Mac Braden • Jim Congalton • Lyle Dyker
Lyle Henry • Mac Scales • Welsh 1947 & 1954 Team
Braden, Duncan M. (Mac)
Mac Braden (1876-1944) was one of the “Manitoba Curling Superstars” in the first years of the 20th century. He was an early student of Bob Dunbar and emulated Dunbar’s sliding delivery as well as his strategy and attitude.
Although he used the sliding delivery perfected by Dunbar, Braden preferred draw weight and was best known as a consistent player and keen strategist.
Curling from the Thistle Curling Club and later the Granite Curling Club, Braden was well known in Winnipeg curling circles in the early 1900’s.
He skipped the winning team in the MCA Bonspiel’s New York Life Challenge (acknowledged as the bonspiel championship) in 1902 and 1905.
In the years between 1906 and 1915 he won the MCA Bonspiel Grand Aggregate, six times. In 1912 he won the Aggregate plus four bonspiel events. For the four Grand Aggregate wins in 1911, 1912,
913, and 915, Braden’s third was the legendary Howard Wood, at the beginning of his remarkable career.
It is also notable that another Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame member, Frank Cassidy, was at third for Braden when they won the 1905 New York Life and the 1906 & 1907 Aggregates. Neither Cassidy nor Wood had bonspiel wins as skips before playing with Braden and both went on to remarkable winning records as skips after curling with him.
Mac Braden was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.
Jimmy Congalton (1879 – 1947) was one of the truly great curlers that made a permanent impression on the early Manitoba curling scene.
Born in 1879 in Guelph, Ontario, Jim Congalton became interested in curling at a very young age. He followed in the footsteps of his father Alexander, and grandfather William, who were both well-known Ontario curlers. He first joined a curling club in Guelph at age 12. At this age, young Jim was presented to the Governor General as the youngest curler in Canada. (1891)
The Congalton family moved to Winnipeg in 1906 and Jim joined the Thistle Curling Club where he became associated with other famous greats, such as Braden, Rochon, Cassidy, and Carson.
After a short stay at the Strathcona Curling Club he moved to the Granite Curling Club in 1914. From there he skipped the team that won the provincial championship but lost to Ossie Barkwell of Yellow Grass, Saskatchewan, in the playoff to represent the West in the first Macdonald Brier years in 1927.
In 1930, curling third for Howard Wood, he helped win the Macdonald Brier Championship, and two years later (1932) he skipped the team and Wood played third, to repeat their feat at the Dominion Championship.
In over 55 years at the game, Jim Congalton won trophies and awards too numerous to enumerate. Always modest, it appears that he enjoyed the game’s great competition, rather than the accolades.
Known for his incredible memory, he was able to retell stories about his games years after they happened.
He was made a member of the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1975. His 1932 Canadian Champion team was inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame in 2013 and a year earlier he was included as a member of the 1930 Howard Wood team.
Tributes to his skill were given by Howard Wood, “I enjoyed curling with Jim Congalton but I enjoyed better playing against him, for he was one of the best competitive curlers in the game.”
Congalton, J.A. (Jim)
Lyle Dyker (1915-1994) combined an enviable curling career with an admirable record of service to community and sport.
In 1940 he joined the well-known Strathcona Curling Club. He served on that club’s executive and was its president. He is an Honourary Life Member of Strathcona Curling Club.
As an active competitive curler Lyle Dyker enjoyed success with the R.J. Gourley team, the Ken Watson team and the Grant Watson team. A versatile player, he played lead, second, and third positions.
In 1943 and 1949 he won Manitoba British Consols Provincial titles and the Macdonald Brier Canadian Championship in 1949.
In the MCA Bonspiel he curled on teams that won seven Grand Aggregate Trophies – five with Ken Watson, one with R.J. Gourley, and one with Grant Watson.
Other MCA Bonspiel winnings were the Henry Birks Trophy seven times and the Eaton Trophy three times.
