Icing on the cake

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:12 AM ET

The family that curls together can sometimes enter the hall of fame together.

Sisters Barb Spencer and Darcy Robertson -- who just won their third provincial women's championship in Neepawa on Sunday -- were among the latest to be inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame yesterday.

"To be inducted the same year you've won the province is just such a special feeling," Spencer said. "And, to go in with (Robertson) as well -- that's just the icing on the cake.

"It has been a great week for us. It's been a really great year for us. We've really clicked and to be indicted into the hall of fame amongst such great curlers is such an honour."

Robertson felt much the same way.

"To go in the hall of fame with my sister is an honour," said Robertson, who plays third for her younger sister. "It is an honour to be included with all of these great curlers that we've looked up to over the years."

The sisters also won the 1984 Canadian junior women's championship and the 1986 Mixed provincial title playing for their dad, Jim Kirkness.

Brandon's Maureen Bonar, who won four women's provincial crowns, will join them in the hall.

The others being inducted were: Ab (Spats) Gowanlock's Dauphin team of 1952-53 that won back-to-back men's provincial tiles and the '53 Brier; Mike Riley's Pembina team that won the 1984 Brier; Portage la Prairie's Barry Greenberg (builder), the late Bill Finlay (veteran-curler) and the late John B. Mather (veteran-builder).

The 22nd annual Induction Dinner will be held at Canad Inns -- Polo Park on May 3. For ticket info, contact the MCA office.

"It's a real honour because it's the only curling hall of fame in the world with a (physical) venue," said Riley, who was supported by third Brian Toews, second John Helston and Russ Wookey.

"We won the Brier in 1984 and I also won the 1968 university Canadian championship and then the largest bonspiel ever in 1988," boasted Riley, who flew in from Kelowna, B.C., to attend yesterday's press conference to announce the inductees.

Lead Russ Jackman is the only surviving member of the Gowanlock team that also included third Jim Williams and second Art Pollon.

"In 1953, I told Ab I'd like to go but I'm supposed be getting married about that time and my wife-to-be, I told her I had a premonition," Jackman recalled. "So, we had to postpone the wedding in order to win the Brier. But she's here with me 56 years later.

"I am the last one left but I'm going to be around a long time yet."

Jackman still curls but uses the stick now because he had a hip replaced.

Greenberg was the president of the 2008 Brier host committee, a former CCA, MCA and Granite Curling Club president and a former CCA director.

Finlay won three grand aggregate titles at the Winnipeg Bonspiel between 1910 and 1919.

Mather, who died in 1892, was a city alderman who facilitated the formation of an event in the first Manitoba Bonspiel through his employer, Hiram Walker.

BITER: Spencer will take Kristy Jenion to the nationals as her fifth.


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