Meet The NDCC’s new icemaker, Chris Fordham

I thought it would be a good idea to introduce Norwich District Curling Club’s new “ice-technician” Chris Fordham to those who haven’t met him yet, since he’s new and not originally from the area. I had the opportunity to ask him some questions, and his answers are below:

Where are you originally from, and where do you/your family currently reside?

I was born and raised in Montreal, and yes, I am a Habs fan. My wife and I live near Cathcart. For all you Leaf fans, why do Leaf fans drink out of glasses? ———–> Because all the cups are in Montreal!

How long have you been a curler, and related to that, how long have you been making curling ice as a “Curling Ice Technician”?

I threw my first curling rock in 1972 and curled until 1983 when I tore my rotator cuff. I started again in 1992 at the Hamilton Victoria Curling Club, where I was a member until the end of last year. I helped with the ice starting in 2001, working with one of the best ice makers in Ontario. In fact, she is now teaching for the O.C.A. This year is now my 8th year doing ice on my own.

How did you find out that the Norwich Curling Club had an Ice Technician job open?

My wife has been ill for the last few years, so I decided to resign at the end of last year. The job in Hamilton demanded approximately 90 hours a week, and I could no longer make that commitment. We have many friends in this area, and we felt we belonged out here. I was considering giving up curling, but it is in my heart, so I kept checking the O.C.A. web site, and that is where I found this great club. The much shorter hours work well for me, and I hope the same is true for the club.

What do you feel is the key to making “good curling ice” (or as good as can be expected in a curling club)?

Good ice isn’t a one person effort. It starts with a great bunch of volunteers to do the install. I was blessed with a wonderful group of people this year. Good ice continues with every member. My favourite line is if you used it, clean it. Every time you use your broom, you pick up dirt. Clean it every sweep. I believe a good ice maker must have good listening skills and a thick skin. I am completely open to comments. If you think there is a problem with the ice, tell me (I might ask if you won or lost). I can’t curl every day on every sheet, so your comments allow me to check things out. I won’t promise to change things if I feel there is no problem, but I will look. I am still learning the ice plant, and there will be some fine tuning over the first few weeks, so I hope you all bear with me.

For those who haven’t met you yet, I understand you’ll also be curling this year. What days/evenings would the club members expect to see you and/or any other family members (if applicable) curling on?

I believe that you can’t make good ice without curling, and my love for the game won’t allow me to be near a club without playing. My wife, obviously, will not be curling, but she will be at the club occasionally. She did try curling one year, but it was too cold, and she didn’t like having to listen to me. I have been fortunate enough to find 3 people who are willing to take me on sight unseen, so I will be curling Tuesday night. I also plan to curl Thursday mixed. I hope to make myself an active member in this club, both on and off the ice. I have considerable coaching experience, and am willing to volunteer my help to anyone who wants it. Just ask me. GOOD CURLING!

Chris Fordham (L), Norwich Curling Club's new icemaker being welcomes by this year's President Tom Smith

Chris Fordham (L), Norwich Curling Club’s new Icemaker being welcomed by this year’s President Tom Smith

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