The twelfth annual PEI Curling Hall of Fame and Museum induction ceremony was held Monday evening October 22, 2018 before a packed house at the Maple Leaf Curling Club in O’Leary, with five inductees – Susan McInnis from Milton Station in the curler category, and four in the builder category: Derek MacEwen, Stratford; Clifford Poirier, Summerside; Ernie Stavert, Cornwall; and Clair Sweet, O’Leary inducted. This was the first induction held at the Maple Leaf, which will be the PEI Curling Hall of Fame’s new home. Wayne Wright portraits of previous inductees have been installed on the walls, with plans to have PEI curling artifacts on display as well.
Photo (L-R): Inductees Derek MacEwen, Susan McInnis, Cliff Poirier, Ernie Stavert, and Clair Sweet stand with portraits, drawn by Wayne Wright, that will hang in the new Hall of Fame and Museum at the Maple Leaf Curling Club
The evening, sponsored by PEI Ford Dealers, Beaton’s Wholesale Dry Goods, Phillips Feed Service, the Maple Leaf Curling Club, and the Consolidated Credit Union Limited, started with the inductees, led by Hall of Fame chair Jerry Muzika, being marched into the Club.
Master of Ceremonies Paul H. Schurman then welcomed everyone to the event, and introduced a number of special guests, who offered greetings to the attendees and the inductees, including Hall of Fame chair Jerry Muzika, Eric Gavin, Mayor of the Town of O’Leary, the Hon. Robert Henderson, PEI Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and MLA for District 25 O’Leary – Inverness, along with Curl PEI President Sandy Matheson, and Bob Matheson, Vice-President of the Maple Leaf Curling Club and a member of the PEI Curling Hall of Fame and Museum Board of Directors.
Paul H. Schurman
Hon. Robert Henderson
The five inductees were then called to the stage, where Paul H. Schurman read out their induction biographies, and they were presented with pins and certificates by a Hall of Fame Board Member. followed by the unveiling of their portrait, drawn by Wayne Wright. Each inductee then took the opportunity to thank their families and others involved with their curling careers over the years.
Derek MacEwen (left), receiving certificate and pin from Allan Ledgerwood
Susan McInnis with Wayne Wright portrait. Arleen Harris (not in picture) assisted with the portrait unveiling.
Cliff Poirier (right) receiving certificate and pin from Margaret Nowlan
Ernie Stavert (left) with Wayne Wright
Clair Sweet (left) with Bob Matheson after unveiling portrait
A reception followed the ceremony.
Derek MacEwen is, without a doubt, the person responsible for bringing curling into the Internet age on PEI, starting with providing provincial curling championship event coverage via web pages, and then introducing websites for the Cornwall Curling Club and Curl PEI in the early 2000’s. He maintains the PEICurling.com site to this day, using technology to provide current and accurate curling information instantly available to almost everyone.
Derek first became curious about the sport in the late 1970’s, when, working as a weekend announcer at CJRW radio in Summerside, he had to read out the provincial championship scores on the air after every five ends, courtesy of sponsor D. Alex MacDonald Ltd., and also coordinate and air live reports from Soupy Campbell from the 1978 Brier in Vancouver.
Coming from New London, which does not have a curling club in the immediate area (the nearest are in Crapaud and Summerside), his first actual on-ice encounter with the sport came in his mid-twenties, when he joined the Charlottetown Curling Club (in the early 1980’s). Due to travel commitments with his job at Veterans Affairs, he stopped curling regularly a few years later, but continued to curl once a year in the Char-la-Bel fun mixed bonspiel, which took place at that club and the former Belvedere club, also in Charlottetown. That event will, in fact, be the only place you will find his name on a curling trophy, as he is strictly a recreational curler, preferring to play the sport for fun and exercise, rather than for serious competition. When work life slowed down a little, he got back into the sport in 1999 when he was talked into it by some friends he had previously curled with, who had taken up the sport again at the Cornwall Curling Club, liking that club for its emphasis on the recreational aspects of curling.
