Mr. J.C. (Jack) Smithson was celebrated as one of the founding fathers of the Almonte Curling Club (ACC) on the evening of December 13. Though the ACC is 159 years old, 2014 marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of its modern era. In 1970 the home of the ACC burned to the ground. Its members at the time then played in the nearby rinks at Pakenham or Carleton Place. The club’s president at the time of the fire, Mr. Smithson never abandoned his dream of bringing curling back to Almonte. His efforts throughout the two decades following the fire paid off in 1989 when the Almonte Curling Club found a new home in the four-sheet facility which is part of the recreational facility at Almonte’s Gemmill Park.
On Saturday night, the members of the curling club, who were joined by local MPP Jack MacLaren, celebrated J.C. and his tremendous contribution to Almonte and to the sport of curling.
Mr. Smithson, aged 95, could not attend the celebration due to poor health. A small delegation of his friends from the ACC visited J.C. and his family in Country Haven earlier on Saturday. They let him know of the high regard in which he continues to be held by the ACC, and presented a small plaque that commemorates his great achievements for the curling club. The plaque reads: “Proudly presented in 2014 to J.C. Smithson in recognition of his leadership and determination to spearhead the efforts to build the new Almonte Curling Club which opened in 1989.”