R.J. (Bob) Picken • Jeff Stoughton • Nell Stoughton
Errick F. Willis • Burtnyk 1995 Team • Hudson 1928 & 1929 Teams
Picken, Robert (Bob)
Bob Picken (1932 – 2019) began to curl in high school at St. John’s Tech in Winnipeg. He joined the Valour Road Curling Club as a junior and was a loyal Valour Road member and volunteer for his lifetime. He won eight club championships and in 1963 was the skip of the Manitoba finalist team.
His interest in curling’s administration began as a member of Valour Road’s Board of Directors from 1955 to ’65. He was VRCC club president in 1960-61, the same year he was elected to the MCA Council. He served on the MCA Council for 13 years, including his presidency in 1972-73. In 1973 he was elected as a CCA rep to the International Curling Federation, a position he held for eight years. He was the CCA’s International Chairman from 1977 to 1981, served on the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame development committee (1972-85) and as its chairman from 1981to 1985.
When the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame & Museum Inc. was formed in 1987, he was its first president, a director (1987-93), and acted as consultant (1993-96).
Among many volunteer commitments, he served as media chairman of the 1970 Winnipeg Brier Committee, vice-chairman of the 1978 Winnipeg Silver Broom Committee and chairman of the bid committee that secured the 1991 World Curling Championship in Winnipeg.
Bob was the first World Curling Federation Media Relations Director and in his media positions, mainly with CBC and CJOB, and later Shaw Cable and Winnipeg Sun, he provided curling and multi-sport coverage over five decades from Olympics, innumerable World Championships (Men, Women, & Juniors), Briers and Scott Tournaments of Hearts, and provincial championships at all levels. He produced the Olympic curling promotional film “Road to the Olympics” and was producer-commentator for 14 Uniroyal World Junior films. He won two Scotty Harper Awards for curling reporting from the Canadian Curling Reporters.
Among many honours, he received the Elmer Freytag (fore-runner to the WCF Hall of Fame) and Claude Allard Awards for international curling service; Honourary Life Memberships in the MCA, and the Valour Road and Portage Curling Clubs; the CCA Meritorious Service Media Award; and the Doug Gilbert Award as Canadian Sportscaster of the Year in 1982.
Along with the Freytag WCF recognition in 1987, he was made a member of the Manitoba Media Roll of Honour in 1991 and the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 2003.
He became a member of the Governor General`s Curling Club in 1988 and in 2017, he was greatly honoured by his investiture in the Order of Manitoba.
Jeff Stoughton already had solid credentials as a Hall of Famer when he was inducted in 1998. He had another Hall of Fame-worthy career after.
He began to curl at Fort Rouge where he won the club championship in 1978. He participated in Manitoba Junior Men’s provincials in 1981, 1982, and 1983. His first major trophy win was the Junior Men’s Bonspiel championship Free Press event in his final year of Juniors.
Jeff’s mixed championship credentials alone qualify him for Hall of Fame selection. He competed in eight provincial Mixed Championships, winning in 1988, 1989, 1991, and 1994 and the Canadian championships in 1989 and 1994. In 1991, he became only the second Manitoba skip, after Lloyd Gunnlaugson in 1983, to win two provincial championships in the same season. On two successive weekends, his teams went undefeated to win both the Manitoba Men’s and Mixed Championships.
By 1998, he had already appeared in 11 provincial men’s championships and won two, in 1991 and 1996, along with the 1996 Canadian and World Championships. That 1996 team won the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Maurice Smith Award as Manitoba’s “Team of the Year”.
Over the next decade, he had another Hall of Fame career, adding 15 more appearances in the provincial men’s championship. In those 15 appearances, his teams won back-to-back in 1999 & 2000, 2006 & 2007, and 2013 & 2014 as well as three in a row in 2009, 2010 & 2011. The 1999 team won the Brier title and World Silver Medal while the 2011 team won both the Canadian and World Championships. The 1999 team was also named Manitoba “Team of the Year”.
As of 2020, in 26 total appearances at the Manitoba Men’s Championship, Jeff holds the records for most final game appearances (12),most final game victories (11), most games played (180) and most games won (144).
He was the Manitoba championship all-star skip in 1999, 2006, 2007, and 2010; the Brier all-star skip in 2000; and the Brier second team all-star skip in 1999 and 2011.
Perhaps the most remarkable of Jeff Stoughton’s records is that he played in 17 Manitoba final games. He was 11W – 1L in 12 Men’s finals and 4W – 1L in five Mixed finals – a truly remarkable 15W – 2L in provincial final games.
