Jim Mitchell was presented with a photograph of himself and his junior curling team from 1964. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Jim Mitchell was presented with a photograph of himself and his junior curling team from 1964. (Kelly Sinoski photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Curlers honour longtime member

Jim Mitchell presented with framed painting of his 1964 Canadian Juniors Team

Few people have been curling longer than Jim Mitchell.

Ever since he was eight, Mitchell has enjoyed spending the winters throwing rocks from one end of the ice to the other. Since coming to 100 Mile House in 1985, he’s been an avid curler and an instructor for the club’s junior curling program.

However, it was only this year that Gord Smith and other curlers found out that Mitchell was once a junior curler himself, representing B.C in 1964 at the Canadian Junior Curling Championship. At the 100 Mile House Men’s Bonspiel Saturday, curlers presented Mitchell with an old team photograph of himself and his friends that they had framed.

“We were 16 years old and were heading off on an adventure of the lifetime, we were on top of the world,” Mitchell, 75, said. “There were 11 teams in Regina representing each of the provinces and we had a week-long competition, which was truly exciting. “

Smith said the club wanted to recognize and honour Mitchell’s achievements.

“Jim has been curling here since 1985 and over the years he’s helped the club in a number of ways. He’s been on the executive and has contributed a lot to the club as the junior curler coach,” Smith said. “Having curled both with and against Jim, I’ve learned to respect him as a person and a curler.”

Mitchell said seeing the old photo brought a tear to his eye and evoked memories of his time competing on the national stage. His team was the youngest and the smallest and were the darlings of the media, he said, especially after they took an early lead. Ultimately they finished in the “middle of the pack” with a record of five wins to four losses.

Although they didn’t win, the chance to meet so many young curlers from across the country was great, he added.

“There were a lot of banquets and activities arranged to keep us entertained and it was generally just an exciting time. It was a big party and we partied like 16-year-old kids used to party, not like they party now.”

During this weekend’s bonspiel, Mitchell said his team, made up of fellow seniors, had a great time and came close to beating Team Bisaro, who went on to win the bonspiel.

“It was a very gratifying and satisfying weekend. Lots of laughs and that’s what it’s all about,” Mitchell said. “When I step on a sheet of ice I know everyone out there is going to be there for the game and that’s what we aspire to do, the best we can.”



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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