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Curler’s 50th MCA Bonspiel brings back memories

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En route to the Iceplex on Jan. 17, Coffee stopped at the Charleswood Curling Club to say hello to Wayne Scott, who was curling on the opening draw of the 125th MCA bonspiel with a team from the Pembina. It was Scott’s 50th MCA, while his skip Bill Reid was playing in his first.

Octogenarian lead Al Wareham said he played in countless MCAs over the years and was wearing pins on his cap to commemorate the 75th in 1963 and the 100th in 1988. The fourth player, former Manitoba Sports Federation head knock George Fraser, was meeting a couple of his teammates for the first time. The fifth man, Bob English, got to sit out the match against  Brian Stacey of Thistle, which Reid and company won 10-8.

Scott’s first MCA was in 1962 with the Gene Ruzak team from the Strathcona, a long-gone rink on Furby Place. More than 20 bonspiel grand aggregate champions curled out of the Strathcona, including Ken Watson, Leo Johnson, Gordon Hudson and his son Bruce, Mac Scales and Barry Fry. Over the years, Scott also played in the MCA out of Deer Lodge, Thistle, Elmwood and Victoria. His skips have included some recognizable names from the Manitoba sports scene such as outdoors guide/journalist and former Transcona Atomics baseball star Cam Hurst, Winnipeg Hawkeyes football executive Al Boitson, Canadian Firefighters champion Ernie Kovacs, Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame member Al Sharpe, Clubbers fastball pitcher Peter Todd, and Victoria Hackers slo-pitcher Roy Wiebe, who won the bonspiel championship in 1968.

Scott has never won an MCA event, but reached three event finals with Pembina teams skipped by Jim Pyper and Gavin Matheson. In 2012, his son James did him one better by skipping his team to victory in the Lazer Grant event.

"Over the years I played against many Manitoba, Canadian and world champions and even beat a few of them," Scott said. "But the best memories of the MCA were meeting and socializing with a lot of characters and great guys."


Scott also curled in June McTavish’s Bide-A-Wee Mixed Club and that’s where Coffee introduced him to Jennie, his wife of 40-plus years. For many years, the charter member of the Red River Sports Collectors Association ran sports collectibles shows at Grant Park High School, so it came as no surprise that he had saved all 50 MCA yearbooks.

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