By Joel van der Veen
STRONGFIELD — A gathering place for young and old for more than 50 years, the Strongfield curling rink was the casualty of a plough wind that swept through the Line 19 district on Thursday night.
The wind struck the rink shortly after 8 p.m., flattening it in a matter of minutes.
Nearby residents soon discovered the wreckage. The rink’s north wall had been knocked down, and the roof and sidewalls lay flat, with shingles, planks and insulation scattered around.
“It’s not good,” said Amanda Glubis, a member of Strongfield’s recreation board.
Glubis, who lives on a farm one mile north and one mile east of the village, said she and her family could see the storm approaching Thursday, with lightning off in the west.
She sent a text message to her husband Ryan at 8:04 p.m. — “Wind!” — after which they endured roughly a half-hour of storm conditions.
The combination of thick rain and wind made it impossible to see outside, she said, adding, “It was just a white-out.”
The Strongfield curling rink, constructed in 1963, had three sheets of natural ice and was typically open from early January to mid-March.
In recent years, the rink would be open on Monday nights, with a community supper and usually two draws of curling.
In effect, Glubis said, though the rink was only in operation for 10 days a year, it was the rec board’s main source of income, supporting both the rink and the village hall.
“She’s open as long as there’s ice,” she said. “It brings in enough money to operate power, phone, buy new rocks for the kids, that kind of stuff.”
With the only curling rink in the district still in operation, Strongfield drew enthusiasts from as far away as Mistusinne and Broderick, though the facility was showing its age.
“We knew it was starting to sag a bit in the middle,” said Glubis. “We were hoping we could get another five years out of it.”
The kitchen and viewing area, located in the centre, are still standing, though some damage was evident.
Glubis said volunteers entered the building last night to remove some equipment, finding water on the kitchen floor.
The skating rink on the south side of the facility, which dates back to the 1920s, also survived the storm.
For the full story, please see the July 24 edition of The Davidson Leader, or call 306-567-2047 to subscribe today.