PEI curling coverage on the internet started, as many things do on PEI, by the right people being in the same place at the right time. It was a weekend afternoon in late January 2000, and Derek and his partner Nancy Yeo were watching a provincial men’s Tankard preliminary event at the Charlottetown Curling Club. They were talking about the men’s championship coming up in Cornwall the following weekend and felt that interest in curling and in that particular event could be increased if there was a way to involve those not at the event, so they might attend later games. Since they were both IT workers, they thought that a website would be a good way to do this. A few feet away stood Bill Brown, the president of the Cornwall club. They approached him with the idea, of which he was immediately in favour, and Derek volunteered to build the site if they could find a web server to host it on. Bill noticed an Island Tel (Bell Aliant’s predecessor) manager sitting a few yards away, and asked him if he could donate the hosting for the event in exchange for an ad on the site. He didn’t think it would be a problem, and asked Bill to call the office on Monday. Everything was confirmed by Tuesday morning, and set to go in time for event start on Friday. The website address was added as an insert to the event program and to radio and print advertising done by the Club, and the game linescores were updated by Derek every five ends using a laptop and a dialup connection in the Lions Club upstairs.
The website and the event (won by the Andrew Robinson rink) were a big success. The Cornwall Curling Club brought in bleachers for additional seating, and charged admission for the first time at a provincial championship curling event to pay for them. The club liked the fact that people were able to read the results themselves online, rather than continually calling the club. Curl PEI, who held a meeting at the club during the event, felt that the website was a useful way to promote the sport. The website had several thousand visitors, more than anyone had imagined, and the Club was packed, too.
Derek then volunteered to set up a website for the Cornwall Curling Club, with hosting done by a small internet service provider, ISN, run by Cornwall native Kevin O’Brien, and hosting paid for by the club. This site soon became a very popular way for people to get information about curling at the club, and a number of new members said that they joined the club solely based on the information they obtained there. It proved especially popular with tech-savvy workers from the nearby Industrial Park and University, and, as high speed Internet and mobile “smartphones” eventually became widespread, it is now the way that most members find out what is happening at the club and when they curl next. Derek continues to update the website and write most of the content to this day, but now others have the technology to send him pictures and content as well.
The following season, Curl PEI contacted Derek and the Cornwall Curling Club to provide web pages and hosting for its major events, which he did, as a volunteer. By the third season (2002-2003), Curl PEI, under president Nicole Philips, contracted with Derek to build a website, PEICurling.com, for the PEI Curling Association and live scoring sites for many of the provincial championship events, easily updatable by volunteers at the host clubs.
A decade and a half later, the website, now running under a sophisticated content management system, and hosted on a server in Montreal, is visited thousands of times a year, with end-by-end live scoring of all Curl PEI events presented using Curling Canada’s scoring web service. Event entries are now done online, with an online payment. Derek continues to be responsible for maintaining the website and setting up the events, and also relies on former experience as a journalist to write and post hundreds of news stories and photos each season related to provincial and PEI’s progress at national championships, along with posting national information from the Curling Canada and other sources, Curl PEI training courses, events and minutes, and club events of general interest. The information is also made instantly available via email subscription and by social media (Facebook, Twitter) providing many ways to access the information. Local and national media also use the information and photos to help them write their own stories, promoting PEI curling activities nationwide.
On a volunteer basis, Derek continues to run and provide the content for the Cornwall site, and has also set up and provided free hosting services for the Charlottetown Curling Complex’s website, which they run themselves. As President of the Cornwall club in the 2002-2003 season, Derek used the club website as one of the tools to help increase the Club’s membership to its largest ever. He served as a member and then secretary of the Curl PEI Board of Directors for a number of years. Derek also volunteered as Media and Marketing co-chair for the 2010 national The Dominion Curling Club Championship in Charlottetown and Cornwall, and as a member of the Media and Marketing team at the 2011 national Scotties in Charlottetown. He also volunteered on the Facilities team at the national Mixed in Charlottetown in 1996. He donated event website coverage to provincial Legion curling events, for the Rodd cashspiel in Charlottetown, for Maritime Masters and Stick curling championship events at Cornwall, and for a Maritime Junior curling cashspiel held at that club for a number of years.
