Curling has lost another ambassador of the game. Keith Reilly passed away on December 18th 2012 after a lengthy hospital stay.
Keith was the lead on the Alfie Phillips Jr. Brier championship team of 1967. The Ontario foursome finished the week at 9-1 advancing to the Scotch Cup (world championship) in France where they lost the semi final to Scotland. Keith was the all-star lead at the Brier.
He was a teacher by profession and was part of the group that founded the Ontario Curling Development Council, which became the Ontario Curling Federation and is currently the Ontario Curling Council. His love of teaching was a perfect fit for his involvement as a Course Conductor.
He was passionate about all aspects of curling. As an instructor he gave of his time at clinics at the club level. As a master course conductor, he taught and mentored a great many people and encouraged them to continue to upgrade their skills as instructor/coaches.
“As a long time member of the CCA’s Coaching and Rules/Officiating Committee’s, Keith contributed significantly to curling’s Coach and Officiating Development Programs by his production of countless high quality resources. His years of dedication to those two programs is unparalleled”, remarked Gerry Peckham, Director, High Performance for the CCA.
Keith coached many teams, among them, the Ontario Junior Ladies Champions of 1982 & 1983 (Alison Goring) and 1984 (Kristin Holman), the Canadian Junior Ladies Champions of 1983 (Goring), the 1983 Canada Winter Games gold medalists (Goring), and the 1990 Scott Tournament of Hearts national champions (Goring).
He was awarded the Canadian Curling Association Award of Achievement in 1992. He has also coached International teams and traveled to Japan on at least two occasions with his coaching duties.
In addition to playing and coaching, he was one of the pioneer officials of the game, beginning his officiating career in 1985 at the Canadian Mixed Championship held at his home club, the Bayview Golf and Country Club. He also mentored and encouraged new officials when they joined the officiating ranks.
His resume includes many Canadian Championships and various international events, most recently the Chief Umpire at the 2010 (Halifax) and 2011 (London) Briers and the 2010 World Seniors in Chelyabinsk, Russia. He was the Chief Umpire at the very first national championship of any sport held in Nunavut with the 2009 Canadian Mixed in Iqaluit.
He was especially fond of working at the Canadian Junior Championships where he felt he could encourage good sportsmanship. Keith was also Chief Umpire at Canada Winter Games on three occasions and at the 2002 Arctic Winter Games.
Keith officiated at CCA events every year from 1985 until his last event, the 2012 Canadian Junior Championships in Napanee, Ontario.
He will be missed by all those whose lives he touched in the curling world.