Barry Fry • Bruce Hudson • Chris More
Patti Vande • Gunnlaugson 1982-84 Team
Fry, Barry (The Snake)
Barry Fry (1939-2021) is generally acknowledged as being one of the best shotmakers of his generation and should be included in that discussion for all generations of champions.
“The Snake” (as his friend Don Duguid dubbed him) began to curl at the age of 10, pushing rocks up the ice with both feet in the hack at the old Civic Caledonian Curling Club. Early on it became evident that he had potential and his father and Cec Pooles took him under their collective wings, and in short order he was curling in the regular men’s leagues.
One of his earliest competitive achievements was winning the Charles N. Harris Memorial Trophy for the Grand Aggregate in the MCA Bonspiel in 1965. From then on his career seemed to concentrated on one event at a time.
First he was known as a winner in mixed events as he won the Provincial Mixed Championship in 1970, finishing third at the Canadian Championship with a record of 8W – 2L. In 1972, he was a finalist in the Provincial Mixed and then in 1973 he and third Peggy Casselman, second Steve Decter and lead Susan Lynch swept the province and the nation with a 9W – 1L record. Barry was selected as the all-star skip at the 1973Canadian Mixed.
By 1975 the Men’s Championship had become his target as he lost the Manitoba Consols final to Rod Hunter. In 1979, with Bill Carey, Gord Sparkes, and Bryan Wood, he won the Provincial Championship and went on to win the last Macdonald Brier with a record of 10-1. Once again he was selected the all-star skip. At the World Championship, with a 7W – 4L record, the Fry team won a bronze medal.
In 1990 it was time to start working on the seniors events and in 1991 he was a finalist in the Strathcona Senior Men’s Championship. In 1992, he won Manitoba and his team of Don Duguid, Barry Coleman, and Don McDonald went on to the Canadian Championship where they tied in the round robin with a 9W – 2L record, losing the final to Ontario in an extra end. Barry was selected the all-star skip. In 1994 and 1995, Fry and Duguid teamed with Terry Braunstein and Ray Turnbull to win back to back Provincial Senior Men’s titles.
After turning 60, with Duguid, Winston Warren and Barry Coleman, he won the 2001 Manitoba and Canadian Masters Championships.
Throughout his career, he did not ignore the bonspiel circuit. In addition to the 1965 MCA Bonspiel Aggregate, he won two major event trophies 22 years apart (the 1978 Eaton Trophy and the 2000 Free Press) along with three other event trophies. He also won 4 car bonspiels and 6 major cash spiels.
Justifiably, Barry was very proud of winning all-star recognition in three different Canadian Championships (Mixed, Men, Senior Men). He attributed a lot of his success to the fact that he had been able to surround himself with good people – but it takes a great shotmaker to accumulate this record.
Bruce Hudson (1928-2016) started his curling career in 1942 at the Strathcona Curling Club and was a major force in the MCA Bonspiel and the British Consols Provincial Men’s Curling Championships from 1951 to 1967. During that period he amassed an enviable record.
In 1951 he won his first trophy (the Imperial Oil Trophy) in the bonspiel and continued his winning ways until 1983. He captured the Eaton Trophy a record 5 times, in 1956, 1961, 1964, 1966, and 1967; and also the other major, the Birks event, in 1961. That year he captured the Charles N. Harris Aggregate with an unbeaten string of 18 victories.
As a competitor in the Provincial Championship, his teams won the Consols in 1964 and 1967 and were runners-up in 1965 and 1966. Playing in the finals of the championship for four consecutive years tied a record previously set by Ken Watson.
The Manitoba Senior Menèss Championship fell to Bruce in 1981 and he continued to curl competitively in seniors and masters competitions.
As a builder, Bruce followed a family tradition set by his father Gordon M. Hudson and his uncle Clifford R. Hudson, who were presidents of the MCA in 1934-35 and 1942-43 respectively.
He began, four years after starting to curl, when he became president of the Strathcona Junior Club, continuing another family tradition. Throughout his career Bruce remained a devoted member of the Strathcona Curling Club until it closed in the early 1980’s, serving as the president in 1960-61 and for 20 years as the business manager of the club.