Derek volunteers his time and expertise to the PEI Curling Hall of Fame and Museum to promote and cover their annual induction ceremonies and maintains their website of PEI curling history. He also produced a slideshow with scanned portraits, drawn by Wayne Wright, and a shortened biography of all the Hall of Fame inductees for use at the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. With help from Wayne, he set up a similar slideshow which was displayed at the PEI Sports Hall of Fame at Credit Union Place (CUP) in Summerside during the Road to the Roar Olympic Pre-Trials held at CUP last November.
He is also active in volunteering at the Cornwall Curling Club, serving as an officer of Curl PEI, and as President of the Cornwall Curling Club, as well as organizing events at the provincial and club level. He has now wrapped up a second tour of duty on the Board of Directors of the Cornwall club. He has also been drawmaster for the club’s semi-competitive Wednesday evening ladder league since the league’s inception in 2003. He has been the Club’s event representative and master of ceremonies for their hosting of a number of events, including the Provincial Masters, Seniors, and Under 18 events in the past few seasons, and has run Club spiels and other events in the past. On behalf of the Club, he applied for and received a provincial government grant for two consecutive seasons, where he coordinated and helped teach Sunday evening on and off-ice sessions, introducing around 200 newcomers to our province, many of whom had never been on a sheet of ice before, to the sport of curling.
Like many of Cornwall’s members, he volunteers at club and provincial events, selling 50X50 tickets, barbecuing steak dinners, cutting up lobster, carrying chairs, updating scores, taking pictures, setting up sound equipment etc.
Derek was a co-winner of the Curl PEI/ADL Volunteer award for the 2011/2012 season (nominated by the Cornwall Curling Club), a recipient of Curling Canada’s Volunteer of the Week award in 2013, and won the Sport PEI ADL Administrator of the Year award in 2014. He was a national finalist for Curling Canada’s Volunteer of the Year award for the 2017-2018 season.
40 years of involvement in curling as a recreational player and as a key promotor of the sport through his expertise and use of technology, Derek continues to ensure that PEI curlers and curling fans are always “in the know” about the sport. Derek is indeed a worthy inductee into the PEI Curling Hall of Fame as a builder.
In a competitive curling career spanning more than 25 years, Susan McInnis won her first provincial title in 1989, capturing the Prince Edward Island Women’s Curling Championship, playing third with skip Kathie Gallant, second Beatrice Graham-MacDonald, and lead Kathy O’Rourke.
In 1992, again at the third position, she won her second women’s title with skip Kim Dolan, second Julie Scales and lead Marion MacAulay.
In 1996, this time, skipping her team of third Kathy O’Rourke, second Tricia MacGregor and lead Leslie Allen, Susan again became a champion with win number three.
Her next PEI Women’s Curling Championship was won in 1998, with skip Tammi Lowther, Shelley Muzika at second, and Julie Scales at lead. They went on to compete at the Scotties in Regina.
In 2003, she won another PEI Women’s Curling Championship, this time playing lead with skip Suzanne Gaudet, third Rebecca Jean MacPhee, and second Robyn MacPhee.
Win number six came in 2004, back at third position, with skip Suzanne Gaudet, second Janice MacCallum, and lead Tricia Affleck.
2006 saw Susan in the winner’s circle at third playing for skip Suzanne Gaudet, with Nancy Cameron at second and Tricia Affleck at lead.
She won her last PEI Women’s Curling Championship in 2015, playing lead with skip Suzanne Birt, Shelly Bradley at third, and Michelle McQuaid at second.
Susan enjoyed a successful run of PEI Mixed curling championships. Her first win came in 1992, playing third with skip John Likely, Mark Butler at second and Gail MacNeil at lead.
This winning combination of players won the PEI Mixed Championship again in 1993 and 1994.
For the 1996 Canadian Mixed, the rules were changed and the provincial playoffs were played in 1995. Winning the provincial championship with the new format, the same team of John Likely at skip, Susan at third, Mark at second and Gail at lead represented PEI at the Canadian Mixed where Susan won the all-star third award.
In January 2000, with the provincial playoff having been played in 1999, the team of John Likely, Susan McInnis, Mark Butler and Nancy Cameron placed third at the national event, capturing a bronze medal. Again, Susan won the all-star third award.
