Shane McRae, Ken McRae, Kent McRae and Tyler Buchanan will represent Quebec at the Canadian Firefighters Curling Championships. A fundraiser will take place on March 10 at the historic Howick Curling Club.
Crédit photo : Courtesy of Shane McRae
As members of the historic Howick Curling Club prepare to close the doors on the rink for the last time, a foursome from the Howick Volunteer Fire Department will be repre-senting Quebec at the Canadian Firefighters Curling Championships in Thunder Bay.
“We thought that the best way to celebrate the long history of the club and to raise funds for our trip to nationals would be to host a friendly bonspiel on March 10,” says Shane McRae, who will be travelling to Thunder Bay at the end of March for the tour-nament with teammates Ken McRae, Kent McRae, and Tyler Buchanan.
As such, the team is extending an invitation to everyone interested to enjoy “one last chance to play on Howick’s ice, see the club house and all it’s memorabilia, have a few drinks, tell some stories, raise some money, and close this place down properly.”
This year will mark the third time representing Quebec at the national championships for Shane McRae, who will also be taking in the tournament as President of the Que-bec Firefighters Curling Association.
The Howick Curling Club is where McRae got his start throwing rocks, and he feels it is only fitting that as the Club winds down its final season one of its few remaining mem-bers from Howick will be representing the long line of talented curlers to have graced the sheets at the nationals in his father, Ken McRae.
“There is just a really long history of elite curling,” says McRae of the Howick Club, which was founded in 1907. “It’s just been a rock in the community,” he adds, suggest-ing the upcoming friendly bonspiel will allow everyone a chance to say goodbye to the Club.
The Firemen’s Briar
The Quebec provincial tournament to determine who would be going on to Na-tionals took place the first weekend in February. Hosted by the Franklin Fire Depart-ment at the Howick Curling Club, the tournament saw defending champions from the Ormstown Fire Department take on the team from Howick in the finals. The winners booked their ticket to Thunder Bay for the much anticipated Canadian Championships from March 29 to April 8, which have been referred to as the Firemen’s Briar.
For McRae, the nationals are a chance to continue the Canadian Firefighters Curling Association’s commitment to raising funds for muscular dystrophy, while meeting and playing against volunteer and professional firefighters from across the country. And, says McRae, the curling is pretty good as well. As an example of the elite players to have participated in the tournament, Olympic champion John Morris, who won the first gold medal in mixed curling during the PyeongChang Winter Games also won the na-tional title at the national tournament for Alberta a few years ago.
The friendly bonspiel fundraiser for the Howick team to close down the Howick Curling Club will take place throughout the day on March 10.