07 Feb 18
Andrew Kerr, Supercourier, who spent three weeks supporting the Canadians on their tour and is only now coming back to earth, has sent us the following thoughts on a great couple of weeks (and countless months of preparation).
Andrew has earned a huge amount of well deserved praise for all the work the committee did to make the tour such a success. He was ably assisted by Billy Howat and a few other helpers in Ayrshire for our part of the tour, but it is only right that we put on record our thanks to Andrew for his dedication and hard work.
Here's what he says:
"As I hope many of you will know, a party of 40 Canadian curlers have been touring Scotland for the last month competing to win the Strathcona Cup and we were delighted to have them visit Ayr for three days.
It was my privilege to be with the 20 Canadians on the South Tour as their courier from when they arrived at Glasgow Airport on the 10th January until they left for Stranraer on the 26th and again to be with them for their final tour game and the closing banquet on the 2nd February.
The Ayrshire Province were, if I say it myself, excellent hosts both on the ice where we were able to put out a total of 64 male curlers capable of giving the tourists hard and keenly contested games but, equally importantly, socially, culminating in probably the best Burns Supper we have had for many a year.
Over the piece the Canadians won by more than 300 shots and were presented with the trophy at the closing banquet held in the Capital Hotel in Edinburgh last Friday night but, more importantly, they made friends wherever they played.
Those of you who played against the Canadians will have seen their tour rendition of Queen's "We Will Rock You" and those present at the Burns Supper will also have heard Bill Paterson from Calgary perform - a truly remarkable gentleman. He was not alone in that and, indeed, all the tourists were great ambassadors for the sport of curling and for Canada. You may not be aware either that the South Tour Captain, Bill Jenkins, made a donation from his own pocket to Ayr Juniors.
I can tell you that they enjoyed regaining the trophy but their attitude was such that winning was of secondary importance to promotion of the game of curling and I can also tell you that there were a few tears in their eyes when they set off for home last Saturday morning.
It will be five years until the next team from Scotland head over to Canada and another five years after that until the Canadians are back over here. A Strathcona Cup Tour really is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I would thoroughly recommend it.
Thank you to all those involved in making Ayr one of the Tour highlights."