EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Saturday, May 23, 2015

8 Enders "most exclusive club in the world' celebrates curling success at Urwelkum Inn in 1936

T Therriault, V Crichton, H Morris, L Evans, L Racicot, N Pellow, A Vale, P Merrifield
The first, and maybe only annual dinner of the "8 Enders Club" was held on August 13, 1936, at the Urwelkum Inn at Devon. 
The program for the dinner, provided by Dr. Vince Crichton, claimed that it was "the most exclusive club in the world, and as far as we know, the only one of its kind in the world."
Note that the program does not say they were the only rinks to achieve 8 enders in curling --- they were the only ones to form a club to celebrate the achievement.
Two rinks from the Chapleau Curling Club were members. The first winners were Les Evans, skip; Newt Pellow, third; Rev. A.J Vale, second, and P. Merrifield, lead. The second winners were Leo Racicot, skip; Harry Morris, third (my grandfather); Vince Crichton, second, and Tommy Therriault, lead.
With no explanation provided, Arthur Grout was described as "Handyman" and Earle Sootheran as "Slide Evans victim".
The program explained that "No one can become a member of the club unless he or she belongs to a regulation curling club. and at some time, during a bonspiel competition, they score one (an 8 Ender) on their opponents."
It added that "All members shall be distinguished by a special emblem of silver. on which shall be inscribed '8 End Club'"
No real rules were needed as  it required teamwork, good sportsmanship, co-operation and skill to become a member. "Why clutter up the club with useless regulations?", the program says.
The report on the dinner at the Urwelkum Inn, said that an air of good fellowship abounded, with good speeches, a sing song and a general good time was had by all.
Dr Vince explained that "An 8 ender is where a team comprised of a skip, third, second and lead score the maximum number of points in one end which is 8 – each team has 8 rocks to throw and if all in the rings, and no opposition rocks closer to the button (absolute centre) then they count 8 points or however many are closer than the opposition.  Not many attain this hallowed ground..."
Writing in 'Pioneering in Northern Ontario" Vince Crichton, Dr. Vince's father, noted that curling began in Chapleau in the winter of 1885-86, the year Chapleau  was founded with the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway. The first sheet of ice was located on Lorne Street about where the Chapleau Memorial Community Arena was.
In 1929, the Chapleau Curling Club hosted the Northern Ontario Curling Association bonspiel. In 1932, it hosted the bonspiel again, Vince wrote, and on this occasion,  a rink composed of Leo Racicot, Harry Morris, Vince Crichton and A. Kinahan reached the finals with the exception of the Consolation Trophy. At least until Vince's book was published in 1975, no Chapleau rink achieved this success again.
One final note on the dinner. It appeared that it may have lasted until "7:45 a.m." the following morning with no explanation given for that exact time. Remember too that the club was formed in the midst of the Great Depression, and is another example of Chapleau folks coming together to celebrate, even in times of great challenges --- the Chapleau Winter Carnival was also established in 1936!  
Thanks Dr. Vince for providing the details on the 8 Enders Club. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Finding God in the Park

By Rev. Yme Woensdregt

I recently read a wonderful little story online. Abe was a fiercely independent, 85–year–old man. After a mild stroke, however, his son insisted he move in with him. Abe missed going to the park near his old apartment. One Saturday he set out to find it.

He became disoriented and asked a young boy named Timmy where the park was. Timmy said he’d like to take him there, but he didn’t have time because he was looking for God. He said he needed to talk to God about why his parents were getting a divorce.

“Maybe God’s in the park,” the old man said. “I’d like to talk to God, too, about why he’s made me useless.” So they set off together to find God.

At the park, Timmy began to cry about the divorce, and Abe lovingly held his face in both hands and looked him straight in the eyes. “Timmy, I don’t know why bad things happen, but I know it wasn’t because of you. I know you’re a good boy and your parents love you and you’ll be okay.”

Timmy gave Abe a big hug and said, “I’m so glad I met you. Thanks. I think I can go now.”

From across the street, Timmy’s mother saw them hug and approached her son in a worried voice. 

“Who was that old man?”

“I think he’s God,” Timmy said.

“Did he say that?” she demanded.
“No, but when he touched me and told me I’m going to be okay, I felt really better. Only God can do that.”

When Abe got home, his son asked in a scolding voice, “Where were you?”

“I was in the park with God.”

“Really? What makes you think you were with God?”

“Because He sent me a boy who needed me, and when the boy hugged me, I felt God telling me I wasn’t useless anymore.”

Whenever I hear a story like this, I’m reminded that God comes to us in many disguises. In 1972, Presbyterian professor Robert McAfee Brown wrote a wonderful book called “The Pseudonyms of God”. His point was that God speaks to us in many different ways — through human culture and natural events, through interior mystical experiences, and through very public experiences.

In that book, he wrote, “I need more than the resources of Bible, theological tradition, and my own commitments if I am to understand my faith and the world in which it is set; I also need the ethical insights of my secular colleagues, the political and psychological analyses of my friends and foes, and the prophetic jab of nonchurchmen whose degree of commitment so often puts my own to shame.”

We can catch a glimpse of divine reality in many different ways, including the everyday and ordinary moments of each day. Part of our task, then, is to listen, to see deeper into the heart of reality, so that we might see and hear God’s presence in all these ways.

Like Abe and Timmy, we may even learn to find God in the park. I know people like them who are close to God when they’re riding a bike, or climbing mountains, or listening to a piece of music, or finding ourselves lost in a work of art. Celtic spirituality calls such experiences “thin places”.

It’s a wonderful concept. It leads us to know the holiness of God that rests all around us. It helps us see God’s holiness in other people, and especially those who are different from us.

So what do you say? Want to go the park?

Rev Dr Yme Woensdregt is Incumbent at Christ Church Anglican in Cranbrook BC

Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
MJ with Buckwheat (1989-2009) Photo by Leo Ouimet


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