Club Beginnings

Curling originated in the Highlands District in the year 1912,within a stone's throw of this building, where the Highlands CurlingClub operated on two sheets of ice. Fire destroyed the building in1917. Three years later, suitable premises were located in theExhibition Grounds1 where the Thistle Curling Club was formed in 1920.

Duringthe depression years, the Club operated with a very limited membership.During the second World War, our building was taken over by the RoyalCanadian Air Force. We continued to operate as a club of ten teams, onice made available to us at the Edmonton Curling Club. With the loss ofthe Edmonton Club for war purposes, we moved to the Alberta AvenueCurling Club with only six teams and continued to curl there until ourbuilding was again available to us in 1945. Through the united effortsof these twenty-four members, we started our first season with a fullcomplement of thirty-six teams. That membership grew until last season2, where we had a total of sixty teams.

Inthe fall of 1951, a committee was formed to promote a new curling rinkand in June, 1952, we were given a certificate by the AlbertaGovernment to operate as a limited company and to arrange our ownfinancing. Land was procured, plans drawn up, and early in August3, our Mayor4turned the first sod. Construction started and good progress was madeuntil October, when winds of hurricane force blew down a considerableportion of the concrete block walls, overhead trusses and posts. Earlyin November, the local plumbers' strike disrupted the installation ofplumbing facilities. Finally, after these delays and prolonged mildweather, this new building was ready for occupancy and curling ice wasavailable for our first draw on December 22nd5 with a full complement of eighty teams.

Afterthirty odd years, the Thistle Curling Club has come back to almost thesame location from which curling originated in this district6. Back to an edifice proclaimed by some to be the best in Canada, but definitely the best in the West.

Notes:

1. The Highlands District of Edmonton; theExhibition Grounds refers to the site of Edmonton's Exhibition Grounds,and Northlands Spectrum(horse racing and gaming)

2. 1952 Season

3. August, 1952

4. Mayor William Hawrelak

5. December 22, 1952

6. The Eastglen area of Edmonton

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