At 89 years young, Airdrie resident Marjorie Stewart, also known simply as Marj, has been curling for well over 40 years. In August, her passion for the all-Canadian sport was honoured in her home province of Ontario. Stewart was inducted into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame, in Maxville Ontario.
Stewart said that her introduction to curling came when she was in high school. On her way to school, her friend had told her about a rather odd sport she had noticed taking place in the local arena.
"She told me that there were men on the ice, and they were throwing rocks down the ice and a couple of them were sweeping in front of the rock as they went down the ice," Stewart said. "I thought this was a wild story - men with brooms? Now, that doesn't really fit up in my head."
Even though Stewart was skeptical about it, sure enough when she herself saw the men with brooms, she began to wonder - at first her musing wasn't about joining in, she was more worried if the town would lose its local hockey team to this sport. However, it wasn't until she came to Airdrie, in the early 1960's that she decided to give the sport a try.
"I went down to the curling rink, and I got on the team and then we started our own team," she said.
Stewart who was in the role of the third for years has amassed many championship titles and accolades. She has also travelled across the country and the globe for the sport she has invested so much time and passion into. While the sport itself is something she loves, the friendships and bonds she has made throughout the years, have also been what keeps her coming back to the rink.
"The friendships you make and the different people you meet all the time. I still curl in Calgary, and I drive in there in the wintertime. It's not a big deal for me."
During the induction ceremony back home in Ontario, Stewart said she was slightly nervous about the speaking portion, as she said she isn't one to talk about herself much, much less in front of a large crowd in a hockey arena. But it was visiting the Hall of Fame and seeing her photo that was perhaps the highlight of the trip.
In a kismet-like turn of events, Stewart's high school friend - the same one who told her the 'wild' story of men on the ice with brooms, is also in the Glengarry Hall of Fame. Connie (Kippen) Blaney, was inducted into the fall of fame in 2003. When asked what her reaction was to her own picture being hung up in the hall of fame, Stewart said it was a bit shocking.
"There's my picture right there! I didn't expect to see it, but it was there on the wall!"
Stewart was among four other individuals, as well as the Glengarry Lacrosse Team that was inducted into the Glengarry Sports Hall of Fame this year.
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