Curling reporter acquires an extraordinary collection

Jim Easson. NATE SMELLE PHOTO

Curling pin haul the result of nearly four decades’ work

BY NATE SMELLE
The VOICE

Some people collect hockey cards and comic books as an investment, others hold onto them as keepsakes to remind them of days gone by. For the past 37 years, Fenwick resident Jim Easson has been acquiring a unique collection of his own — curling pins. A dedicated enthusiast of the sport and a member of the Canadian Curling Reporters, he has covered world-class competitions across Canada. Travelling throughout Canada as a curling reporter for three decades, Easson has attended more than 30 Briers.

Easson started building his collection after buying a pin with his friend, Bill Small, after the two men visited the Brier in Calgary in 1980. Easson sold a great deal of his original collection in 1991, but began collecting again soon after, in an attempt to attain pins from each of the Briers he had attended.

Though some of the pins are worth upwards of $300 or $400 each, he said the value of his collection is worth more to him than money. “Some of the pins I treasure and they’re not even part of my collection.”

“I treasure them because they were given to me by someone, and you remember the person who gave it to you.”

He explained that traditionally players are given different pins for competing in a bonspiel, and that many curling clubs sell pins to members and visitors to commemorate special anniversaries. Laying out ten trays containing hundreds of pins in his collection on his kitchen table, Easson pointed out some of his favourite collectibles, telling the story behind how he came across each of them. Picking up the latest addition to his collection a few weeks ago, he is still on the hunt for rare pins to add to his collection.

“Now, I’m still buying older player pins from 1927 to 1939 and they’re scarcer than hen’s teeth,” he said with a chuckle.

Easson’s collection is currently on display as part of the Canada 150 exhibit at the Niagara Museum on Lundy’s Lane in Niagara Falls. Featuring 150 collections of Canadian memorabilia, he said a portion of his collection will remain on show at the museum until Dec. 31.

“They advertised and they picked a hundred and fifty people who had something to do with ‘Canadiana’ and I was one of the one-fifty,” he said.

“The hundred and fifty people chosen to participate in the exhibit have contributed items from are from all walks of life. There are lacrosse sticks, hockey helmets, all sorts of interesting pieces of Canadian history.”

Having competed in bonspiels since he was a high school student in Carleton Place, Easson’s love for curling runs deep. Easson said he gave up curling about five years ago because his knees couldn’t take it anymore. These days he enjoys his sport of choice from the sidelines with his wife Diane.

“Now, we watch every curling event on television,” said Easson.

“Curling events have really skyrocketed in the last few years and curlers are making some good money.”

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