The world Rotary curling championship qualifiers from Stettler are lead Brian Sribney (left)

The world Rotary curling championship qualifiers from Stettler are lead Brian Sribney (left)

Family affair in Rotary final

For the second time in three years, a Stettler team is bound for the world Rotary curling championship.

For the second time in three years, a Stettler team is bound for the world Rotary curling championship.

Neil Connor and his rink of Brian Sribney, Rene Bernard and Collin Georget won that right, though they lost 4-3 in the final of the Alberta championship last weekend in Stettler.

That loss came against a team that included his mother, Audrey Connor, as skip.

Because the senior Connor and her team of Gilbert Ellis, Ron Senft and Larry Mulgrove aren’t Rotarians, they’re ineligible for further Rotary play.

“My only loss in the bonspiel was Team Mommy,” Neil Connor said. “I feel good for her. I’m glad it was a close game.

“That was certainly fun — being fortunate enough to advance to Scotland — and a privilege.”

Neil Connor’s team now prepares to compete in Perth, Scotland, from March 30 to April 4.

With limited entries in the Stettler bonspiel, the senior Connor team was actually recruited by the junior Connor to complete the draw.

Back in 2010, Connor won the world Rotary championship with Trevor Leinweber, Rene Bernard and Brian Sribney.

Stettler will battle with two other teams from Canada, three from the U.S., three from Scotland and one from England.

“If the teams are similar in skill to what we played three years ago, then I think we have a chance to win it again,” said Connor, whose late father, Ted, was a longtime Rotarian.

The Stettler provincials attracted teams from all over Alberta and northeastern British Columbia.

“It was a fantastic event of fellowship and community,” said Georget, who chaired the organizing committee.

“This was a great opportunity for the Stettler community, businesses and the Rotary club to showcase the fantastic region we live in.

“We got tremendous accolades from all visiting teams on how Stettler served as hosts.”

The weekend included a trip aboard Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions to Big Valley for the banquet Saturday night.