Two of Canada’s most accomplished curlers will be inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame, it was announced today by the World Curling Federation (WCF) and Canadian Curling Association (CCA).
Three-time world champion Ron Northcott and two-time world champ Don Duguid will officially be inducted into the Hall on April 7 during the closing banquet of the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Booster Juice, in Victoria, B.C.
“The Canadian Curling Association and curling fans across our country are thrilled to see Don Duguid and Ron Northcott inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame,” said CCA Chief Executive Officer Greg Stremlaw. “The achievements of Don and Ron speak for themselves, and just as importantly they represented themselves, our country and our sport with class and professionalism.”
Northcott (born Dec. 31, 1935) put together a team in Calgary that followed in the footsteps of the legendary Ernie Richardson foursome from Saskatchewan. Northcott put together a 23-2 cumulative record en route to winning world titles (known as the Scotch Cup from 1959 through 1967) in 1966 (8-0 at Vancouver), 1968 (8-1 at Pointe-Claire, Que., when the event became known as the Air Canada Silver Broom) and 1969 (7-1 at Perth, Scotland). Northcott had the same front end — lead Fred Storey and second Bernie Sparkes — for all three of those titles, and three different thirds: George Fink in 1966, Jim Shields in 1968 and Dave Gerlach in 1969.
Known as the “Owl,” Northcott won six Alberta championships, and also was named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1970 and the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1973, and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 1976.
“I definitely was thrilled. I was totally surprised,” said Northcott. “I have no idea who would have nominated me and how I got by the selection committee. But it’s certainly an honour and I’m very excited about it. I mean, how long has it been? Close to 50 years — that’s a long time.”
Duguid (born Jan. 25, 1935) took up the Canadian cause the year after Northcott’s last world title. Backed up by third Rod Hunter, second Jim Pettapiece and lead Bryan Wood, the Winnipeg powerhouse swept to back-to-back unbeaten world championships, going 8-0 in 1970 at Utica, N.Y., and 9-0 a year later in Megève, France.
Previously, Duguid had played third for Terry Braunstein’s 1965 Brier championship quartet, and made it to the final of the 1965 world championship in Perth, Scotland, finishing second (5-2) after losing the final to Bud Somerville of the United States.
Duguid, who turned to broadcasting after his competitive playing career was over (he worked for CBC and NBC), was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1974 and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1991.
“It’s a great honour; it’s unbelievable,” said Duguid. “I’m in the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame, the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, and now the World Curling Hall of Fame? That’s just great. It’s been a great journey for me. And going in with Ron Northcott really tickles me. He was an inspiration to me when I watched him curl.”
It’s the second year the World Curling Federation has accepted nominations for induction into the Hall of Fame, which is described as “the highest ‘non-playing’ honour that the World Curling Federation can bestow on someone and recognizes outstanding contribution to the sport of curling whether through on ice exploits or off ice endeavours.”
Prior to 2012, the WCF awarded the World Curling Freytag Award, named after the late Elmer Freytag of the U.S. Curling Association, who was a founding member of the International Curling Federation (now the WCF).
Previous Canadian Freytag honourees were: Ray Kingsmith (2011), Sandra Schmirler (2009), Shirley Morash (2001), Ernie Richardson (2000), Colin Campbell (1990), Bob Picken (1987), Don McLeod (1985), Mabel Deware (1983), Doug Maxwell (1981) and Ken Watson (1978).
For more information on the World Curling Hall of Fame, go to: www.worldcurling.org/world-curling-hall-of-fame.