1889: The Sam Harstone team from Winnipeg’s new Granite Curling Club won the New York
Life Challenge Cup – the FIRST championship of the Annual Bonspiel of the Manitoba Branch
of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club (later the MCA Bonspiel). Representative of all of the
teams who competed in that first bonspiel, helping to establish the 135+ year tradition of the
MCA Bonspiel (now Manitoba Open).
1900-1901-1902: The Hector McLean teams from Holland were the first apparent ‘dynasty’
in Manitoba Men’s curling. They won the 1900 MCA Bonspiel championship (New York Life
Challenge). In 1901 & 1902, they won the “Special Aggregate” in the first two years such an
honour was presented.
The McLean team’s MCA Bonspiel domination for the three year period was “winning at the
highest possible level” as there was not yet a provincial championship and teams from far
and wide acknowledged that the MCA bonspiel was effectively a world championship of the
1914-1915: In the style of the time, the record books show Mrs. F.R. Munro’s team from
Strathcona Ladies CC were the winners of “The Ladies Competition” which was added to
the MCA Bonspiel in 1914 and they won again in 1915.
This pre-dated formation of the Manitoba Ladies Curling Association by about a decade and
is believed to be the first formal competitive event for women curlers in Manitoba.
(MCHoF&M acknowledges the standard of the time, recording the women’s names only as
Mrs. __, as unacceptable today. Research continues to try to determine given names.
However, we do not believe the absence of these names should preclude these women
from a rightful place in the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame.)
1932: In 1924 and again in 1932, curling was a demonstration sport at the Olympics. In
1932, at Lake Placid, an international competition occurred involving four teams from
Canada and four from USA. The four teams from each country played the four teams from
the other country. Manitoba’s team, skipped by William H. Burns of Portage, was the only
team to win all four games and hence was awarded the gold medals – Manitoba’s first
1955: The Ethel Wright team from Flin Flon was the first Manitoba team to win the Western
Canadian Ladies Curling Championship. As the first Manitoba women’s team to win at a
level above the provincial championship level, the Wright team helped create the
competitive opportunity for the many champions who have followed.