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Milo Curling Club
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The first Milo Curling Rink was built in 1949. Gene Jones was the chairman of the Mio Ice Association, which oversaw both the curling and skating rinks. Funds were raised through donation, auctions, ice carnivals, dances and bake sales, and lumber was hauled from Swallwell, Alberta, about 145km north. Additional building materials were salvaged from the site of Prisoner of War Camp 133 in Lethbridge, and from the old Vulcan airport.
The rink had 3 sheets of natural ice, and at first, all the water was hauled from the lake. 45-gallon drums were lined up along the sides of the rinks and all tipped over at the same time to flood the ice, with the hope that it would freeze level. A large cistern, 10’x16’, was soon dug in front of the rink, and an addition over top of it provided space for a kitchen, coal bin, and small eating area. In 1958, artificial ice was installed on the two sheets that were designated for curling, with the west rink flooded for skating.
By 1968, a rotting roof and frustration over the cold temperature of the original cinder block construction led to a decision to erect a new building. Under the guidance of the Building Committee, (David Deitz, Marj Marks, Bea Thomson, Con Peterson, Irvine Sukut, Tooke Beckner and Colin Campbell) a series of major fundraising events took place, including a community auction, Grey Cup pool, a draw for a gold wafer, and a 34-mile “walk-for-rink” walk-a-thon, to and from the Corner Store at the junction of Highways 23 & 24. Area residents also contributed donations of cash and grain averaging $250, and volunteer labour helped to lay the cement and do the interior finishing. Contracted through the United Farmers of Alberta Co-Op, the new rink was built on the west side of the original structure, opening in January 1969 with a mixed bonspiel, supper and dance.
In the spring of 1996 a committee consisting of Doug Bushell, Lloyd Deitz, Dale Deitz, Joanne Monner and Mike Hingley was formed to look into the possibility of upgrading the facility, and a membership survey indicated (86%) support for the project. The following year the Curling Club received a large grant from the Alberta government’s Community Facility Enhancement Program and intensive fundraising, along with substantial volunteer labour and equipment, enabled an expansion and the addition of two viewing areas. The grand opening of the upgraded facility was held in November 1998.
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Milo Library Archives