Dr. Wen MacDonald, John Squarebriggs, Douglas George and Daniel O’Rourke won the 1970-71 Canadian Senior Men’s Curling Championships at the Halifax Forum on Friday, February 26, 1971 in what was described as storybook-like finish. The rink, skipped by Dr. Wendall MacDonald, who was making his 7th consecutive appearance at the National Championships, defeated Burley Townsend’s Saskatchewan rink 10-9 in a sudden death final. The stage was set for the climatic game when the Prince Edward Island rink was defeated by Northern Ontario 11-4 and Saskatchewan downed New Brunswick 13-5 in the eleventh and final round of competition, giving them both 8 and 2 records. In that sudden death game, Dr. Wen made a perfect draw shot through the port of less than two feet, providing the winning margin. Lying one and with the last rock coming home, he drew to the button for two and the 10-9 victory. After the win, Dr. MacDonald spoke modestly saying “I only come here for the people I meet. You can’t meet trophies”. His rink’s 9 wins and 2 losses gave them the Seagram Stone, emblematic of the Championship.
Dr. Wendall MacDonald began his quest for the National Championship really in 1965 at the inception of the bonspiel, which was instituted for male curlers over the age of 50, with each rink having a total age aggregate of no less than 210 years. This championship team of 1970-71 had a total age aggregate of 236, and each member had a National Senior competition behind them. 62-year-old MacDonald had played 6 years at the Nationals; his mate, 60 year old John Squarebriggs, had played 5 years; his 2nd, 58-year-old Doug George had played 2 years; and lead, 56-year-old Danny O’Rourke had only been there the previous year. These four gentlemen then, on Friday, February 26, 1971, made curling history, in that they became the first curling team from this province of Prince Edward Island, male or female, ever to win a National Curling Championship.
Updated: October 2015
File Contains: photo of team, “Island Side” article, photo of hoc