Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Winners finally get due

Braunstein's 1965 Canadian champs to enter curling hall

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And with that, Terry Braunstein's 1965 Canadian men's curling champions are finally being celebrated for something they did win, instead of something they didn't.

Braunstein's legendary Granite foursome -- third Don Duguid, second Ron Braunstein and lead Ray Turnbull -- went on a remarkable run in the winter of 1965 -- going a combined 17-2 to win the provincials and Brier and end what had been an eight-year drought for Manitoba at the Canadian men's curling championship.

"We were really proud of that team -- even if we were the first Canadian team to lose a world championship," Turnbull said with a laugh Wednesday following a news conference at the St. Vital Curling Club announcing the newest class of inductees into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame.

Indeed, Braunstein's 1965 Canadian champion is probably best known not for what they won, but rather what they lost -- the 1965 world curling championship to American Bud Somerville.

The American victory was the first time a nation other than Canada had won the men's world curling championship, which was first held in 1958 and had been won only by Canadians in each of the first six years, including four times by the legendary Ernie Richardson of Saskatchewan.

The Braunstein team members did find their own international glory in later years, however. Duguid, of course, went on to skip his own team and win back-to-back world championships in 1970 and 1971, while Turnbull went on to a long career as a curling broadcaster.

Still, Turnbull said it was the event he and his teammates lost in 1965 that his friends and colleagues in the sport like to bring up first.

"We've taken a lot of ribbing about that over the years," laughs Turnbull. "Every time I'd get introduced somewhere, (former longtime editor of the Canadian Curling News) Doug Maxwell would always, always, always say, 'And now let me present Ray Turnbull, who had the privilege of being the first Canadian to lose a world curling championship.' And that's why my favourite team in all of curling is Alfie Phillips Jr."

Who?

"He was the second Canadian team to lose at the worlds (in 1967)," Turnbull said, grinning. "And he took us off the hook."

Meanwhile, Barry Fry's 1973 mixed team out of the Maple Leaf Curling Club -- third Peggy Casselman, second Stephen Decter and lead Susan Lynch -- is also now going into the hall of fame.

The Fry foursome won the 1973 Manitoba mixed title with a 5-0 record and then went 9-1 at the Canadian mixed to win Manitoba its third Canadian mixed championship.

Among the teams at that year's Canadian mixed, Fry recalled, was a Newfoundland team skipped by Bob Cole, who went on to become a household name in Canada as a play-by-play man for Hockey Night in Canada.

"(Cole) was skipping and had his wife playing with him," Fry recalled with a mischievous grin on Wednesday.

"That's something I never got to do. I was pretty happy about that."

Also going into the provincial curling hall of fame this year are Jim Congalton's 1932 Strathcona team -- third Howard Wood Sr., second Bill Noble and lead Harry Mawhinney -- that won the Brier; Ness and Cliff Wise, who curled from the 1920s to the 1960s and won a combined seven City of Winnipeg championships; and former MCA president Paul Pelletier.

The inductees will be honoured at a dinner at Canad Inns Polo Park on May 5.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 14, 2013 D4

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