The sirens you heard on Thursday night was not another landmark burning down, but the 47th annual DND Firefighters Bonspiel roaring into the Trenton Curling Club.
Organized in 1965 by the late John Cowell, Fire Marshall of 1 Canadian Air Division, NATO forces in Germany, it is one of the longest running DND sporting events.
Even though the event began with a meet and greet on Thursday night, and crack of dawn curling on Friday, the opening ceremonies were held at 930 on Friday morning. Sixteen teams, from as far away as Baggotville, Que. and the Alberta oil sands, were piped onto the ice by Piper Alex Robertson. The 8 Wing Logistics and Engineering Officer, LCol Dany Breton welcomed the curlers to Trenton before hurling his first ever curling rock. He was flanked by sweepers Johnny Johnson (Ottawa Oldtimers) who at 91 years of age, skips his own team, and the youngest player present, Will Porteous (Oil Sands Assassins). And yes, he made it all the way down the ice.
Round-robin play reduced the field to eight finalists in four divisions on Saturday afternoon. In the ‘A’ final, CFB Borden Firefighters #2 defeated the Borden Fire Academy Wigs in a lopsided 9-3 game which saw the mercy rule invoked after six ends (Mercy rule = please no more, you’re killing us). The ‘B’ final pitted the Ottawa Old Timers against the Toronto Oldtimers in an exciting match that went an extra end. Johnny Johnson’s team finally ran out of oxygen and succumbed to Toronto on skip Laird Jobe’s final rock to give Toronto the win.
Mercy rules were also invoked in the other finals: In the ‘C’ division Trenton Fire defeated the KOKO Puffs (Pearson International Airport) and in the D, Trenton Draegerman defeated CFB Borden 3. The prestigious Founder’s Trophy for the team best embodying the spirit of the bonspiel went to the KOKO Puffs. (So named for the late Richard “KOKO” Turgeon, fire chief at Pearson, who it was rumoured, could put you down for the count with one punch).
The most poignant moment of the awards ceremony occurred when the firefighters observed 30 seconds of silence in homage to their home away from home: The Sherwood Forest Inn. CFB Borden Fire Chief Skip Reid, an alleged frequent visitor, was presented with the burned and twisted pole salvaged from the wreckage.
For anyone who has ever served, you would have recognized this weekend as a “regimental” or fraternal event, where the past and the present, sharing a common bond, came together to rekindle old friendships, swap war stories, and have fun, on the rocks. Our thanks go out to the sponsors of the bonspiel: Anonymous with a cash donation, Levitt Safety, Draeger Safety, and MSA Safety.
For results and standings from regular leagues as well as other club news visit www.trentoncurlingclub.ca