Terry Braunstein • Bert Cameron • Norm Houck
Joan Whalley • Boushy 1964-67 Team
Terry Braunstein began his curling in Binscarth, MB. in 1952 at the age of 12. By 1954, he was competing in the Manitoba High School Championship. He credits his uncle, the late Eph Portigal (Honorary Life Member of the MCA 1955) for his interest and success in curling.
In 1958, at the age of 18, Terry (with his brother Ron (17) at third, Ray Turnbull (18) at second and Jack Hellemond (16) at lead) won the Manitoba Provincial Men’s Championship and went on to the Brier where they tied for first in the round robin, however losing a playoff to Matt Baldwin of Alberta.
Few people can take credit, almost single handed, for changing one rule of a game, not to mention two. This was one of the unique facts of Terry’s curling career. The appearance of this youngest rink ever, and one distinctive aspect of their delivery, resulted in the rules of the Canadian Championships and curling in general to be changed. As a result the minimum age for competitors in National Championships was changed to eliminate junior age players and the rule permitting replay of a stone not released before the hogline was changed to permitting replay of a stone not released before the tee line. The team, especially Terry, made frequent use of the old rule.
In 1959, his team represented Manitoba in the Western Canada University Championships. In 1965, when Braunstein won the Macdonald Brier with his team of Don Duguid-third, Ron Braunstein-second and Ray Turnbull-lead, with a record of 9W – 1L record, he became the youngest skip (25) at that time, to win a Brier.
From there, they went on to gain the dubious distinction of being the first Canadian team to lose the World Championship (Scotch Cup), being beaten in the final by Bud Sommerville of the U.S.A.
Teams skipped by Terry Braunstein participated in 14 Manitoba Provincial Men’s Championships. He also won three car bonspiels and several major cash bonspiels. In Manitoba Curling Association bonspiels, Terry won the Grand Aggregate three times (1969,1971,1977) and the Henry Birks three times (1963,1969,1977).
Terry retired from competitive play in 1981, but returned in 1989-90 to join Gary Ross as third on a team which reached the semi-finals of the Strathcona Seniors Provincial Championships. Continuing at the senior level, Terry competed in four more Provincial Championships. He was successful in 1994 and 1995, again becoming Manitoba Champions. Terry competed in one provincial Masters Competition in 2006.
R.W. (Bert) Cameron (1910-1991) had to follow in some illustrious footsteps. His father, George J. Cameron, was the driving force in the creation of the Macdonald Brier and the Canadian Men’s Curling Championship.
Bert was a member of the Granite Curling Club in Winnipeg for over 20 years. However, he admits he was never much of a threat to earn the right to play in the Brier. Instead, he worked in support of his father in the organization and administration of the Brier for most of the 50 years of Macdonald sponsorship. When George Cameron died in 1945, Bert succeeded him as a Brier Director and served continuously for 33 years. After Labatt assumed the sponsor’s role in 1980, Bert acted in advisory capacity for several years.
One of his fondest memories of Brier development came in 1940. The Cameron family had pushed the Dominion Curling Association to move the site of the Brier out of Toronto and give it a “National concept” by shifting it across the country. That came about when it was held in the Winnipeg Amphitheater in 1940 and the Brier has been a travelling spectacle ever since.
Cameron’s choice as the best Brier in the Macdonald stewardship was Kelowna’s in 1968. A series of near disasters in Quebec City in 1971 caused the most concern in what he admitted was the worst Brier of that era.
Cameron was one of Noel Buxton’s lieutenants in the formation of Curling Hall of Fame & Museum of Canada, and served as a Director and/or Secretary-Treasurer from 1974 to 1987. He also was instrumental in the founding of the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame & Museum Inc. in 1987 and was its first Secretary and Treasurer.
His earlier tributes were election as an Honourary Life Member of the MCA in 1967, and the CCA in 1973. He was one of the first Manitobans elected to the prestigious Governor General’s Curling Club in Ottawa (1967) for meritorious service to curling nationally. He was made a Canadian Curling Association Honourary Life Member in 1973 and inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame as a Builder in 1975.
Cameron, R. W. (Bert) BUILDER
Norm Houck (1934-2010) was one of the “household names in curling” of his era. Although many associate him with his long interest and involvement in Junior Curling (which was a major factor in his receiving an Honorary Life Membership in the Manitoba Curling Association), his record as a curler is truly impressive.
He started curling at Deer Lodge Curling Club in 1948. Over the years, he curled at the Grain Exchange, Granite, Strathcona, Charleswood and Elmwood Curling Clubs. He was named an Honourary Life Member of the Elmwood Curling Club.
In 1962, Houck skipped his team (Jim Ursel-third, Morley Handford-second, Ross Murdoch-lead) to the Manitoba Men’s Championship and then tied for first at that year’s Brier, losing in a playoff for the Brier Tankard. In 1964, the same team won the Tournament of Champions in Toronto.
