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Stone’s throw: bonspiel crowns champs

April 15, 2014
Vale employees, from left to right, Kelly Davis, Lovro Paulic, Randy Whitton, Murray McDonald and Carl Hall win the Nickel Broom trophy at Vale’s annual curling bonspiel. Vale Archive.

Vale employees, from left to right, Kelly Davis, Lovro Paulic, Randy Whitton, Murray McDonald and Carl Hall win the Nickel Broom trophy at Vale’s annual curling bonspiel. Vale Archive.

Vale employees and pensioners swept through three days of fun on ice, vying for top prize in Vale’s annual curling bonspiel in Thompson, Manitoba.

The victors, Vale employees Randy Whitton, Kelly Davis, Murray MacDonald and Carl Hall, came out on top out of 20 teams to take home the coveted trophy known as the Nickel Broom plus airline tickets to travel anywhere in Canada.

And, as tradition dictates, winners will organize next year’s event to help keep the good times curling.

“This is strictly a fun bonspiel, to build camaraderie and get us together for a great social activity outside the workplace,” said Jeff Lindstrom, an organizer of this year’s event, following his team’s two-year winning streak.

Now in its 44th year, the Vale Employees and Pensioners Bonspiel is held at Thompson’s Burntwood curling club. The event is organized entirely by employees and funded by a small team entry fee.

“Winners carry bragging rights into work for the year,” said Lindstrom, a scheduler at our T-1 Mine. ”The trophy has been hung in the T-1 Mine lamp room for the past two years and the new winners can display it proudly in their work area this year.”

Open to the public, the bonspiel draws a boisterous crowd to cheer on friends and peers, and enjoy music, dancing and food. Local businesses and suppliers provided great door prizes like golf bags, jackets, curling broom bags, and gift cards from area retailers.

In its heyday, as many as 60 teams would participate in a 24-hour, round-the-clock event. While the scale may be smaller these days, the bonspiel is still a highlight on the Vale social calendar.

“Lots of people look forward to the event, whether to participate or cheer on coworkers, friends and family. It’s great because it takes us out of our work environment and gives us a chance to build friendships,” said Lindstrom.

Thanks to everyone who pitched in to play, volunteer or offer sponsorship to make this year’s Vale bonspiel a success.

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