Although the North Hatley Curling Club officially began in 1957, it is the offspring of a private curling venture that began in the late 1940’s by the owners of Brae Manor, Ray Hatric and his spouse. Brae Manor, located on Virgin Hill had added a shed with theatre seating that served as a curling rink in winter and a theatre for the summer.
This rink was known to have a significant home team advantage, given its slightly unlevel base, and some strategicly located heaving from winter frost, resulting in quite challenging shot making involving much more than a normal curl.
In 1957 the North Hatley Curling Club took over the Brae Manor rink and operated on the Virgin Hill site for 2 years. Opportunity knocked and the current site on Capleton road was purchased, with an old school house on it. The school house was moved towards the road, and an ice shed was added to the back of it. This work was organised by Wes Sherman, and resulted in a sand based ice surface, with the school house converted to the clubhouse. This ice surface was far superior to the old, but still provided its local quirks at times. Photos of this project are in the upstairs viewing area today.
Curling grew in the small village and a viable club emerged that is still a significant social institution today, following several major improvements over the years, a major one being the addition of a concrete slab for the ice surface that was the pet project of Sam Pollack. As befits its Scottish heritage the list of members has included and still includes many local Scots, as names of past and current members suggest; Montgomery, McVittie, McKinven, Thompson, Moore, Brown, McDannold, to name a few.
These are relatives of the Scottish immigrants who moved to this part of the Eastern Townships centered by beautiful Lake Massawippi, making their livelihood and raising families here. It is fitting then that the origins of our club begin at Brae Manor.