Scottish curlers get top treatment at BC centres

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January 30, 2013, (ISN) –  BC curling centres highlighted the diversity of their communities when Scottish curlers visited as part of the Strathcona Cup West Tour.

Members of the Tsleil-waututh Nation helped welcome the Scots to BC at the opening ceremonies and banquet at the North Shore Winter Club.

In addition to receiving a First Nations blessing and being treated to traditional dancing, the visitors were presented with a carved ‘talking stick’.

The cultural gift was a big hit with the visitors.

Bruce Beveridge, organizer of the tour, said: “The Scots were very pleased with their ‘talking stick’ and displayed and spoke of it at all the lunches and dinners put on by their hosts.”

The Scottish curlers also took part in a tradition that would have been more familiar to them.

Most of the Lower Mainland clubs that took part in the tour welcomed the Scots onto the ice with bagpipes.

Vancouver Curling Club even had an RCMP officer present for the ceremony.

Hollyburn Country Club also served haggis prepared by their own chef, Peter Black.

One of the visiting Scots, Mike Watt, did the traditional “Address to the Haggis”, which was incomprehensible to Canadian ears.

After visiting six Lower Mainland Clubs, where the Scots were tough competitors, the visitors went up the Sunshine Coast.

They were enthusiastically received at the Powell River Curling Club.

“The Scots were awed with the mountain scenery they saw on their drive up there,” said Bruce, who accompanied the guests during their week-long visit.

At Qualicum and District Curling Club, the competition proved to be tougher for the Scots and the local teams won by a small margin. From there the Scots went to

Victoria where they played three clubs again against tough competition.

At the end of the BC portion of their Western Tour, the Scots had a lead of 33 points.

Bruce added: “The Scots were very complimentary of the warm welcome they received at all the clubs and how hospitable everyone was. But it was no more than the way the Canadians were treated when they travelled to Scotland.”