Organizers of the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame and Museum have reached into the past to promote their shiny new website.

Organizers of the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame and Museum have reached into the past to promote their shiny new website.

On Thursday, the Hall inducted five teams it has deemed historically significant, all originating from a period between 1889 to 1955. Each of the honoured teams were inducted posthumously.

The Ethel Wright team from Flin Flon was the first Manitoba team to win the Western Canadian Ladies Curling Championship in 1955. (Supplied)</p>

The Ethel Wright team from Flin Flon was the first Manitoba team to win the Western Canadian Ladies Curling Championship in 1955. (Supplied)

A treasure trove of information on the Class of 2021 can be found at www.mbcurlmuseum.com where the Hall's virtual museum, set to house an electronic record of more than 30,000 artifacts, can be foundwww.mbcurlmuseum.com.

The latest inductees include:

-- In 1889, the Sam Harstone team from Winnipeg’s Granite Curling Club won the New York Life Challenge Cup, which was the first championship of the Annual Bonspiel of the Manitoba Branch of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club. That event became the MCA Bonspiel.

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. (Supplied)</p>

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. (Supplied)

-- From 1900 to 1902, the Hector McLean teams from Holland established the first dynasty in provincial men’s curling. They won the 1900 MCA Bonspiel championship and proceeded to win the Special Aggregate title in the following two years. This preceded the provincial championship era and was known as the world championship of its day.

-- In 1914-15: Mrs. F.R. Munro’s team from Strathcona Ladies Curling Club were the winners of the first women's competition at the MCA Bonspiel in 1914 and they repeated the feat in 1915.

Hall of Fame researchers are attempting to determine the given names of the players, which were not originally included in that era's record keeping.

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 and 1902, they won the special aggregate in the first two years such an honour was presented. (Supplied)</p>

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 and 1902, they won the special aggregate in the first two years such an honour was presented. (Supplied)

"The simple fact that we did not have those names did not seem to us to preclude them from an appropriate place in the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame as the first team to win, we believe, the first organized competitive event for women in Manitoba," said Hall vice-president Resby Coutts.

-- In 1932, curling was a demonstration sport at the Lake Placid Winter Olympics and Manitoba’s team, skipped by William H. Burns of Portage, was the only team to win all four games and awarded the gold medals. They were Manitoba’s first curling Olympians but have thus far not been recognized by the World Curling Federation.

"Now that we've inducted this team and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame has also inducted them we're going to be talking to (the WCF) about recognizing this Manitoba team as the first as a gold medal Olympic team," said Coutts.

In 1932 at the Lake Placid Olympics, curling was a demonstration sport. Manitoba’s team (above), skipped by William H. Burns of Portage, was the only team to win all four games and was awarded the gold medals becoming Manitoba’s first Olympians. (Supplied)</p>

In 1932 at the Lake Placid Olympics, curling was a demonstration sport. Manitoba’s team (above), skipped by William H. Burns of Portage, was the only team to win all four games and was awarded the gold medals becoming Manitoba’s first Olympians. (Supplied)

--Ethel Wright team from Flin Flon was the first Manitoba representative to win the Western Canadian Ladies Curling Championship, accomplishing the feat in 1955. The Wright team helped to blaze a trail.

"As the first Manitoba women's curling team to win beyond the provincial championship, they helped set the stage for the growth of Manitoba women's curling and they helped create the opportunities to compete and to excel that so many great champions followed since then," said Coutts.

Hall organizers also announced planning has begun for the next induction ceremony and fundraising dinner, set to take place on May 14.

"Obviously we have to be conscious of pandemic conditions as we get closer to the date," said Hall president Peter Nicholls. "At the same time, however, we want to do our part in a return to some kind of normal for the curling community."

The 2020 class, unveiled earlier this year, will be honoured May 14 with their formal induction into the Hall of Fame. That group includes competitors Karen Purdy, Vic Peters and Chris Neufeld, stick curling innovator Ernie Oliver and Coutts in the builder category. Jeff Stoughton's 2011 world men's titleists and the Darcy Kirkness's 1984 Canadian junior women’s champions will also be honoured.

mike.sawatzky@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @sawa14

Mike Sawatzky

Mike Sawatzky
Reporter

Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.