Stewart & May Given

Inducted April 2015            Nominated by:  Murray Pearson

When people ask how long Stewart and May have been curling, they answer “forever”.  May grew up in Saskatchewan, where everyone curls.  She started with wooden rocks or jam pails on the skating rink ice, and over the years has curled in many clubs in Saskatchewan and Ontario.  May is not as interested in competitive curling and prefers club curling and the fellowship it provides.

Stewart started curling at age 14 on natural ice at the Prince Albert Curling Club, where he won a spiel, a box of chocolates, and was hooked for life!  He honed his game at Saskatchewan’s College of Agriculture, missing classes to curl, but graduating with a B.Sc. (Agriculture).

Stewart returned to the family farm, and curled in P.A., serving 4 years as rink manager, managing 15 sheets of ice.  He also served as secretary-treasurer of a rural curling League with 32 teams, one year winning the championship. May also curled in P.A. at the club he managed, renting a broom from Stewart for 10 cents a game!  It took him three years to ask her out, but she knew a good thing when she saw it – they were married in 1958, have three daughters and 5 grandkids.

In 1957, Stewart joined the Farm Credit Corporation, moving around, but curling at clubs in Tisdale, Prince Albert, Yorkton and Regina, and at the Tartan Curling Club for ten years, where he served on their Board of Directors.  

Stewart was transferred to Toronto in 1973 to become Ontario’s FCC Branch Manager. He and May joined the Richmond Hill Curling Club for 5 years, and in 1977, moved to Guelph, curling at the Guelph CC for another 5 years. 

In 1983 they moved to Ottawa, curling in the DARA league at Lansdowne CC.  In 1987, Stewart retired, and he and May joined HCC, which then was a 2 sheet club.

Ever ready to serve, in 1988, Stewart joined HCC’s Board of Directors, working on various projects, and serving as President in 1989-90, after two sheets were added, effectively managing the onerous and ongoing challenges the expansion presented.

Stewart and May started curling afternoons, and through his leadership, grew the daytimers league.  In 1993 he organized and coordinated the fixed teams league for Monday afternoon and later donated the Give’N Take Trophy for annual competition (now held on Tuesday).  He arranged for the annual Daytimers Come and Curl Champions trophy.  He and May also started the annual invitational Funspiels in 1993, organizing volunteers to run these for 21 years, raising about $1000 annually for our Club and improving HCC’s public image.  They also initiated a program of friendly exchanges with 4 or 5 neighbouring clubs, which continues to be popular.

Stewart was invited to enter a team (one of the first 4 to join) when the Senior Valley League started in 1992, and still skips a team and serves as HCC’s representative – an activity he considers one of his favorites.

Over the years, both he and May have been active volunteers at our Carp Fair Booth, selling Nevada tickets for the youth group and golf discount books to members, as well as many other contributions.

Throughout his curling career Stewart has competed in numerous competitions and bonspiels.  In Ottawa, this includes the City Men’s Spiel, the Masters, the Gord Perry at the Ottawa Club, 222’s, Senior Men’s Spiels at Valley clubs, always enjoying every game, win or lose!  May has always been quick to volunteer whenever needed, an unsung contribution that is typical of her quiet, friendly nature.  

Stewart and May have been goodwill Ambassadors for HCC for years, inviting guests, welcoming curlers and encouraging new members at every turn.  They hope to “keep right on rockin’ and brushin'” as long as possible, and we welcome them to do so as Honourary members!

Approved by

Past President:  Lorne Rice

Past President:  Cathy Shane

President:  Kerry Johnson