Friars’ Briar Annual Meeting 2023

Highland Curling Club, London, Ontario

March 8, 2023

March 8, 2023, 12:45 p.m.


  1. Welcome – In her remarks, Pam Bartel used a Star Trek analogy – have fun when on a stress leave; like the Discovery Series, boldly go where you haven’t been before; we’re all aliens on a strange planet; if we could communicate with just two people, we are very fortunate


  1. Acceptance of 2022 AGM minutes (on FB website: (

Moved by Chris Schwanz, seconded by Jim Horgan, that the Minutes be approved as posted. Carried.


  1. Report from Local Arrangements Committee:

John Torrance, as chair, thanked people for coming to the London Briar, and hoped they are enjoying the facilities and event at the Highland Curling Club. He recognized each of the LAC members: Ralph Evans, who served as Registrar and Draw Master; David Jones, secretary; Marcus Baker, liaison with the Highland Club and Ramada; Terry Delion, Treasurer; and Ralph Meiszinger. Webmaster Alex Harrison also joined in the planning meetings.

  1. Recognition of local committee – applause.


  1. Report from Board Meeting of March 6/23 – Pam Bartel

Some items in the report will be for your information and others are to be voted on:

There was a lengthy discussion about the nature and future of the Friars’ Briar. It was been noted that in Ontario and some other provinces, clergy clubs that have adhered to a strictly defined member group, specifically clergy, have seen a decline in numbers in the past decade. Those clubs who have been more liberal in their membership, have seen sustainable membership and even growth. Further, the board identified that the original vision of the Friars’ Briar as a collegial gathering is valued and important. With these two things in mind, the board would like to make the following recommendations:

  1. To review the constitution for the purposes of updating to reflect our current situation. The motion to amend will need to be signed by two paid members and the amendments need to be sent in written form to the secretary by the end of the calendar year in order to be voted on in 2024. Review will include but is not limited to:
  2. Review and remove references to Canada with mindfulness of our long-standing players from south of the border!
  3. 8.f – Remove Historian as an executive decision; and add to the responsibilities of the Local Arrangements Committee.
  • Review and revise 8.2, 8.3 and 8.4. The board is leaning in the direction of removing 8.2 and 8.3 and revising 8.4 to read something like… For a team to be eligible to play in a Friars’ Briar, each team must have at least one active or retired clergy or a leader in a faith-based organization. This player can play any position on the team. Exceptions will be at the discretion of the Local Arrangements Committee.
  1. Review and revise 8.5-8.9 to determine if these are items should be in the constitution or as guidelines for the Local Planning Committee.
  1. The Board has affirmed that the website needs updating. We have empowered Alex Harrison as Webmaster to get a quote and, with board approval, move the online information to a new platform. We hope this will all be complete by the end of the year so that we are in good shape to proceed with the new site for the 2024 Briar.
  2. The Board has approved that we create a one-page flyer that could be distributed to curling clubs and within our circles of influence. We hope to have this flyer ready by fall and distributed so that anyone can pass along the dream to others of having a Briar experience!
  3. The Board received information of an invitation from PEI to host a Briar in the near future. The board received this news enthusiastically! There was appreciation for leaning into the vision of the original members for the Friars’ Briar to be a coast-to-coast competition. Here would be an opportunity to broaden our player pool to Atlantic Canada. One concern raised was that whenever the Briar is in Ontario, there are fewer teams from the West that attend, leading to lower team turnout. The board is interested in hearing from you whether your team and/or teams from your province would attend a Briar in Atlantic Canada, specifically PEI.

After a few questions, there was a show of hands in general support of the proposal.

  1. 2024 Friars’ Briar: The 2024 Canadian Men’s Curling Championship will be held in Regina, March 1-10, 2024. Saskatchewan Friars have already been working at a plan to host the Friars’ Briar at the Caledonia Rink in Regina, March 2-8, 2024, and the Board recommends accepting the invitation to join them in Regina.
  2. It is likely that the Men’s Brier will be held February 28 – March 9, 2025. This event coincides with the first week of Lent, a busy week for many clergy. The board recommends changing the typical dates of the 2025 Briar, but do not yet have a recommendation as to whether it would be earlier or later. Ontario would like to avoid the week of March Break as it is expensive and difficult to fly during that time. At this time, we are only providing this information to inform you that we are aware of the conflict and will work to choose a date that will work for as many Friars as possible.
  3. The Board would like to recommend that we retire the Friars’ Briar logo of the bald Friar on the curling rock and recommend that we adopt a logo similar to the sticker that you received in your welcome packet. We are discussing a tag line to the Friars’ Briar and are open to suggestions. Something along the lines of… Friars’ Briar, interfaith curling… Friar’s Briar, faith-based curling, Friars’ Briar, international, inter-faith curling… Friars’ Briar, praying our rocks will end up where we need them… you get the idea. Your suggestions are welcome, and you can email them to the Friar’s Briar website.
  • Moved by Robin Wardlaw, seconded by Ernie Paetsch, that we abandon the old Friars’ Briar logo, in favour of a new logo.
  1. Other things the board discussed but did not make a decision on include:
  2.      To replace the medals with patches or pins. We welcome your comments about this. Some people indicated interest.
  3.      To order Friars’ Briar t-shirts, jackets, sweaters, etc., with the new FB logo to sell at Friars’ Briars. These would be non-date, non-location specific so that they could be sold over a number of years. Show of hands indicated that a few would buy this clothing.

iii.    Another idea is to hold a youth (high school) interfaith curling event. If we held it right after the Briar, that would coincide with March Break and perhaps some youths would come to a one or two-day bonspiel hosted by the Friars?


  1. Treasurer’s report – Kurt Sawatsky – Revenue for sale of pins $10. There is a balance of $4561.02. Moved by Kurt Sawatsky, seconded David Martin, that the Treasurer’s Board be accepted. Carried.


  1. Provincial Directors:

BC – Don Allan 2025

AB – George Friedrich 2028

SK – Kurt Sawatsky 2024

MB – Jack Dyck 2027

ON – John Torrance 2024

ON – Kellie McComb 2027

These appointments were approved by the provincial committees.


  1. Executive positions: All executives were willing to continue for an additional year:

President – Pam Bartel

Vice President – Chris Schwanz
Past President – David Martin
Secretary – John Torrance
Treasurer –Kurt Sawatsky
Webmaster – Alex Harrison

Approved with appreciation applause.


  1. Recognitions – Heavenly Host award/Amazing Grace awards will be awarded at the banquet.


  1. Memorials will be noted at the banquet. We are aware that former Friar, Bill Huras, has died.


  1. Business arising:
  2. Travel subsidies will be distributed to non-Ontario curlers on Friday.
  3. Each curler was asked to contribute $5 each as a tip for the ice maker, to be given to LAC Treasurer Terry Delion.


  1. Adjourned at 1 :20 p.m.