Also active in the affairs of the MCA, in 1963 he was part of a four-man commission appointed to review and revise the provincial playdown system. He was also involved for many years with administration of high school curling in Manitoba and was secretary of the Annual Christmas Week Bonspiel for many years.
Lyle Dyker was made an Honourary Life Member of the MCA in 1964.
As an active community leader in Winnipeg, he held many church offices and was actively involved on the Board of Governors of the Southwood Golf Club, Board of Regents of United College, Director of the Manitoba Heart Foundation and member of the Rotary Club.
Lyle Henry (1918 – 2010) was well known as a willing volunteer as well as a skilled curler.
He twice won the Manitoba Senior Championship, in 1975 and 1976. As well, he twice won the Manitoba Masters Championship, in 1985 and 1993. He reached the senior finals in 1973,1974, and 1978 as a skip and in 1980 with Bruce M. Hudson.
Curling out of the Strathcona Curling Club from 1949 until it ceased to operate in 1982, he served on the executive and was club president for the 1963-64 season. After the Strathcona Club closed he was appointed one of the three trustees to look after the windup of the club’s affairs and handle the disposition of all memorabilia and assets.
He was the Wildewood Curling Club’s representative on the MCA in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and for many years acted on seeding committees for seniors, masters, zones and provincial playdowns.
He was made an Honourary Life Member in the MCA in 1991.
Henry, William Lyle
Scales, W. D. M. (Mac)
Mac Scales (1919 -2019) was born in 1919 in Morden and curled his early years in that area.
After a short stay with the University Curling Club in 1946, the Strathcona Curling Club was home to Mac from 1947 until it closed. While curling out of that club he compiled a phenomenal Manitoba bonspiels record – winning a total of 18 trophies as a skip.
In both 1953 and 1957, Scales’ team won the bonspiel’s Eaton event and the Grand Aggregate. In 1960, they went undefeated to win the Eaton and Birks event and the Grand Aggregate.
In 1960, after going undefeated in the bonspiel, his team won the British Consols Provincial Championship, losing only one game. At the Macdonald Brier in Fort William, they lost their opening game to Ernie Richardson’s defending champions and their 8W – 2L record had them finish runner up to Richardson (9W – 1L).
In senior curling, Mac was twice a Manitoba Champion (1975 and 1976), curling third for Lyle Henry.
Other curling accomplishments include six Provincial Legion titles and four Canadian Legion Championships.
Of his many accomplishments Mac was especially proud of the fact that in the years from 1946 to 1966 he qualified for Consols play 20 out of 21 times.
The 1947 Canadian Men’s Champions, skipped by Jimmy Welsh, won Manitoba in ’47 and again in 1954 – still the longest span between Manitoba men’s titles for an ‘intact line-up’ team.
With Welsh on the Deer Lodge team were his brother Alex at third with Jock Reid and Harry Monk on the front end.
Friends on and off the ice proved to produce the success story of the remarkable Jimmy Welsh team. Over a period spanning nearly 15 years, this team curled from the Deer Lodge Curling Club with great success, winning Manitoba and Canadian Championships. Their team loyalty, by today’s standards and indeed by any standards, is remarkable.
Most remarkable in their career is their 1947 Canadian crown, won by going undefeated in nine straight games in St. John, New Brunswick.
Besides these 1947 and 1954 championships, members of the team also distinguished themselves as remarkable competitors in 1933 and 1937. In 1933 Jimmy, Alex and Jock won the Manitoba Championship, curling for John Douglas from Deer Lodge. In 1937 Fred Smith threw third stones for Jimmy, Jock, and Harry in winning the Manitoba Championship for Deer Lodge.
In both 1949 and 1952, the Welsh team won the MCA Bonspiel Grand Aggregate. Perhaps their most remarkable record was that, in a quarter-century beginning in the 1927-28 season, teams which included Jimmy Welsh and at least two of the other three players won MCA bonspiel events in 20 different MCA bonspiels. They only missed winning an event five times (1933, 1941, 1943, 1950 and 1951) and across those years they won 31 event trophies.
Welsh – 1947 TEAM Canadian Champions