Nugget Column #19 – Tuesday January 31st, 2017
Tennis fans were reminded that age is just a number when two classic rivalries that were thought likely to never emerge in a Grand Slam final ever again, did at the Australian Open this past weekend.
Serena Williams defeated her sister Venus to capture her seventh Australian Open, twenty-third Grand Slam singles title, and pass Steffi Graf’s record of major singles wins in the open era.
On the men’s side the equally veteran Roger Federer defeated his friend and adversary Rafael Nadal in five sets to apprehend his eighteenth Grand Slam title at the tender age of 35.
Speaking of tender ages…
The 38th annual North Bay Mazda Masters Bonspiel came to pass at the North Bay Granite Club last week with over twenty teams of men sixty years of age or older participating.
The club’s longest running bonspiel still in existence started back in 1980 when a well known Northern Ontario curler (a Brier competitor in 1955), Rudy Steski, spearhead the inaugural event. To this day, the Masters Bonspiel serves as a reunion for rock throwers across the province; notably from places such as New Liskeard, Toronto, Sudbury, Elliot Lake, Wawa, Astorville, and elsewhere who return year after year for extraordinary hospitality and comradery.
New this year was the addition of North Bay Mazda as the title sponsor. The North Bay Senior Curlers wish to thank Matt Dumontelle, Nick Vrbanac, and the team at 235 Lakeshore Drive for their support of a beloved event.
Winning a tournament like this does not come easily. First of all, there is very little time for an afternoon nap on Monday, then by the end of the day on Tuesday you’ve been sweeping for 6 hours in two days, and by Wednesday your wife has realized that you do in fact know how to use a broom and you’re about to learn how to absorb one.
Now winning an event like this seven times is preposterous but that’s what happened when North Bay’s Claude Peloquin, Dave Cerisano, John Stuckless and Real Gagnon defeated George Swanson’s team in the championship final.
In the “B” division final North Bay’s Mel Cox, Reid Milne, Jack Phillips and Butch Blair conquered Wawa’s Ivan Besner. In the “C” final division final Sudbury’s Robert McIlvenna, Ron Tessier, Chuck Jacobs and Ian Lang beat North Bay’s Doug Johnson. And in the “D” division final North Bay’s Michael Venhola, Mike O’Bright, Bill Allen and Mark Buchanen triumphed over North Bay’s John Burns.
Many thanks go out to the organizers of this event: Dave Doyle, John Sheridan, Larry Claus, Peter Finch, Dave Leslie, Dave Cerisano, Moe Laporte, Dave Bennett, and surely others behind the scenes.
When good organizers like these folks are in charge it is possible to do something for thirty-eight years in a row. Planning is already underway to grow next year’s event, so guys, what do you think about this:
All us men know how life after a bonspiel goes, a full body ache, an empty wallet, the inability to do anything productive for at least 24 hours following, and the ensuing discontent from your mate.
So, what if all the bonspiel prizes were for women and each participant received at least a nominal parting gift. Curlers show up at home with perfume, curling irons, even designer bags; next thing you know women are begging their husbands to attend the 40th annual North Bay Mazda Masters Bonspiel. Now that would be masterful.
Bobby Ray General Manager North Bay Granite Club