As Haliburton Curling Club president Mary Hillaby prepares to pass the torch, she said she is happy with the state of her organization.

Hillaby and her fellow board members started registrations at the club Sept. 4-5, with new and existing curlers signing up for the season.

After four years of heading the club and making many changes, Hillaby is planning to take a step back into a past president position after the October AGM. She reflected positively on her efforts to modernize the club over her term.

“I’m a very organized person. I wanted to make some improvements to safety, security, communication, which I feel is all my team has done,” Hillaby said. “I just wanted the club to stay alive. I didn’t want to be that rural club that has to close its doors. So, in order to do that, you have to make some changes that are current.”

Hillaby presided over some significant changes, including a new, more flexible season schedule, new equipment, extending the season into April and a push toward an online presence.

“The changes we’ve made, Mary and the executive have made, have really, really improved the club,” membership director Sue Harrison said.

“This is such a well-run club,” director David Moss said. “Everybody’s keen. Everybody wants to get back at it. It’s a great place to spend your winter.”

This season will bring less change, Hillaby said. She added curlers are happy with the formatting of the season.

The board plans to have current vice-president Kent Milford become the next head of the club. Milford said he has plenty of experience on curling club boards and is ready for the position. He added he hopes to get members more involved with running the organization.

“Getting more members involved in what goes on behind the scenes of a curling club,” Milford said. He added he is looking forward to the season. “The club is very well-positioned,” Milford said. “Our registration process is well underway again. I think we’re going to have another happy and successful year.”

“My team has worked really hard and we have made some good, positive changes to the club and people want to curl here,” Hillaby said. “They want to come back.”

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