After winning the provincial mixed in 2001, the same team went on to a second-place finish, winning the silver medal at the 2002 Canadian Mixed, losing the final to Mark Dacey of Nova Scotia.
In 2016, Susan won the PEI Senior Women’s Curling Championship with skip Kim Dolan, Susan playing third, Sandy Matheson at second and lead Julie Scales.
Susan served on the executive of Curl PEI from 2009 to 2013 as treasurer. She also served on the National Advisory Committee for the Dominion Curling Club Championship from 2008 to 2014 and Co-Chaired the national event with Shirley Lank, hosted by the Cornwall and Charlottetown Curling Clubs.
With an impressive curling career highlighted with eight PEI Women’s Curling Championships, six PEI Mixed Curling Championships and one Senior Women’s Curling Championship, Susan is being inducted into the PEI Curling Hall of Fame in the “curler” category.
For almost 35 years, Cliff Poirier has worked as a volunteer in curling. He has an extensive resumé – in a few words – he has done it all – and a lot of it – when it comes to officiating, umpiring, and conducting courses, as well as organizing and running events.
Cliff obtained his Level One certificate in 1986, Level 2 in 2002 and Level 3 in 2007, and is fully certified to teach and conduct the Level 1 and Level 2 written exams including supervising those successful Umpires in their practical component.
Since 1984, Cliff has participated in a stunning 19 national events held in Atlantic Canada. These events include the Canadian Men’s Championship (Brier); Canadian Women’s Championship (Scotties), Canadian Seniors, Canadian Juniors, the 2017 Road to the Roar Olympic Pre-trials, the World Curling Federation-Men’s, Grand Slam of Curling Players’ Championships, World Curling Federation- Seniors, Capital One Grand Slam of Curling, the Scott Tournament of Hearts (predecessor to the Scotties), Canadian Mixed and Canada Games. He brought his extensive experience and knowledge to events where he wore a variety of hats, including Hog Line Official, On Ice Observer, Head Official, Umpire, Supervisor of on-ice Observers and Statisticians, as well as Timing Supervisor, and On-ice Officials Supervisor.
As well as officiating, Cliff was also extensively involved in the organization and running of the national events, especially those held in Summerside. He acted in capacities such as event co-chair, Silver Fox representative on organizing committees, conducting Level 1 and Level 2 courses and being the local consultant for all aspects of Officiating Stats and Timing. A prime example of his dedication and work ethic is during the Karcher Canadian Juniors in 2002 where he was On-Ice Observer, Hog Line Official, oversaw all the local officials, assisted with the Level 1 training, trained all Timers and Statisticians and On Ice Observers, and still fulfilled his duties as facilities manager at the Silver Fox and Cahill Stadium. At the 2017 Road to the Roar held in Summerside, Cliff was on the organizing committee. He recruited all volunteers for the various positions and his expertise in the organizing and running national events was invaluable.
And that is just his work at national events.
The story of his participation at provincial events is no less impressive.
From 2007 to 2017 Cliff was Head Official for almost all PEI Curling Association/Curl PEI events which led to a national event, from Crapaud to Alberton as well as being responsible to arrange for umpires at all other events that did not lead to a national event.
Cliff wrote the initial speeches at events that are given to coaches and players, explaining new rules interpretations as well as the code of conduct for players and coaches, specifically to Canada Games Coaches, and the 20 and Under competition. He also attended and led PEICA Meetings regarding Changes in “Rules of Play”.
He has led clinics for coaches, juniors and club curlers in rule changes and took the lead in introducing the “Curl Time” game timing software to Curl PEI, including conducting training sessions for Timers and arranging for the acquisition of 6 laptops as an upgrade to Curl PEI’s Timing System for the 2016-2017 curling season.
In 2009, Cliff acted as Head Official for most of the Provincial Dominion playoff while training two Level 2 officials for their “practical” as well as serving on the Organizing Committee for the National Dominion, in charge of Officiating. In 2010, Cliff organized the sub-officials and gave the training for the National Dominion which was held at the Charlottetown and Cornwall Curling Clubs.
Cliff acted as Head Official and obtained Umpires and Timers for the 2014 and 2015 Curl Atlantic Championships held at the CARI Complex (now the Bell Aliant Centre) at UPEI.
