CALGARY'S MAVERICK CURLING CLUB
In the late 1950's when the Petroleum Curling Club was contemplating reorganization and expansion our club's founding members decided to break off and form their own league: hence the name Maverick Curling Club. Although records and memories are suspect, those individuals are believed to be Bill Blakely, Ken Jackson, Earl Lawrence, Stan Williams and John Zedde.
The Maverick Curling Club used to be exclusive to people that worked in various capacities in the petroleum industry. Many of the first curlers in the league were made up of geoscientists, engineers, and landmen. The first trophy that was handed out was sponsored by C & E Corporation Ltd. (Wilf Loucks), who became Canadian Superior (Mobil Oil). Today, the league is still predominantly made up of people currently in the industry as well as members that used to work in the industry but have moved on to other careers. All are welcome and valued in the Maverick Curling Club.
Operations began in October 1959 at the Calgary Curling Club and have continued there every year except 1976/77 when the Calgary Curling Club was being rebuilt following a fire. That year the Maverick curled at the Westwinds Curling Club which has long since closed its doors. The league times have pretty much stayed the same, Fridays from 4:30 - 7:00pm which is a great time slot after a long week of work. This year our league is celebrating its 60th Anniversary, which apart from various in-house leagues at the various curling clubs is one of the oldest continuously run leagues in Calgary. One of our members, Larry Miskew (once a member, always a member), began curling in the Maverick Curling Club in 1960 and curled continuously until a few years ago, a streak of 56 years!
The Club has historically curled with 16 teams, competing in two divisions: "A" & "B" division. One of the issues that arose from this is that the teams often did not play one another and being a social league, members never got to know one another. In 1999 a change was adopted where all the teams played each other, where the team with the most points at the end of the round robin was awarded the aggregate trophy. The seeding of the 16 teams determines the playoff round, and after 4 games an "A" and "B" winner will be crowned. From 1976 until the mid '90's, the Burned Brick Trophy was awarded to the curler that best exemplified the spirit of the Maverick Curling Club. This included: outstanding inconsistency in shot making, lousy sweeping and general suspect conduct both on and off the ice during the season. The magnificent brick centerpiece of this trophy was salvaged from the original Calgary Curling Club that burned to the ground on the night of October 13, 1976. Unfortunately, this trophy has been lost and is no longer presented. A copy of the original letter and response from a winner is attached below. On a team level, the "ascender" (say that out loud..) is presented to the team that has all the makings of a championship contender, except for wins. One hopes not to make it a dynasty to capture this trophy, which is why we feel there's always the next year to pull it together!
Some fun history of the Maverick Curling Club. Before curling clubs obtained liquor licenses, many leagues ran their own bar in the basement of the rinks where the locker rooms were once housed. Profits from the bar went to cover the costs of the wind-up party and to subsidize the annual curling dues. Old-timers may consider those to be the good old days and some members were compelled to "sleep it off" in the basement before heading home the next day.
Up until the late 1990's, the wind-up parties were known for the culinary exploits of a few of our members. From roast beef and famous baked beans cooked by Bob Penefield and Corby Hart, to steaks and baked potatoes, all looked forward to enjoying one last get together before the spring and summer seasons.
Although our league was, and continues to be a social league, a few members have gone on to achieve success at the provincial and national levels, notably Nick Lashuk, Ray Tull, and Murray MacDonald. At the petroleum industry level there is the Alberta Oilmen's bonspiel and the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists Doodlespiel, which Maverick members compete in with much success. Whenever a team or combination of players from the Maverick does well in any competition all of the members feel a sense of pride that our league helped accomplished that.
From the early days of the league until present the club has been managed by a few of our well respected members. I say few, because as far back as our records go (1967) we've had 6 people overseeing the league: Bob Penefield, Ron MacDonald and Corby Hart (1967? - 1997), Arnold Aylesworth and Ken Brillon (1997-2003) and Dale Johnson (2003-2019). To these gentlemen the club is much indebted and speaks to the success of the Maverick Curling Club.
In recent years we have mourned the loss of long-time Maverick Club curlers. These include Bob Penefield, Ron MacDonald, Bob Won, Ron Richardson, Oebel Pasveer, Alan Richards, Corby Hart, Cliff Lundell, Bob Park, Warner Loven, Murray VanAlstine, Mike Cardell, George Grant, Les Werle, Cheryl (Shores) Russell Jim McKibbon and Larry Miskew. Every Maverick curler has made an indelible contribution to our club, and their rich history and legacy will always be discussed and not be forgotten.
The club has a long history with only a few teams dissolving their membership. There are many members that have been curling for 20+ years. This closeness is reflected in the long tenured friendly rivalries among the teams. After the game both teams, beverages close by, will gather at the same table to reflect on the match, and get to know each other better away from the ice.
The Maverick Curling Club would not be possible without the co-operation of the Calgary Curling Club over the years. Providing first-rate facilities with some of the best ice in Calgary from their technicians, to the post game refreshments and the year-end banquet organized by the Food and Beverage staff.
The Maverick Curling Club has a rich history of respected members that have curled before us, and we eagerly look forward to many more Friday nights of friendly curling and post-game comradery.
This trophy was anonymously donated to the Maverick Curling Club in order that the Selection Awards Committee might annually, on Awards Night, honour one of its members for his individual and unique contribution to the Club and Curling in general.
The magnificent brick centre-piece of this trophy was salvaged from the original Calgary Curling Club building that burned to the ground on the night of October 13, 1976.
This award honours the individual selected for his outstanding inconsistency in shot making, lousy sweeping, and general suspect conduct both on and off the ice during the past season, as is expected of all Maverick Curling Club Members in good standing.