By Matthew Abrey
Special to the Western News
The tradition of exchanging pins with other curling fans at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts is alive and well in Penticton’s tournament this year.
From tournament pins to town pins to random pins that people have picked up over the years, fans just want to add to and diversify their collection, including Dave and Halga Phillips who have been collecting pins at curling events for over 40 years.
“I started collecting pins about 40 years ago when I was stationed in Germany,” Dave said. “When you’d go out to curl there, you’d give your club pin when you shook hands with the opposition, and you’d get one back. When we left Germany, we left behind about 250 pins from different clubs and different areas, and we’ve continued it ever since.”
Dona Cade, one of the over 300 Penticton Curling Club members volunteering at this year’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts has just recently been introduced to the Scotties tradition of trading and acquiring pins.
“We were given two pins, which started everybody off, donated to us by the Scotties Tournament of Hearts,” Cade said. “I didn’t have very many pins, and somebody said ‘gee, you don’t have many pins,’ and suddenly I had a zillion,” she laughed.
“I probably started about 1986 or so,” said Donella Thompson, who made the trip down the lake from Lake Country. “Probably when I got this scarf when I went to the Scotties that year,” she added, pointing to a red scarf around her neck which houses dozens of pins.
“It’s part of the culture,” said Kim Cohoe, another one of the many volunteers who have been working tirelessly throughout the week. “I started collecting these as soon as I got here. We were given a couple of pins in our volunteer kits, and it just kind of takes off from there. You put a couple pins on, and then all of a sudden you’re running around looking for sponsors, and you see some of the people from out of province giving out pins, and it’s just a lot of fun.”
The final draw between Jennifer Jones and Carey Einarson, both of Manitoba, started at 4 p.m., and will be followed by the after-party at the HeartStop Lounge next door at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.