The Little Club that Grew

Last Updated By Kevan Stranges

The Fort William Curling Club Business Women’s League was founded with the intention of providing working women with; more evening curling ice, a set time and day for games and a game time that would fit into their schedules.

In 1988 Marilyn Warf and Oris Shewchuck, both working women, had an idea for what they believed would be a better way to set up curling for those who were also working women. They approached Norm Allen, the Club Manager and Bill Charlebois, President of the Board of Directors with the idea. A league from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Women could come straight to the Curling Club from work, curl, have dinner with their team and then go home, or go to an 8 o’clock meeting or event.

Some people thought the idea would never fly, “strange way to run a curling club” they said. Women curled at 6:45 or 9:00 p.m. and switched nights of curling frequently or they curled in the afternoons……didn’t they? Women wouldn’t want to go curling right after work…..would they? Turns out, they certainly did! It was determined by the working women to be the most convenient way to be able to curl and accommodate everyone’s busy schedules. The FWCC Business Women’s League was advertised to be 5 to 7 p.m., and only Wednesday night. Within one week of advertising the “new” League, it had a full roster of 16 teams, 4 teams on the waiting list and 18 spares.

In 1989, the BWLeague expanded to include the second night on a Friday, in 1995, Monday night was added and in 2004, Tuesday was added. A little innovation and a lot of cooperation led to a full complement of days and a set ice time for working women to fit into their schedules.

The Fort William Business Women’s League is happy to celebrate 20 years of great curling and camaraderie and a long future of continuing to meet the needs of women curlers.

The 1988 Founding Executive are as follows:
Marilyn Warf – President
Shirley Lang – Vice-President
Oris Shewchuk – Secretary-Treasurer
Winnie Daniels – Membership
Joyce Bonnett – Rules
Georgina McCallum and Pam McCallum (Caland) – Draw
Judy Prystanski – Entertainment & Prizes
Linda Churchley – Northwestern Curling Association Rep.