Early Days of Men’s Curling


Men’s curling in Camrose began in January 1912. These images show a few highlights over the years as curling took a strong hold in the fabric of the community. It was challenging; it was competitive; and it was friends and neighbors getting together for something they loved to do.

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This historical picture was taken in the late 1930’s. The winning Camrose curlers of that era are: Front Row (L to R) – Roland “Rolly” Hawkins and Paddy Francoeur; Back Row (L to R) – Malvin Roth and Dave Ayre.
From the November 21, 1923 Camrose Canadian – Annual General Meeting of the curling club prior to the start of the curling season

Jack’s in the House

   
Top: Jack Wallis, lifetime member of the Northern Alberta Curling Association (NACA)
Bottom: Boston Pizza Cup Chairman Bob Seney (left) hoists the trophy won by skip Jack Wallis (right) in 1956.

Jack Wallis was a dedicated, long-time member of the Rose City Curling Club, holding many of the club’s executive positions as the club developed. Jack was an all round avid sportsman in Camrose who also excelled at golf. As a coompetitive curler, he won the Visitor’s Aggregate Trophy and the Grand Aggregate Trophy at the Alberta Curling Association’s City of Edmonton Bonspiel in 1956. He also skipped teams representing northern Alberta at provincial championships up to the 1970s. Jack continued his involvement with the sport he loved as a curling executive until the end of the 1970s. His commitment to the sport of curling was recognized with a lifetime membership in the Northern Alberta Curling Association (NACA).

Left to Right: Jack Wallis, Virgil Gerber, Ken Gerber and Ed Schielke

The 1986 Men’s Provincial Curling Championships in Camrose

Left to Right: Lead Brent Syme, second Neil Houston, third John Ferguson and skip Ed Lukowich

Camrose hosted the 1986 Alberta Men’s Provincial Curling Championships at the Rose City Curling Club. This was before the provincials were held in arenas and the Camrose event was a huge success. It was hailed by the organizers, sponsors and the curlers as one of the “best run provincial events ever”, with an attendance over the week of 5,247 fans – a large crowd for a smaller curling rink. The Ed Lukowich team consisting of Ed Lukowich, third John Ferguson, second Neil Houston and lead Brent Syme prevailed over a very competitive Pat Ryan foursome including third Randy Ferbey, second Don Walchuk and lead Don McKenzie. Lukowich would go on to win the Brier and the World Curling Championships following his victory in Camrose. The Pat Ryan team went on to become provincial champions in 1987 and win the Brier in 1988. They continued their domination in 1989 by winning the Brier again and becoming the Men’s World Champions.

Tragedy Strikes Camrose Curlers

In July 1969, local Rose City Curling Club curlers Paul Kehoe, Ken Rotto, Norman Cleveland and Frank Brown were killed in a traffic accident on Highway 21. They were on their way to compete in the Edmonton Klondike Bonspiel at the time. As we reflect on the club’s long and proud history, we pause to remember this team and their contribution to curling in Camrose.

Special thanks to Groundwater Communications for compiling these pictures and information.