In 1959, he was elected to the Executive Council of the MCA, and worked as the Chairman of the Instructional Committee and was the Junior Chairman among other committees. In 1967-68 he became the youngest president of the MCA, until that time. In 1969 he became an Honorary Life Member of the Association.
Curling instruction, particularly with the junior and new curlers, was always high on the agenda and he devoted a great deal of time to it. This led to his acting as coach of the University of Winnipeg’s men’s and ladies’ teams for 5 years.
Starting in 1963, his voice became familiar to radio listeners, for many years, as he acted as the “color man” on curling coverage of provincial playdowns on CKRC and CJOB.
Bruce also lent his support to competitive curlers, acting as the commissioner of the “Super League” for three years.
As previously indicated, Bruce was a devoted member of the Strathcona Curling Club. In 1985, he, along with Jack Callum and Lyle Henry, were the trustees when the assets of the Strathcona Curling Club were transferred, in trust, to the MCA for the support of senior curling.
Hudson, Bruce M.
Chris More (Pidzarko, Scalena), began to curl at the Rossmere Curling Club, with her twin sister Cathy, at the age of 13.
After just a couple of years she got her first taste of major competition when she played in the 1971 Canada Games in Saskatoon as lead for Maureen Jackson where they won the gold medal, winning the final against Marilyn Bodogh (Darte). This was a very memorable event for Chris and whetted her appetite to excel at the game of curling.
The Pidzarko twins with Beth Brunston, and Barb Rudolph made their presence felt on the junior scene in 1972, when they captured both the Provincial and Canadian titles. This was followed in 1973 by another Provincial win and again in 1974 with both a Provincial and Canadian Championship.
In 1978, Chris came on the Lassie scene, winning both the Provincial and Canadian titles as third for Cathy. From 1979 to 1982 she skipped competitive teams, winning the title in 1979 and being finalist in 1982.
In 1983, the combination of expecting a child and playing third for Bill Carey on his province winning mixed team kept her away from the Scott but she returned, with a vengeance in 1984 when she played third for Connie Laliberte’s Provincial, Canadian, and World Championship team.
She played third for Connie for the next two years and then, in 1987, returned to the Provincial Championships as a skip winning the title in 1989 as well as being runner-up at the Canadian Scott Tournament of Hearts where she was selected as the All Star skip.
During this time, she also was making her presence felt in the MLCA Bonspiel. In 1981 she skipped a team that won the Grand Aggregate, the Lady Eaton Event, and the Hudson Bay Event. In 1984 and 1985 she won the Lady Eaton Trophy as third for Connie and then won it again in 1989 and 1991 as a skip. The Grand Aggregate was also hers in 1992, tied in 1993 and won again in 1994.
1988 was also a double milestone for Chris as she took part in the Olympic Trials and the same year was inducted into the CCA Curling Hall of Fame.
Later in her career, Chris Scalena made two more appearances at the Canadian Mixed, as Manitoba champion third for Brian Pallister in 1999 and for Arnold Asham in 2000.
The 1984 World Champion team, the 1972 Canadian Junior Champion team, and the 1974 Canadian Junior Champion team, have all been inducted (in 1995, 2003, and 2019 respectively) into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame.
The 1984 World Champion team was inducted in to the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1984.
Patti Vande (Vandekerckhove) won Manitoba and represented the province at national championships for seven consecutive seasons in the 1970’s.
From the time she started throwing rocks, at the age of 12, at Stony Mountain, curling has been a major part of her life. Her first major competitive win was as second for Chris Pidzarko’s Rossmere Junior team, in 1974, which won both the Manitoba and Canadian title.
Patti moved to skip in 1975 and won the Provincial Junior Women’s Championship, was runner-up at the Canadian and also represented Manitoba at the Canada Games. She won Manitoba again in 1976 and 1977 – four consecutive Manitoba Junior Championships, one Canadian Championship and one Canada Games Silver Medal.
