Shirley Bray • Joan Ingram • Leo Johnson
Billy Walsh • Bill McTavish 1950 Team
Shirley Bray (1929-2020) played in three Canadian Championships at three different levels. She was Mabel Mitchell’s third and an all-star in the Canadian Women’s Championship in 1968. She was a Manitoba Mixed champion as third for Larry Taylor in 1975 and then as a skip she guided Myrna Graham, Irene Fingas and Anne MacKay to the Manitoba Senior Women’s title in 1985.
Off the ice, Shirley Bray was Manitoba Ladies Curling Association President in 1980-1981; and served as Chairman of the Scott Tournament of Hearts, the Junior and the Senior Women’s Provincial Championships.
Shirley was a Curl Canada Instructor, Coach and Umpire. She was Technical Director for curling in the Canada Winter Games (1979); Vice Chairman of officials and statisticians for the 1982 Brier in Brandon; and Chairman of the Canadian College Curling Championships in 1983 and 1987.
She coached Assiniboine Community College teams in Provincial and International College playdowns.
Shirley Bray received many provincial and national recognitions. She was the first woman to receive the Gord McGunigal Memorial Award for dedication to curling in Western Manitoba (1986-1987). She also received an MLCA Honourary Life Membership (1983) and the Canadian Curling Association Herb Millham award (1988). She was also inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame (1991) and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame (2007).
Shirley Bray was a true example of a person who was dedicated to curling as a player of excellence and as a tireless worker.
Joan Ingram(1936-2019), at the time of Induction, had competed in 14 provincial playdowns, 10 times as a skip. She had worn the Manitoba colors five times at national events.
In 1967 Joan played third for Betty Duguid’s Fort Garry Curling Club team that compiled an unbeaten record in winning the Canadian Women’s Championship. She also played on Pat Brunsdon’s team winning Manitoba in 1969. As a skip, Joan won provincial women’s titles in 1973 and 1981 while being runner-up provincially twice in 1971 and 1975.
In the Manitoba Ladies Curling Association Bonspiel Joan has curled on teams that won the Grand Aggregate Clay Law Shield 2 times (1963 and 1965). As a provincial “bonspieler” Joan won the Souris Cash Bonspiel (5 times), Glenboro’s Lady Sahara and Carman’s Women’s Classic.
After her 1989 Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame induction, by the time she played her last event in 2005, Joan had competed in 34 provincials and doubled the number of championship titles she had won. She won the Manitoba Senior Women’s crown 4 times – 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1993. She was named all-star skip at two of these Canadian Senior Championships. In 1998 Joan was a substitute curler at the National Senior Championship curling on the Elaine Anderson team.
In 2000 Joan curled third on the Thistle Curling Club team skipped by Dot Rose that won the provincial Masters Championship and finished second at the national event. In each of 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005 she skipped her team to the provincial Masters Championship.
In 1992, with the 1967 Canadian Women’s Champion team, Joan received a second induction into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame. In 2002, she was inducted into the Manitoba Sport Hall of Fame as a multi-sport athlete.
Joan Ingram’s achievements on the curling ice and softball diamond placed her in the group of five athletes nominated for Manitoba Female Amateur Athlete of the 20th Century.
Leo Johnson (1901 – 1976) started to curl at Deer Lodge Curling Club in 1919; joining the Strathcona Curling Club in 1924 and later becoming its president.
Johnson skipped teams from Winnipeg’s Strathcona Curling Club to two National Championships 31 years apart. He won the Macdonald Brier with Lorne Stewart, brother Linc Johnson and Marno Frederickson in 1934. In 1965 with Frederickson, Fred Smith and Cliff Wise, Johnson won the inaugural Canadian Senior Men’s Championship.
Johnson won two other Provincial Men’s titles in 1944 and 1946. There was no Brier in 1944, but in 1946 he lost in a three-way playoff for the Brier title in Saskatoon.
He won the Manitoba Bonspiel Grand Aggregate twice and skipped teams to win 9 trophies in the MCA bonspiel.
Johnson served on the MCA Council for 10 years and as MCA president in 1963-1964. He was Finance Chairman for five years and in 1963 chaired the MCA’s 75th Anniversary committee. He was elected an Honourary Life Member of the Manitoba Curling Association in 1962 and was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 2005.
Billy Walsh (1917 – 1971) came home from World War II as a hero. He was a soldier who had survived the invasion of Normandy and received the Croix de Guerre medal – the highest honour France could bestow on a foreign serviceman.
Walsh will always be a hero at Winnipeg’s Fort Rouge Curling Club. He is renowned for his 13th end playoff victory over Ontario’s Alfie Phillips in the 1956 Moncton Brier. His final shot is one of the most celebrated in Canadian curling history. He had Allan Langlois, Cy White and Andy McWilliams on that team. Four years earlier in 1952 in Winnipeg Walsh won his first Macdonald Brier title with a perfect 10W – 0L record with support from Langlois, McWilliams and John Watson.
Walsh skipped teams to win 3 Manitoba Curling Association bonspiel trophies, and was a perennial championship contender.
He was a great booster of junior curling in his 7 years on the MCA Executive Council. He was elected an Honourary Life Member of the Manitoba Curling Association (1971) and was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1975.
McTavish – 1950 TEAM Manitoba Champions
The 1950 Manitoba Champions from the Elmwood Curling Club have a record un-matched in Manitoba’s long curling history.
In 1950, the McTavish team which included Dr. Bill McTavish as skip with third Norm Hume, second Gord Lillyman and lead Ken Conn, won the Birks, Eaton, MCA Bonspiel Grand Aggregate and British Consols trophies. They achieved this feat undefeated – with a string of 22 victories. At the time, and at the time of their Hall of Fame induction in 1989, no other team had ever won the Aggregate and Manitoba Championship undefeated. It was a record feat worthy of Hall of Fame recognition.**
At the Macdonald Brier, in Vancouver, in 1950 they finished in second place with a 7W – 3L record.
In 1951, the team again won the MCA Bonspiel`s Birks trophy and returned to the British Consols but had only a 1W – 1L record.
This team had earlier curled in the British Consols in 1948 (2W – 1L).
** The record continues. To 2020, no other team in Manitoba curling history has won the MCA Bonspiel Grand Aggregate (pre-2009) or Bonspiel Championship (post-2009) AND Manitoba championship undefeated !