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James O. ‘Jimmy’ Welsh, whose competitive curling career spanned more than three decades in the Winnipeg area he called home, was a legend of the Macdonald Brier’s early years. A three-time Manitoba champion as a skip, he performed vice-skip duties for John Douglas in 1933. He was back at the helm in 1937, won the prized Tankard in 1947 and made his Brier swan song at the 1954 renewal in Edmonton.
Welsh skipped for his team of brother Alex, Jock Reid and Harry Monk Sr., for a whopping 15 straight seasons without one personnel alteration. And his undefeated run in the ’47 Brier is one of the only 11 such feats in history.
Veteran Manitoba observers claim Jimmy actually introduced the running game to competitive play, calling takeout shots with reckless abandon while all around him the opposition stuck to draw tactics.
He was born in Scotland in 1910, came to Canada in his early years, and started to curl at the Deer Lodge club in Winnipeg in 1925. In 1975, he was honored at Deer Lodge for 50 years of continuous club curling.
Welsh won the Grand Aggregate title in the MCA bonspiel three times – in 1937, 1949, and 1952. He won the premier Birks trophy five times (in 1934, 1936, 1937, 1952 and 1953), and the Eaton trophy twice (1949 and 1952).
Welsh also served the administration of curling. He was president of his Deer Lodge club in 1941-42, and president of the Manitoba Curling Association in 1964-65. He was made a Honorary Life Member of Deer Lodge in 1963 and the Manitoba Curling Association in 1966.
He was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1983 as a curler.
Jimmy was Inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Hame in 1988 as a curler.
He and his team were inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall Of Fame in 1997 in the team category.