It was through endless rounds on the ice that Chuck Dyke truly learned how to curl.
His teacher was none other than the late Ron Crowe, who challenged him to many a game and was a demanding teacher to Dyke.
“He was a fine curler and a fine gentleman,” said Dyke.
He joined a crowd of other curlers in Truro on Nov. 2, who held a stick curling bonspiel in honour of their mentor, who passed away from cancer earlier this year.
Crowe, who was active on Truro’s curling scene for decades, was instrumental in introducing the stick version of the game to local players. Fittingly, weekend-long bonspiel in his honour was a stick curling tournament.
Dyke himself has played curling for 59 years and first met Crowe after he moved to Truro in 1996.
They played against each other “many times,” in non-stick curling.
It was on the ice that Dyke received the offer he still remembers to this day.
“He said, listen young fella, I’m gonna teach you how to play this game,” said Dyke. “That’s the biggest kick I ever got.”
The result was many more hard-fought games. As Dyke said, “He won some, we won some.”
His fellow curler Bill Spinney remembered Crowe as an old friend, with whom he watched and played in many curling games all over Canada. As well as curling, Spinney said Crowe refereed college-level basketball games in his younger days.
Spinney remembered Crowe as a good curler with a quiet demeanor, who always kept good records of everything he did.
“He’s the kind of guy you never forget and you miss,” said Spinney. “If he was here today, he’d be very proud of what’s going on and there are people here [who] never threw a stone with a stick until yesterday.”
Bonspiel participants aimed to raise $3,000 for cancer research and the same again to promote stick curling.