The PEI Curling Hall of Fame and Museum’s 13th annual Induction Ceremony was held on Tuesday evening before a packed house at the downstairs lounge of the Charlottetown Curling Complex, with five inductees, all of whom curled in Charlottetown, inducted into the “Curler” category. The inductees – Mike Dillon, John Likely, Leslie MacDougall, Dr. Wayne Matheson, and Shelley Muzika, were introduced by Master of Ceremonies Paul H. Schurman, and took their seats in the front row. Hall of Fame and Museum Chair Jerry Muzika welcomed everyone to the ceremony, and invited everyone to visit the Hall’s permanent home at the Maple Leaf Curling Club in O’Leary.
Paul H. Schurman (left) and Jerry Muzika|
It was then time for greetings, with Mayor Philip Brown welcoming everyone on behalf of the City of Charlottetown. Counsellor Mitchell Tweel was in attendance as well. Brown mentioned that he grew up in the neighbourhood of the Charlottetown Curling Complex, although he took up swimming at the nearby YMCA instead of curling. He mentioned that the City had met recently with club president Tyler Harris and they are working to find solutions to keep curling going in Charlottetown.
PEI Health and Wellness Minister and MLA for Stratford/Kinlock Jame Aylward brought greetings on behalf of the Province of Prince Edward Island, mentioning that he was an avid “Commercial League” player, so he was very familiar with the sport, and congratulated the inductees on their considerable accomplishments.
Curling Canada Board of Governors member Angela Hodgson was not able to be present, but sent along words of greeting which were read on her behalf.
Sandy Matheson, President of Curl PEI was on hand with greetings and congratulations from the provincial curling association.
Next up was Blair Weeks, representing the Charlottetown Curling Complex on behalf of President Tyler Harris. Weeks, who is married to inductee Shelley Muzika, knew all the inductees well, having curled with or against them over the years, and congratulated them on their success.\
It was now time for the ceremony itself. After Paul H. Schurman read their biographies and invited them to the stage, each inductee was presented with a Hall of Fame certificate and pin, and a portrait of each inductee, by Hall of Fame Board Member Wayne Wright was unveiled, which will be displayed at the Hall of Fame and Museum in O’Leary.
First up was the 37-year curling veteran Mike Dillon, who mentioned that, as primarily a lead stone, he was not used to saying much, but appreciated the recognition.
Wayne Wright, Board of Directors member (left) with Mike Dillon
Next was John Likely, well-known for his record number of appearances at the Canadian Mixed, as well as winning championships all the way from Juniors to Seniors. He had a long list of people, including teammates and competitors, to thank, mentioning how tough it was to win a title at the Charlottetown Curling Club during the “glory days of curling in Charlottetown during the 1980s and 1990s”.
Certainly the most animated of the evening’s inductees, Dr. Wayne Matheson, now living in Ontario, said he was truly honoured to be invited back to Charlottetown to be inducted, saying he was surprised they still remembered him. He also mentioned his many curling teammates and adversaries, some of whom presented him with life lessons which goaded him on to success.
Dr. Wayne Matheson left, and Hall of Fame Board Member and his longtime friend Al Ledgerwood unveil Wayne’s portrait
Dr. Wayne Matheson
Leslie MacDougall is another curler who, as primarily a lead stone, kept her comments brief, but mentioned her Junior career back in Ontario, as well as the acceptance she received in Charlottetown when her family moved to PEI.
The presentations for the final inductee, Shelley Muzika, were done by Hall of Fame President, and her father, Jerry Muzika. Again, as a front end player, her comments were brief, but she mentioned how honoured she felt to be inducted into this esteemed group, and thanked everyone who helped her along the way, starting with her initial interest honed by time spent at the curling club when she was very young, and all the friends she made from curling, including meeting her husband Blair.
Jerry (left) and Shelley Muzika
Following the ceremony, the invitees posed for photos with and without their portraits.
The evening concluded with a reception in the lounge.