He was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
Nell Stoughton started curling with the Fort Rouge Ladies Curling Club in 1959. In six years on the executive of the club, she served two years as Secretary and was President in the 1976-77 season. She served for two years as a delegate to the Manitoba Ladies Curling Association, was elected to the MLCA Executive Council in 1981, and became President in 1986.
A certified Level II coach, in 1985 she was designated coach of the Provincial Junior Women’s team at the Canadian Championship.
She was a Silver Broom volunteer in 1978; Host Club Chair for the 1979 Provincial Ladies, Co-Chair of the Provincial Mixed, Director of Special Events for the 1991 World Championships; Historian for the 1998 Labatt Brier and served two years on the W.E. Lumsden Memorial Award Committee. She served as President of the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame & Museum Inc. in 1992, catalogued inventory and initiated a file of nominees for the Hall of Fame.
Nell has been awarded Honourary Life Memberships in the Fort Rouge Curling Club and Manitoba Ladies Curling Association.
Honourable Errick F. WIllis (1896-1967) served 24 years in the Manitoba Legislature, five years in the House of Commons and was Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba from 1959 to 1963.
In 1932, he was the lead on the Manitoba team which was one of four Canadian teams to represent Canada in curling at the Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. The Manitoba team won four games against the American teams and won the Gold Medal as the only undefeated team. He captained the1950 Canadian Curlers tour to Scotland to play in the Strathcona Cup matches. In 1957, he was largely responsible for the success of the Scottish visit, acting as Chairman of the committee responsible for the Manitoba visit.
He served as President and was an Honourary Life Member of the Strathcona Curling Club. In 1958, he was made an Honorary Life Member of the Manitoba Curling Association.
He was a Macdonald Brier Trustee from 1963 to 1967, replacing his old friend, the Hon. John T. Haig. It was said he considered this to be ‘by far’ his greatest curling thrill.
Errick exemplified the true spirit of curling by exhibiting the ability to win modestly and lose graciously.
He was made an Honourary Life Member of the Canadian Curling Association in 1951 and inducted in to the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1974.
Willis, Errick F.
Burtnyk – 1995 TEAM World Champions
The 1995 World Men’s Champions, Kerry Burtnyk, Jeff Ryan, Rob Meakin, and Keith Fenton, won their world championship in their first year curling together. For their championship performance they were named the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Maurice Smith “Team of the Year”.
Their successful championship run began in the MCA Bonspiel where they won the Eaton event and tied for the Grand Aggregate. They posted a 30W – 3L record in winning the Manitoba (7W – 1L), Canadian (12W – 2L) and World (11W – 0L) titles. Their world championship, won in Brandon, was the first world championship won by a Manitoba team on Manitoba ice.
The team competed together through the 2001 curling season when they were the finalist at both the Brier and the Canadian Curling Trials.
In their seven years together, including 1995, they played each year in the Manitoba Men’s championship. They reached the final in 1997, 1998, and 1999 and won again in 2001. They qualified for the Canadian Olympic Trials in 1997 and again in 2001.
In 1997, 1998 and 2001 they won the MCA Bonspiel Grand Aggregate.
The team was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
The 1928 and 1929 Canadian Men’s Champions were skipped by Gordon M. Hudson, and included second Ron Singbush and lead Bill Grant. Sam Penwarden was the third in 1928, replaced by Don Rollo in 1929. They represented the Strathcona Curling Club.
The 1928 team, which won the MCA Bonspiel Grand Aggregate, won the 25 team** single knock-out playoff with a final game victory over Hugh MacDonald’s Deer Lodge team. They had a 7W – 2L record and won a pair of playoff games to win the Brier.
The 1929 team, which won an MCA bonspiel secondary event, won the 24 team** single knock-out playoff with a final game victory over Ozzie Barkwell and his Yellowgrass, SK. team ***. They were undefeated at the Brier.
While Winnipeg had a reputation as a curling centre, the feat of this team, winning successive Macdonald Brier victories, unmatched for 30 years, confirmed the excellence of Winnipeg curlers to all Canadians.
Such is the challenge presented to and faced by the Manitoba teams who followed – to match the accomplishments of the Hudson teams of 1928 and 1929. Many indeed succeeded.
Gordon M. Hudson was previously inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame in 1988 as a Curler/Builder.
** The four semi-finalists from eight MCA bonspiel events qualified for the championship – but had only one entry even if they qualified from more than one event.
*** In 1930, the rules were changed to state only teams from Manitoba Curling Association affiliate clubs would be eligible to compete for the Manitoba championship.
Hudson – 1928 & ’29 TEAM Canadian Champions