Congratulations Peter Finch!
Peter is the recipient of the 2021 John Toswell Award! Please see Peter's bio below:
Peter Finch was born in North Bay and learned about the game of curling on a backyard rink using jam cans as curling stones. The rink was built by Rudy Steski a curler who competed in numerous Canadian Curling Championships representing Northern Ontario (NO).
Peter started curling at the North Bay Granite Club (NBGC) in 1962 at the age of fourteen. In 1965 and 1966 he played second for Chippewa Secondary School, which represented NO at the Canadian Schoolboy Curling Championships, placing tied for third in 1965 and tied for second in 1966. The rink curled at the NBGC and competed regularly against other high school rinks and were mentored by older competitive members of the club. In 1966, John Toswell convened the NO Schoolboy Championships at the NBGC. Members of the 1965 and 1966 teams were recognized by the North Bay Sports Hall of Fame 1986.
Peter continued to curl at the University of Waterloo and received his school letter in 1970 by making the University Varsity Curling team, which competed at the Ontario University Championship hosted by McMaster University. During that time, he also skipped a rink from the Math Faculty to the Intramural Championship. Peter returned to North Bay in 1974 and remains a member of the NBGC. He curled competitively for several years in the second position on teams skipped by Russell Morland, which qualified multiple years to represent the NBGC in Zone and Association playdowns.
Peter has had the honour of playing on teams who have scored an eight ender (rare for curling) three times, including twice as skip.
A highlight for Peter was winning the large NOCA bonspiel (128 teams) in Sudbury on a team with Russell Morland, John Wellard and Hector Valade. Peter helped with the draw schedules and served on the NBGC Board of Directors as President of the Men’s Section.
Peter has volunteered at several competitions hosted by the NBGC including the 1988 and 2015 Canadian Mixed Curling Championships and the 2019 Pinty’s Masters as director of the 50/50 committee. In 1988, with the help of a Wintario grant and proceeds from the Canadian Mixed Championships, the NBGC purchased three sets of Little Rocks which were used by curlers as young as six years old. Peter co-ordinated a program called “Kids Can Curl”, an inexpensive program to help boys and girls enjoy success at curling. With several volunteers, including his wife, leagues were formed where young children learned to curl before moving up to Junior. This program remains active today.
Another highlight for Peter was chairing and participating in the Elks Canadian Curling Championships at the NBGC in 2008. Many compliments were received on the organization and the tremendous hospitality. During this event, he chose John Toswell, a mentor for many years, as referee-in-chief. It was John who encouraged him to get involved with the seniors where for several years he convened the Salt & Pepper League and was drawmaster at several senior events.
Most recently Peter served on a committee organized to re-write the NBGC constitution and by-laws.