(February 2, 2022) The Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame has announced a 2022 Inductee class which includes a Builder, two Curlers, four teams, and two additions to the Olympic Curler category.
For the full details on the nine inductees introduced today in a Zoom news event, go to the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame & Museum’s new website (mbcurlmuseum.com) for this story: https://mbcurlmuseum.com/news-release-hall-of-fame-2022/
For details on plans for the May 14 Induction Ceremony Dinner look elsewhere here at thecurler.com or see the full story at https://mbcurlmuseum.com/news-release-2022-dinner-planning-2/
Builder: Judy Brown served as Manitoba Ladies Curling Association President in 1990-91. She was elected to the MLCA Board in 1984 and she was part of a progressive leadership who, among other things began the discussions about amalgamation of the MLCA and MCA and also encouraged a study of thinking-time timing a couple of decades before it became reality in championship curling. During her term as President, she was a member of the Board of Directors of the 1991 Winnipeg World Championship Committee and she ended her provincial volunteer career with six years on the Board, including two as President, of the Manitoba Curling Foundation. Judy Brown is the 21st Woman recognized as a Builder in the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame.
On the eve of the 2022 Olympics, two Manitoba-born champions are added this year to the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame Olympic Curler category. This category recognizes Manitobans with a strong Manitoba curling resume and an Olympic accomplishment with a team outside Manitoba.
Olympic Curler: Ryan Fry is a two-time Manitoba Junior champion skip and a Manitoba men’s champion third for Jeff Stoughton in 2007. Ryan’s curling legend continues to grow but he is already one of the most accomplished of Manitoba born curlers after success with Brad Gushue and Brad Jacobs. Specifically, of course, that includes the 2014 Olympic Gold Medal won with Team Brad Jacobs at Sochi.
Olympic Curler: Carolyn Darbyshire – is actually the first former Manitoba champion to earn a medal at the Olympics. She was a member of the 1985 Manitoba Scott Tournament of Hearts champion team skipped by her mother Merline. A remarkable 25 years later, she played second on the silver medal-winning team skipped by Cheryl Bernard.
In the normal course of things, the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame honours teams and it honours individuals. In general, individual curlers are recognized for their career accomplishments – and generally that means both longevity and a high level of success with several teams. Sometimes one or more of those teams might already have been recognized – and such is the case with our two curler inductees today.
Team-mates on the 1995 Kerry Burtnyk world-champion team, which is already in the Manitoba Curling and Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, Keith Fenton and Jeff Ryan in fact curled together in winning an MCA Bonspiel Grand Aggregate in 1981.
Curler: Keith Fenton, between 1977 and 2011, competed in 23 Manitoba championships at the Junior (2), Men’s (18), Senior Men’s (1), and Mixed (2) levels. He is a one of a very small number of curlers who played with the Stoughton, Peters and Burtnyk at men’s provincial championships. He won the MCA Bonspiel Grand Aggregate four times – in 1981 with Jeff Ryan, and with Burtnyk in 1997, 1998 and 2001.
Curler: Jeff Ryan won his first championship with Mark Olson when they won the 1976 Junior Men’s Bonspiel. In addition to the MCA ‘Spiel Grand Aggregate he won with his own team in 1981, he won five with two different Burtnyk teams – in 1985 and 1986 and then again, the three he shares with Keith Fenton and Rob Meakin – in 1997, 1998 and 2001.
Their greatest frustration was no doubt 2001 when they won Manitoba but lost both the Brier final and the Olympic Trials final. The highlight year was 1995 when Keith Fenton and Jeff Ryan, with Burtnyk and Meakin, won Manitoba, the Brier and the World Championship – the only Manitoba team to win a world title at home in Manitoba!
The 2022 induction class also includes four teams – the 2 senior men’s teams and 2 Master’s men’s teams who won all four of the Canadian championships available in 2001 and 2002….and in fact both teams in 2001 had one player in common – a rare accomplishment for Winston Warren to win two buffalos in the same year.
2001 Canadian Senior Men’s Champion Team:: Winston was the third on the team skipped by Gary Ross and including Gary Smith and Ken Orr. 2001 was their second season competing together as a team. At the 2000 Manitoba Seniors, they had reached the playoffs but finished with a 5W – 3L record. The next year they won Manitoba with a 7W – 2L record. At the Canadian Seniors, where Gary Ross was named second team all-star skip, they had a 10W – 3L record and won the championship. For Gary Ross and Ken Orr it was the first, and only, provincial championship of their careers. For Gary Smith, it was a second senior title in a career which saw him later add three Masters titles. For Winston Warren, it was the first of two championships won in the same season – he has a total of seven Manitoba championships in Mixed, Men’s, Senior’s and Masters’ competition. Gary Ross, Garry Smith and Winston Warren have all been previously inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame in individual categories. This is a posthumous induction for Garry Smith.
2001 Canadian Masters Champion Team: Winston Warren’s second championship that season came at second for Barry Fry and Don Duguid with Barry Coleman at lead. They were undefeated with a 9W – 0L record at provincials and went on to win the Canadian title with a 6W – 2L record. With individual and team honours, this is the fourth induction into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame for both Barry Fry and Don Duguid- and as previously mentioned, this is the second in the same day and third total for Winston Warren. It is a posthumous induction for Barry Fry.
There are not many occasions when a Canadian Championship title has been defended by a completely different team – but it happened twice in 2002.
2002 Canadian Senior Men’s Champion Team: The first Canadian championship banner to hang in the East St. Paul curling club was won by Carl German’s team in 2002. Carl German and Ray Fillion were all-star skip and third respectively and they were joined by Ray McDougall and Brian Copeland in posting an 11W-2L record to give Manitoba a repeat Canadian Senior Men’s Championship. That year, the WCF started a World Senior championship – but Carl was ineligible to compete in that inaugural Worlds event in Bismarck, ND due to differing age standards for Senior competition at the Canadian and World levels. Ron Westcott joined the team and led them to a 4W – 2L round-robin record. They won a playoff game but lost the final. Their silver medal is the first Senior Worlds medal won by a Manitoba team and Ron Westcott is included with the four members of the Carl German team in this induction.
2002 Canadian Masters Champion Team: Also a five-man team -Ken Grove, John Usackis, Bob Lesko, and Richard Schroeder won the 2002 Canadian Master’s Championship with a 7W-2L record. In this case, Ken Grove was the fill-in. Orest Meleschuk had skipped the team to the Manitoba championship with an 8W-1L record but due to a health situation, Orest was unable to compete at the national event. They recruited Ken Grove who had won the 2000 Manitoba Senior Men’s championship. Orest Meleschuk and John Usackis are both previous Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame inductees. It is a posthumous induction for both Ken Grove and Bob Lesko, for whom it is a first induction.