Between 1998 and 2006, Cliff ran various events and acted as Head Official or Assistant Head Official, including Canada Games, Juniors, Mixed, Men’s Open and Finals and Scott.
Cliff has represented the Silver Fox as a delegate to Curl PEI for the past five years as well as a five-year period a few years ago. He also was on the Curl Atlantic Board for four years. He still finds time to organize and run some Club Bonspiels as well as Cash Spiels at the Silver Fox including setting up the local website for events that involve curlers from other provinces.
He is looking forward to the upcoming 2018-2019 season where he will be umpiring at the World Juniors in Liverpool Nova Scotia, the Travelers Curling Club Championship in Miramichi, NB, and the Canadian University Games and Mixed Doubles in Fredericton NB.
With thirty-five years of dedication to curling, helping to grow the game on PEI, Cliff Poirier is very worthy of induction into the PEI Curling Hall of Fame as a builder.
Ernie StavertErnie Stavert learned to curl in 1962, on arena ice, while a student at McGIll in Montreal. On weekends, the Zamboni prepared the hockey ice for curling, and the hacks were melted into the ice. In 1963-64, he competed in an intercollegiate circuit that encompassed Montreal and Eastern Ontario. Being new curlers, they didn’t win much but gained some curling and life experience.
Upon graduation, Ernie returned to PEI in 1964, and resumed curling in 1969 when the Crapaud Curling Club opened. The excitement and enthusiasm of belonging to a brand-new club carried over into his being instrumental in encouraging and teaching students to curl. As principal of Englewood High School, and, also representing Englewood on the School Athletic Association, he played a key role in facilitating high school curling.
During the 1970’s, Ernie was active in the administration of the Crapaud Curling Club and assumed the role of President in 1973-74. He also was the Club’s delegate to the PEI Curling Association for several years and participated on various committees.
He was elected Vice-President of the PEI Curling Association for the 1975/76 year, but did not assume the presidency the following year, as he left PEI in 1976 for one year to do graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin.
In the late 1970’s, under the leadership of the late Gordie Hermann, and in cooperation with the Cornwall Village Council, a committee was formed to plan and implement a project establishing a curling club in Cornwall. The committee was called the Cornwall Recreation Association, and Ernie was a director of this committee.
When the Cornwall Curling Club opened in 1981, Ernie was elected to serve on its Board of Directors and in 1982 became President.
He was the first delegate from Cornwall Curling Club to the PEI Curling Association. Ernie was elected second vice president of the association for the 1983/84 year, first vice in 84/85, and in 1985-86, he was President. He represented PEI at the annual meeting of the Canadian Curling Association in Kitchener in 1986. He was again a delegate to the PEI Curling Association, representing the Cornwall Curling Club in 2001/02. And in 2005, Ernie was Secretary of the PEI Masters Curling Association.
In 1994, in a freak accident, Ernie broke his hip and after three years away from the game, was unable to deliver from the hack because of a bad knee and a stiff leg.
Gordie Lank brought it to his attention that he had seen curlers in Scotland using a delivery stick. And so, a length of plastic plumbing pipe fitted with a 45-degree elbow got him back into curling. Being the first person on PEI to use the delivery stick, Ernie received some curious looks from competitive curlers. Until the Canadian Curling Association banned sticks from many of their events, he used the stick to compete in the PEI Seniors’ Championships.
In 1998, Ernie was instrumental in helping to get day-time curling going at Cornwall Curling Club. The members created a Seniors Curling Committee, and Ernie has been involved with this committee for the past 18 years, acting as their chair for about 12 years. He passionately promoted stick curling in Cornwall and currently, day-time curling at Cornwall has approximately 100 members, with regular curling every morning and stick curling in the afternoons.
In 2007, in partnership with Bob Leard from Montague, Ernie established Stick Curl PEI. This organization organizes a stick curling tour of all the clubs on PEI and the PEI Stick Curling Championship (in conjunction with Curl PEI). He was the Secretary/ Treasurer of Stick Curl PEI for 9 years and President for the last two. Since its inception, he has provided the leadership for the PEI Stick Curling Tour.
