The Nepean Ninth Enders Curling Club adopted its name in the spring of 2017 after 47 years being known as the Trend Arlington Curling Club (TACC). The TACC was initially created as a way for the residents of the Trend Village and Arlington Woods neighbourhoods to socialize and build a sense of community in these neighbourhoods located west of Greenbank Road and north of West Hunt Club Road in the former City of Nepean (now part of the City of Ottawa).
The founding curlers of the TACC first started playing at the old Ottawa Curl-a-Drome at Lansdowne Park. There were two or three buildings at Lansdowne that were used for curling that were the only public curling sheets available in the region. The buildings were old and cold, but the atmosphere was fun and the Club quickly gelled into a very social community group.
The Nepean Sportsplex opened in 1972 and the TACC moved into the Friday night at 7:00 pm time slot. The Sportsplex had ten curling sheets and was much closer to home. TACC used sheets 5 through 10 – six sheets and a total of forty-eight members.
When the TACC was first formed the club established a rule that all members must live in the Trend Village or Arlington Woods neighbourhoods. They had no difficulty filling the club from within the community and maintaining the local members rule for the first 15 years of curling. The club changed the rule in 1985 in order to allow the son of a current member and his spouse to join the club. Since that time the club has welcomed any adult who wishes to curl in a non-competitive and social environment.
Another early club rule was that spouses could not play on the same team. Initially this was permitted, but experience quickly showed that this could cause problems with maintaining the non-competitive and social atmosphere that was desired. The rule is still in effect today.
The social aspect of the club was established very early on. A wine and cheese welcome party was hosted by the club president at the start of each season. Christmas and Valentines parties, and a season ending banquet were early traditions.
For many years Christmas parties would enjoy the arrival of Santa and his Elf with small and, usually, amusing gifts arranged for everyone. The Valentine’s parties would see skits or poems about a team performed by another team. Much laughter was the norm.
These parties would be held after curling and the members would be organized to bring baked beans, cold cuts and rolls. Eventually the menus became more varied. The food would be served after the entertainment and the socializing would continue into the wee hours of Saturday morning. With everyone living in the same community, it was easy for everyone to get home safely.
Friendly, social competition has always been important for the club members. This tradition was established early on by organizing the competition into two half seasons. New teams would be drawn for each half and players were not allowed to play for the same skip they had played for in the previous half. This approach made sure that everyone got to know each other as quickly as possible. So did post game socializing in the original Hog’s End Pub and now Spectators rink side at the Sportsplex.
Written September 2017 by Sean Rathwell, member or spare curler in TACC and the Nepean Ninth Enders since the fall of 1977.