From 1953-1992 Norm Houck competed in eleven Provincial Men’s Championships. Over the years, his teams won the Grand Aggregate (1955), the Eaton Trophy (1955), the Henry Birks (1962), and numerous events in the MCA bonspiel. Norm and his teams were also frequent winners at other bonspiels, including the Charleswood Car Bonspiel in 1960 and 1964. In Senior competition, in 1986 and 1987 as skip (with Henry Kroeger-third, Sam Doherty-second, Doug McCartney-lead), he won the Manitoba Senior Men’ss Championship. They had a fourth place finish at the National Championships in 1986 and won the Canadian title in 1987, with Norm being named “All-Star Skip”. In 1988 the team lost the Manitoba final.
In 1989 and 1990, Norm joined the Jim Ursel team as third (with Henry Kroeger-second and Stan Lamont-lead). They lost the Manitoba final, but came back in 1990 to win both the Manitoba and National Senior Championships.
Norm was inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame in 1990 but remained active in Seniors and Masters curling until his retirement from active competition in 1999. In 1991, Ursel, Houck and Lamont were joined by John Helston and enjoyed a very successful year. This team won the Manitoba and National Senior Championships and were the finalists at the Provincial Labatt Tankard in 1992.
Competing at the Senior and Masters level Norm Houck played in a total of 12 Senior and 5 Masters Provincial Championships. In addition to his Provincial Senior Championships, his team won Provincial Masters Championships in 1998 and 1999 and was the finalist team in both of these years at the Canadian Masters Championship.
Norm Houck’s curling career truly exemplifies the fact that curling can be a lifetime sport!
In 2007, the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame inducted Norm Houck into the team category as part of the Jim Ursel 1990 and 1991 Canadian Senior Teams.
In 2018, the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame again inducted Norm Houck into the team category with his 1987 Canadian Senior Team.
Joan Whalley (1918-2015) exemplified all the factors sought in choosing a Builder of our sport.
Starting with her association with the Deer Lodge Ladies Curling Club in 1948, she served on a variety of committees leading to the Presidency in 1959/60.
Her activities then moved on to the MLCA, where she worked as chairperson of such committees as Year Book, Ice and Draw, Publicity, Social and then, as a Vice-President – on the Playdown Committee. Joan became MLCA President in 1966/67.
The National scene was her next area of interest, representing Manitoba in various capacities at the CLCA from 1966 to 1970. This included acting as General Chairperson of the 1967 CLCA Championship held in Winnipeg. In 1971, she was Junior Delegate and in 1972, Senior Delegate to the CLCA, which included activity on the Senior Ladies Constitution Committees.
In 1973, Joan became 2nd Vice-President of the CLCA and heavily involved with an area which was always one of her great loves… the promotion and teaching of curling to junior girls. In 1975, Joan was elected President of the Canadian Ladies Curling Association.
This was not the end of her volunteer activity. In 1976, she served as CLCA Liaison on the committee which developed the Curl Canada Instructional Program. For many years following, she worked actively as a coach, especially with junior girls.
Joan was the recipient of many awards for her work. She was an Honorary Life Member of the Deer Lodge Ladies Curling Club and the Manitoba Ladies Curling Association. She was awarded a special medal, commemorating the accession of H.M. Queen Elizabeth II to the Throne. 1981 was a memorable year, when she received the CLCA Appreciation Award for dedicated and outstanding service to ladies curling, as well as being elected to both the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.
Boushy – 1964-67 TEAM Canadian Champions
The 1964-67 Mixed Champions won four consecutive Manitoba Championships and two Canadian titles, with just one personnel change. Curling out of Winnipeg’s Heather Curling Club, skip Ernie Boushy with third Ina Light and second Garry DeBlonde were joined by leads Bea McKenzie in 1964 and Betty Hird in the final three years.
It was the beginning of National Mixed Championship in 1964 and a four year domination of Mixed Curling by Manitoba and the Boushy team, which is unlikely to be beaten or even equalled.
Several members of this team have gone on to make other major contributions to our game, provincially, nationally and even internationally!
In 1964, the team won the Provincial Mixed Championship at Morden with a 5W – 1L record. They went on to Toronto where they won the Canadian title, winning nine games and losing one.
In 1965, Bea was unable to play. Betty Hird took her place at lead showing no changes to the team, as they went on to Neepawa to win the Provincial Championship with a 6W – 1L record. Their trip to Toronto for the Nationals was not as successful, as their 7W – 3L record was not good enough to win the championship.
The same team improved their record in 1966 at the Manitoba Mixed Championship at Killarney to 7W – 0L. This time, their trip to Fort William for the Canadian Championship led to another title, even though they had the same record of 7W – 3L.
The first Canada Winter Games were held in Quebec City in 1967. There, Ernie and his team represented Manitoba, bringing home a silver medal while posting a 9W – 2L record. This extra trip did not side track them – as they won the Manitoba title for the fourth time in Brandon. They went undefeated again with five wins! The Canadian Championship eluded them again in Quebec City – once again they had a 7W – 3L record.
During these years, Ernie and his team also played in exhibitions and bonspiels, going undefeated. Altogether during those four years, the team played 122 games, winning 104 of them for a winning percentage of 85% – a remarkable achievement!
After 1967, the team retired from mixed curling leaving behind a record truly worthy of our admiration and recognition.
The team was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
Ina Light was inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame as a Curler-Builder in 1992.
Garry DeBlonde was inducted as a Curler-Builder in 2019.