Ernie’s role in the growth of stick curling in PEI, can be described as the initiator, chief organizer, and key administrator.
In 2009, the Maritime Stick Curling Championship was established. Ernie was one of two directors from PEI since its beginning and has assisted in PEI’s hosting on the three-year rotation among the 3 provinces.
Ernie won the Provincial Stick Curling Championship in 2007 and 2008 and also represented PEI in many of the Maritime Championships, competing twice at the national level.
Ernie served as President of the PEI 55+ Games Society from 2004-2008. During this time, he advocated for the inclusion of stick curling in the PEI 55+ Winter Games.
Throughout the 70’s and early 80’s, he competed in various PEI Curling Association competitions: the 4 Year, the 8 Year, and the Tankard. Over a span of 25 years, he officiated at various provincial championships as well as volunteering at four national curling championships that were held on PEI.
The Prince Edward Island Curling Association gave Ernie an Honourary Life Membership Award in 2007. This award is given to individuals who have given long and outstanding service to the PEI Curling Association and their curling clubs.
Since 1969, Ernie Stavert has been involved in curling: as a competitor, an administrator, a promoter of the sport to youth in his role as a high school teacher, as well as a key component in the growth of stick curing on PEI.
He will be inducted into the PEI Curling Hall of Fame as a builder.
When the Maple Leaf Curling Club opened in O’Leary in 1978, Clair began curling, and he has been a member since then. He became involved in the administrative aspect of curling right away, serving as a long-time director of the Maple Leaf Curling Club, being active in the PEI Curling Association, also volunteering his time officiating at provincial and national events held in PEI.
He held various positions on the Maple Leaf’s executive over the years, including Games Chairman, and Secretary, as well as serving in the capacities of Vice President and President many times over.
He was Vice President in 1979/80, President in 1980/81, and Past president in 1981/82.
He returned to serve as Vice President in 1985/86, President in 1986/87, Past President in 1987/89.
He again made the three-year commitment to serve on the executive as Vice-president, President and Past President in 1997 through to 2000.
And in 2013, he, once again, came forward and served as the club’s president, through to 2018.
Between 1980 and 1983, Clair took the level one theory and practical certification program, and obtained his level one in officiating in 1983. This gave him the opportunity to officiate at the provincial competitions and at the Canadian Curling Championship events held on PEI. He officiated at the 1987 Canadian Mixed in Summerside, at the Canadian Juniors in Summerside in 2002 and at the Canadian Women’s (Scott) in Charlottetown in 1999, as well as the Grand Slam events, working On-Ice, Statistics and Timing.
Clair began his work on the PEI Curling Association executive in 1988 as club delegate to the Association. He was elected as Second Vice-President of the PEI Curling Association for the 1989/90 season, followed by election as Second Vice-President of the newly amalgamated Men’s and Women’s Association for 1990/91, First Vice in 91/92 and president in 1992/93. He completed his term on the executive as past president in 1993/94. While on the executive, he was the games chairperson, and chair of the “8 Year” Committee, and represented the provincial association at several meetings of the Canadian Curling Association.
Clair served as a director of the O’Leary Community Rink from 1968 to 1975, as team manager of the O’Leary Junior Maroons from 1975 to 1977, was president of the Senior Maroons from 1978 to 1982 and director of the Hemphill Pontiac Western Capitals from 1986 to 1989.
In 1982, he received the Sport PEI/Perfection Foods Certificate of Recognition for outstanding contribution of time and effort given voluntarily to the organization, administration, and promotion of hockey, curling, and other amateur sport programs in O’Leary.
He served on the Village of O’Leary Council from 1983 to 1987, and was chairman for one year. Clair has been a Lions Club member for many years and received the Melvin Jones Fellow in 2000/2001 for dedicated Humanitarian Service. Clair served on every committee including President twice and was selected twice as Lion of the Year.
He was appointed to the Board of Directors of the PEI Sports Hall of Fame in 2016.
Clair has been an active member in the curling community in his club and in the provincial curling association, serving in administrative and officiating capacities. It is fitting that Clair will be inducted as a builder at the twelfth annual induction ceremony at his home club in O’Leary on October 22.