Bartlett, Sue Ann
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In March of 1987 it was announced that Sylvia Ann ‘Sue Ann’ Bartlett of Labrador City had been inducted into the Curling Hall of Fame. Sue Ann Bartlett, who has become legend in Newfoundland and a very familiar figure at the Scott Tournament of Hearts, was named in the curler category. Mrs. Bartlett has represented her province no less than nine times at the Canadian women’s championship, finishing as runner-up in 1981 and again in 1985.
Back in the 1970s and early ’80s, it was Bartlett and her team from Labrador City who were the top stone-slingers in the province, with Bartlett skipping 12 provincial women’s championship teams and winning a pair of silver medals at the nationals.
Bartlett’s first provincial win came in 1971 when she, Ann Bright, Francis Hiscock and Mavis Pike ended a run of four titles in five years by Grand Falls curler Violet (Vi) Pike.
Bartlett would repeat again in 1972 and would go on to win in 1974, ’76, ’78 and 1979.
In 1978, Patricia Dwyer replaced Bright as vice and would throw third stones for the next six championship teams.
Perhaps Bartlett’s greatest moment – and maybe the most disappointing – came in 1981 at the national women’s championship, the “Lassie,” at Memorial Stadium in St. John’s.
A slow start saw the team, which consisted of Dwyer, Joyce Narduzzi and Jo Ann Bepperling, lose three of its first four games. But Bartlett and Co. rebounded with six straight wins to finish third overall at 7-3, tying her record from the 1979 Lassie in Montreal where she finished third.
With a steal of one in the 10th end, Bartlett won the semifinal, a 6-5 decision over Joan Ingram of Manitoba, for a date with Alberta’s Susan Seitz in the final.
An overflow crowd filled the Stadium for the final, but a storybook finish was not to be.
Alberta thumped Newfoundland 7-3, breaking a 2-2 tie with three in the sixth end.
“I really, really wanted to win that,” Bartlett said in a 2005 interview with The Telegram. “Maybe I went in too uptight. I think we put too much pressure on ourselves.
“That’s the only thing I will always regret … that we didn’t win.”
With a new front end – Margaret Knickle and Debbie Herbert had replaced Narduzzi and Bepperling – Bartlett and Dwyer regained their provincial title in 1985 and headed for Winnipeg and the 1985 Canadian women’s championship.
Bartlett again finished 7-3 in the round-robin, finishing in a tie with Alberta’s Seitz and Nova Scotia. One of the tie-breakers was a rematch with Alberta, which Bartlett won 8-2 in eight ends.
After a semifinal win over Nova Scotia’s Virginia Jackson, it was on to the final again. This time her opponent was Linda Moore of British Columbia.
Just as it had been four years earlier, it was a disappointing outcome for the Newfoundlanders, who lost 13-7 after giving up a whopping five in the first end.
Bartlett would win another three provincial championships, but would not reach the national final again.
After her days playing for what is now the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Bartlett set her sights on the seniors, and didn’t miss a step. From 1996-2000, she peeled off five straight provincial titles. At the ’94 nationals, Bartlett posted a 10-1 record in the round-robin, but lost to Alberta’s Cordella Schwengler in the final for her third national silver medal.