Vaudreuil-Dorion resident honoured with prestigious award by Curling Canada
PHOTO BY JAMES PARRY
Photographed on the ice at Hudson Legion Branch #115 in Hudson, Mike and Lise Carson share a passion for curling that continues unabated.
For over 45 years, Vaudreuil-Dorion resident Mike Carson - a lifelong curler - has been actively volunteering his time and expertise to the sport throughout Quebec and over the decades he has received numerous honours for his dedication to curling at virtually every level.
But nothing, he says, can really compare to his latest 'trophy' confirmed last week. Namely, the prestigious Ray Kingsmith Award presented by Curling Canada for outstanding volunteerism and, for the first time ever in the 17-year history of the award, to someone living in La Belle Province.
Said Carson in an exclusive interview with The Journal, “I am very honoured to have been considered for a Curling Canada award, let alone actually receive it. And particularly one named after Ray who was a good friend of mine whom I first met back in the 1970s and who baptized me the 'Eastern cowboy' because of my attire. Although I secretly suspected that he was just jealous of my hat!”
Stated Curling Canada Board of Governors member, Scott Comfort, who chairs the Awards and Hall of Fame Committee, “We saw our Canadian curlers represent us with class and professionalism on the world stage last month in PyeongChang, and one thing they all had in common was that they got their start in one of Canada’s curling centres with help from volunteers.
“Making announcements like these, recognizing individuals who best demonstrate a similar commitment and dedication to curling that made Ray Kingsmith the consummate sport executive, truly is one of the highlights of a curling season for our organization, and we couldn’t be happier to recognize the efforts of Mike Carson.”
It would take a book to do justice to Carson's work in curling since he first took up the sport when he was 23 and, in his own words, got hooked on playing and volunteering. Suffice to say that it has seen him involved at the club, community, provincial, national, and international levels, and all with the attitude of giving back to a sport for which he has a passion.
A passion he shares with his wife, Lise, who he first met at a curling club, who is competing in the Provincial Masters (60+years) in Magog this week and who, like Mike, is a member of Glenmore Curling Club in Dollard-des-Ormeaux.
Laughed Carson, “It was at the Saguenay Club of Arvida when she came to watch her dad curl against us in the year-end Finals. Naturally, after the game everyone sits together for a drink. Both of us had difficulty with our second language. And she didn't seem to be too happy with the curling result. We won! But I persevered and we have been together ever since, raising a family, sharing our love of curling, and growing younger together.”
Added Carson, who held senior management positions with Alcan - now Rio Tinto - for over 33 years before his retirement, “Curling has been very good to us. And volunteerism especially so as it has enabled us to make good friends from all over this great country of ours.”
Asked what curlers do when the season is over? Carson thought for a moment. “I can't speak for the others,” he laughed. “But I play golf and Lise just loves her gardening. That is, until next year and we start all over again.”