With the Canadian Open Stick Curling Championship starting this weekend, we thought it was a good time to pay a visit to the Cornwall Curling Club’s oldest active members, and avid stick curlers, Don Graham and Grant Laird, so we stopped by the weekday morning four person per team “drop in” curling league, where both of them curl an average of two games a week, alongside other curlers who use the traditional “hack” delivery method (Cornwall also has an afternoon two-person stick curling league). Both were born in 1929, with Don already age 90, and Grant turning 90 in a couple of months.
Don Graham (left) and Grant Laird
Late bloomers in the sport of curling, both took up the sport in the 1990s, and switched to stick curling when they were in their 80’s.
Captain Don Graham follows a rock down the ice
Captain Don’s accuracy was no doubt honed by decades of precision manoeuvering of car ferries into port. Grant proudly hosts a curling get together with his family over the Christmas holidays, introducing younger family members to the sport of curling.
Grant Laird keeps close watch over the trajectory of his rock
Grant, teamed up with Vernon Chowan, won the Consolation round at the Canadian Stick Curling Championship in exciting fashion when it was first held in Cornwall in 2013, stealing the last end to beat the Garth Stone and Ted Simonson team from Manitoba 4-3.
Both Grant and Don will be sitting out this year’s Championship, although they both extend an invitation to everyone to come out the nationals, starting Sunday at Cornwall and Charlottetown, and watch and learn about the sport of Stick Curling.