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Pontiac hits the ice for Farmers Bonspiel

by Camilla Faragalli
Jan. 6, 2024
Twelve teams of Pontiac locals took over the Shawville Curling Club on Saturday for the 42nd annual Farmers Bonspiel.
The winning team included Ian Mackechnie, Tammy Davis, and Jerry Barber, who play together in the club’s competitive Thursday-night league. Their fourth regular team member Keri Beck was absent from the tournament.
“We were tied going into the last end, and it came down to the last shot,” said Ryan Powell, member of the runner-up team. “But everybody had a lot of fun.”
Eric Smith has been organizing the fundraising event for the club for about 10 years.
“It’s not the most competitive curling bonspiel. We have kids as young as 12 playing and we have guys old like me playing,” he said with a grin.
“It brings everyone together, we have fun, and somebody wins the Plow Point [trophy].”
Winning team member Jerry Barber said the Farmers Bonspiel is important to him both in its capacity to bring people together, and because it offers an opportunity to make sure that “the things that you have in your community stay financially sound and keep going.”
“The curling club’s been here for 102 years,” he explained. “It’s the only curling club in the Pontiac . . . a lot of curling clubs in Canada have closed in the last three or four years, and in small towns like this, it’s a really important part of the community.”
The Bonspiel also included a 50/50 draw, with a prize of $142.50 that was won by Jacques Gagné.

Winning team members of the Shawville Curling Club’s 42nd annual Farmers Bonspiel pose with the Plow Point Trophy and the event’s organizer, Eric Smith. From left, Ian MacKechnie, Tammy Davis, Jerry Barber (absent: Keri Beck) and Eric Smith.