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Paris Figure Skating Club celebrates 60 years


The Paris Figure Skating Club marked a major milestone by taking a trip through the years.

The club held their annual carnival on Saturday afternoon after a pandemic pause in previous years.

Skaters showed off their skills with homages to the club’s six decade past, including a routine that was originally sidelined in 2020 when the carnival was abruptly cancelled due to COVID-19 protocols.

Members of the Paris Figure Skating Club also dug through their personal mementos to put together an almost complete collection of programs dating back to the 1960s.

To celebrate the occasion, the club reached out to alumni for a special presentation.

“We invited alumni from all the years to participate in the alumni number,” club president Lisa Campbell said.

“I got emotional. It’s been months of planning and it was really great to watch.”

The founders look back

The event held special significance for a group of women who first formed the club back in 1963.

If it weren’t for founding members Vi Cormier, Honey Kolanko, and Donna Mason and original executive members Fran Jarvis, Joyce Smith, Jean Powell, Lois Patterson, and Ann Moore (known at the time as Ann Cunik), the club would not be what it is today.

“We talk about the highs, the fun of today, but the lows and the 60 year strong is really what I found when I was going through everything,” Campbell said.

“Those powerful women starting this club, getting incorporated, and struggling financially at some point in time,” Campbell added.

For Donna Mason and Ann Moore, it was hard to believe 60 years had passed since the club first started.

“We felt that the kids and parents needed to have something to do,” Mason said during the celebration.

“The girls asked me, ‘Why don’t you start a skating club?’ I went to the recreation commission and asked them if it was alright, if we could do it. And then I asked them ‘What do I need?’ And he said you need five executive.”

That was how Moore originally got involved.

“She called me and said would I be on the executive and I said I don’t know anything about figure skating,” Moore reminisced.

“She said, ‘Doesn’t matter! We just need bodies!’ And that’s how I got involved.” Moore laughed.

“Everybody worked hard on it. And it was fine. It was fun doing it,” Mason said.

‘We’re just really pleased that it’s still going on,” Moore added.

Remembering Robin

One of the club’s most distinguished alumni is Robin Prine who passed away in 1993.

He was posthumously inducted into the County of Brant’s Sports Hall of Fame for his accomplishments and the skating club still presents a memorial award in his honour.

He started skating at the club at the age of 5, and officials said was volunteering as a coaching assistant by age 10. He was the first skater from the club to achieve a Gold Test in Freeskate in 1983.

His mother Marilyne Prine took part in Saturday’s festivities.

“I started my kids skating – there were four of them, so the whole four of them skated,” Prine told CTV News.

Prine said Robin was part of the club for 16 years.

“And after Robin finished high school he applied for Disney on Ice and he got the opportunity to skate for ten years, travelling all over. He travelled to Japan, and all over the States, and Europe,” she said.

Prine said her family put in a lot of work with the skating club over the years, but it was an enjoyable time.

“I thank the parents for keeping the kids involved because they’re off the street and doing something they love. Many go on to teach and a lot of our pros that are here are skaters that skated with my kids. So it’s nice to see that they’re making a living of it.”

“It’s wonderful to have 60 years to remember and see all the skaters that have done it. Many have gone on to be the pros. Robin was so thrilled to be able to travel the world on his skates,” she said.

Looking forward

The club’s spring skating registration will open on March 26.

The club also offers CanSkate and Teen/Adult Learn to Skate programs.

“Our Teen/Adult Learn to Skate program has really grown these past few years,” Campbell said.

The sessions include group instruction from National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) certified coaches. Top Stories

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