munroe, Willie Nicoll, Alastair Smith (skip).
Here’s the oysters, provided and expertly shucked by Leslie Hardy of Leslie Hardy and Sons Ltd. (he also curled in the event)
Here’s the Smith rink downing their oysters during the Shuck in Ceremony:
Here’s another team, chasing the oysters with a shot of Island Shine. Some of the reactions from some of the teams were priceless (and unprintable!).
None other than the PEI Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Rural Development (and local MLA) Ronnie MacKinley was on hand to present the Scottish curlers with their certificates deeming them to be loyal members of the PEI Oyster Society, along with a T-shirt.
Here’s a shot of event chairman Jim Farquharson, along with oyster provider Leslie Hardy, and the Honourable Ron MacKinley and his assistant Valerie Acorn.
It was now time for dinner, with the Cornwall teams and their opponents lining up at their respective tables. Here’s the Craig Mackie rink and their Scottish counterparts pausing for a photo op.
The head table guests were piped in and took their seats.
The haggis was also piped in.
The important task of Addressing the Haggis fell upon Roddie MacLean, who did a fantastic job. We have a video:
It was time for the meal. First course was a hearty beef barley soup:
The main course included Gordie Lank’s excellent Roast Tenderloin of Prince Edward Island Prime Beef, along with a traditional “Robbie Burns” dinner of the Haggis, PEI Potatoes, and Turnip Puff (“neeps and tatties”), and peas.
Dessert was cake and icecream.
It looks like the head table are enjoying it. Ronnie MacKinley told us that it was “the best meal he’d ever had”!
Before the speeches, Scotsman Keith Henderson did a hilarious comic recitation about a milkman, with the rest of the Scots joining in the refrain.
Welcoming speeches were then given by Minister MacKinley, Cornwall Mayor Glen Fullerton, Curl PEI President George Koke, who is also president of the Montague Curling Club, where the Scots had curled in the morning, and reportedly won all but one game, and Cornwall Curling Club vice-president Paul Neima.
East Tour Captain Willie Nicoll responded elequently to all the speeches, presenting ties to most of the speakers and “the Quaich,” a traditional two-handled Scottish “friendship” drinking cup to Paul Neima, who then filled it with the appropriate liquid and shared it with the Scots.
Following a few more impromptu speeches, it was time for the entertainment. A woman (who bore a slight resemblance to Shirley Lank) appeared out of nowhere, and told a few jokes.
Everyone then moved to the fireplace area for some entertainment, led by musicians Todd MacLean (Roddie and Myriam’s son) and Aaron Crane.
A little “olde tyme” PEI dancing ensued:
The Scots then took the stage, and led everyone in the singing of some well-known Scottish songs.
Finally, with Todd on the saxophone, the Scots and the Canadians clasped hands and sang Auld Lang Syne, as the evening wrapped up, and the Scots headed to the bus for another busy day on Sunday in Crapaud and Moncton.
Thanks to everyone who made this event a success, including the curlers from both Canada and Scotland, the Strathcona Cup Tour Organizing Committee, Lance Lowther and the ice crew, the Club staff, the volunteers and local organizers including Jim and Diane Farquharson, Roddie and Myriam MacLean, Gordie and Shirley Lank, the kitchen crew including three generations of the Lank family, Karen Currie, Ruth Stavert and others, the Culinary Institute of Canada/Holland College for preparing the Haggis, Curl PEI for helping out with the event program, and a long list of sponsors including ADL, Countryview Golf Club, Egg Farmers of PEI, Island Abbey Foods (makers of Honibe), Jewelldale Farm, Leslie Hardy and Sons, office of the Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development, Murphy’s Cornwall Pharmacy, PEI Department of Tourism and Culture, Phillips Suzuki, PEI Potato Board, PEI Preserve Co, Sam’s Family Restaurant – Cornwall, the Town of Cornwall, and W.P. Griffin Inc.
Here’s our photo gallery of the event:
Click on a photo to display larger version. Use the arrows to move back and forth between pictures.