When Patti moved into Ladies competition, she competed in the Provincial Championship every year from 1978 to 1984, winning the Manitoba and Canadian titles in ’78 as well as the province in 1979, 1980, and 1983. She returned to the Scott Tournament of Hearts five more times, each year from 1987 through 1990 and again in 1994 – a total of 12 Provincial Championships with 4 wins. In 1988, she won an Olympic Gold medal as the 5th player for Linda Moore.
In addition to this amazing record, she found time to play in 3 Mixed Provincial Championships and win the Lady Eaton and the Hudson Bay events twice (1981 & 1988) and the Grand Aggregate (1981) in the MLCA Bonspiel.
In 1989, Patti’s curling feats were recognized by the CCA when she was voted into the Canadian Curling hall of Fame.
All of this often gets overlooked because we are so aware of her contribution as a curling administrator and coach. In September of 1985 along came what Patti describes as one of the highlights of her career – “an opportunity to work at something I really enjoy”. She became Technical Director of the MLCA and MCA. Her impact on the Manitoba curling scene has been tremendous as she works at the promotion, marketing, and development of our sport. A quick look at the list of clinics in the Association’s reports gives one a small idea of her activities. The idea and organization of summer curling camps and the Bantam curling competitions for youth under 13 are other facets of her activity.
Patti’s “Builder” contribution is not restricted to the results of her job. As a matter of fact it’s hard to know where her job ends and her volunteer activity begins. As a club executive she has served Stony Mountain, Heather Business Girls and the Women’s Super League, becoming president of the latter two.
National and World Championships again call on her talents, acting as Head Statistician for the 1991 Canada Safeway World Curling Championships and the 1993 Scott Tournament of Hearts.
Patti is a certified Level III Coach/Instructor, a Level III Official and was the Chief Statistician for the CCA, As such, her help was in constant demand.
The 1982-1984 Canadian Senior Champions curled out of Valour Road CC with Lloyd Gunnlaugson skipping; Toru Suzuki at third and Albert Olson at second all three years, and Elgin Christianson at lead in 1982 & 1984, replaced by Dennis Reid in 1983.
The closest thing to a dynasty that Manitoba Senior curling has ever seen, this team changed the face of senior curling in Manitoba. In the fall of ’81 Lloyd asked Toru, Albert, and Elgin to join him at a bonspiel in Brandon. They did so well and enjoyed each other so much that they decided to try the season together – and thus began a remarkable story of a team.
None of them had a record as a competitive curler but they won a zone spot, went up to Flin Flon and flew back as 1982 Provincial Senior Champions. They went on to Charlottetown where they went through the round robin with 1 loss and then won the Canadian Championship, scoring three on the last end of a play-off against Alberta.
In 1983, Elgin was unable to play because of health problems and Dennis Reid took his place and the team went on to win the province again. Toru, Albert, and Dennis went to Sarnia where Lloyd joined them after playing in the Brier. They won their second Canadian Senior Championship.
Elgin re-joined the others for the 1984 season and they went through the season undefeated to capture another Canadian Senior Championship in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
What makes this team “special” is not just their record but what it tells us about the importance of hard work and the right chemistry between the members of the team.
Lloyd Gunnlaugson began to curl as an awkward lead at the age of 30, at Valour Road Curling Club and didn’t take up competitive curling until he reached 50. He was the intense leader of the team and established a pattern of daily lunch followed by one hour of practice for all of them. During these he rarely missed a shot. He died at the age of 59 in 1988.
Toru Suzuki was the steady quieting factor on the team. After curling at Rossmere from 1966 to 1968 and then at Assiniboine Memorial while joining Lloyd at Valour Road for Seniors competition.
Albert Olson, as second, provided the relief from pressure with his chatter and humour. He started curling at Assiniboine Memorial at 28. His memory of one of the highlights of this period tells you something about the team – it was the daily lunch and practice.
Elgin Christianson was a member of the Valour Road since the early 1950’s and joined forces with Lloyd in 1980. He was the other steadying influence on the team.
Dennis Reid, another Assiniboine Memorial product, joined the team for the 1983 season when Elgin had to step away due to illness.