1966-67 Women’s Curling Team

During the academic year of ’66-’67 Acadia, represented by skip Patsy (Spencer) Jarvis, Norma (Hebb) Reid, Barb MacIntosh, Patty Rogers, spare Pam (Rice) Lynch and coach Elizabeth Vermeulen, emerged as the Maritime Women’s Intercollegiate Association’s curling champions and bronze medal winners at the “Second Century Week” celebrations held in Calgary. This was a special national competition in several intercollegiate sports in honor of Canada’s Centennial Year. Home ice for the Axettes curling team was the Wolfville Curling Club which saw members of this team diligently practicing and having exhibition games.

On February 18th of ’67, Dalhousie University hosted the first annual women’s tournament sanctioned by the MWIAA. On that occasion the Vermeulen-directed curlers competed against host Dalhousie, Memorial, Mt. Allison and U.N.B. in a round-robin schedule that consisted of two sections-with points being awarded for each end and also for an overall game victory .The Axettes posted 9-1 and 8-4 triumphs over Dalhousie and U.N.B. respectively, giving them a first-place finish with a total of 110 points. Mt. Allison and Dalhousie each accumulated 65 points, while Memorial and U .N .B. earned 60 and 25 points respectively.

With the conquest of this Maritime Intercollegiate title, Coach Vermeulen and her victorious quartet had gained the right to represent the MWIAA at the “Second Century” competition held in Calgary as part of the ’67 celebrations. It must be noted that this was the fIrst Canadian intercollegiate competition for women in any sport. The coach and team members have of course many fond memories of their historic trip to Alberta.

Being the first such intercollegiate curling event for women, the Acadia team naturally had no uniforms. Ultimately, they borrowed sweaters with the “Axes” from the cheerleaders. They recall, too, the “generous” offer from the Matheson-skipped Axemen who were also making the flight to Calgary. Apparently, these gentlemen offered the ladies the opportunity to take the first flight out- realizing full well that it was the “milk run”. Of course, the men’s team of university representative Don Wells, the Matheson brothers, Al -edgerwood and Jim Fogarty-arrived there first. They recall, too, the elaborate Glencoe Curling Club in Calgary-a most sophisticated “private club”, the elaborateness of which the Axettes were not accustomed. They were amused as well with the attitude of the Westerners, who were well renowned for their curling abilities. They probably wondered about these Easterners and surely could not imagine what an Axette was!!

In addition to these fond reminiscences of their Calgary experience, the Acadia quartet performed very well in their on-ice conflicts. News reports of the event record that the (Spencer) Jarvis rink surprised a few of the experts:

“The Spencer rink which got solid support from Barb MacIntosh and Patty Rogers and some brilliant shots by third Norma Hebb and skip Patsy, herselj; came within a virtual ‘stones throw’ of five victories. In three of their losses they were ahead at times during the games, only to fall victim to a big end by the opposition.

Acadia was the only team to threaten the victorious University of Saskatchewan. Acadia led at one time but fell behind and lost a squeaker to the Saskatchewan four. This Acadia team lost their silver medal and had to settle for bronze when they were defeated by Western in the fourth round. This game went an extra end and it required a tremendous shot by the Western skip to pull the silver medal away from the determined Acadia girls.

With this 9-8 loss to Western, Acadia finished with two wins and four losses and became recipients of the bronze medal. What a pleasure it is to welcome back for induction to the Acadia Sports Hall of Fame, the coach and members of that ’66-’67 championship team that won for Acadia its first MWIAA curling title and were the bronze-medal recipients at the 1967 national tournament.