Women In Sport : Pre-Confederation Newfoundland
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This morning a lively game between the ladies and gentlemen curlers took place and the fair ones came off victorious by 8 points. - (Daily News, 28 February 1908)

Curling has been enjoyed in Newfoundland since the 1830s, when it was initially played on Quidi Vidi Lake. The sport quickly became very popular and several curling clubs were organized, including the Avalon Ladies’ Club in 1879. The club was formally organized into a charter association by Mrs. R.A. Brehm in 1905 and renamed the Ladies Avalon Curling Club.

The Club was restricted to fifty members, with a waiting list of twenty. The Club immediately organized competitions for a variety of trophies, cups and medals. The women curlers competed only among themselves; mixed games were limited to special events, such as fund-raisers and exhibition games. The Club provided the opportunity to play the sport and served as a social occasion. Members also participated in the annual Charity Day fund-raiser.

In 1910, the St. John’s Curling Association welcomed the Ladies’ Club into its new rink, the Avalon Curling Rink, at a reduced membership fee, reflecting the limited ice time made available to the women. Access to the rink proved to be so restricted that the Ladies’ Club protested and won a rebate in fees already paid. The women curlers were considered guests at the Rink, and not active members of the Association. Their ice time was limited to mornings and afternoons, holidays excepted.

In 1943, the St. John’s Curling Club was opened. The new building included a social room reserved exclusively for the members of the Ladies’ Curling Club. Despite the improved facilities, the women were still considered to be paying guests, and were not active in the Rink’s administration, although their catering services were quite welcomed!


Ladies' St. John's Curling Club 1949


Ladies Curling Club [St. John’s] 1936

Mrs. D.R. Thistle, Mrs. H. Mitchell, Mrs. R.G. Winter, Mrs. L.E. Emerson, Mrs. J. O’Leary, Mrs. A.H. Murray, Mrs. Brett, Mrs. W.F. Rendell, Mrs. B. Hayward, Mrs. W. Rennie, Mrs. W. Duder, Mrs. H. Outerbridge, Mrs. G. Marshall, Mrs. G. Lester, Mrs. H. Fraser, Miss R. Ayre, Mrs. H. Carter, Mrs. L. Munn, Mrs. R. Gushue


First Ladies Curling Club, St. John’s, Newfoundland, 1906

Back Row, left to right
Miss Annie Hayward, Mrs. John Browning, Mrs. W.G. Gosling, Mrs. Isabel Prowse, Miss Bremner

Middle Row, left to right
Mrs. John Harvey, Mrs. Kenneth Prowse, Mrs. Brehm, Mrs. Wm. H. Duder, Miss Violette Macpherson

Front Row, left to right
Miss Minnie Goodridge, Mrs. Cluny Macpherson


Curling Banquet

The Sitting Room at the old 1911 Curling Rink.  This seems to have been one of the many occasions on which the ladies served tea and cookies, on one of the “Charity Days”, or, it may have been one of the annual dinners of the ladies’ Curling Club.  Date: probably 1912.

“The rooms are well heated and no discomfort will be felt on that score.  Many of the articles of furniture are gifts of the members, who seem to vie with one another to make the rink as up to date as possible.

A pianola, with 180 of the latest operatic records, will be placed in the music room during the present month.”

Herald, 11 Dec. 1911


Lillian Howse
Audio "Grand Falls Curling Club"
Audio "Curling in the Afternoon"