Manitoba’s most successful Senior Women’s curling team began its success story more than a decade before they won Manitoba’s only Canadian Senior Women’s championship.
Life-long friends Mabel Mitchell, Mildred Murray and June Clark won the Manitoba Rose Bowl Women’s Championship in 1968 and again in 1971. In 1968, Shirley
Bray was their third. In 1971, Mildred moved up to third and Ev Bird was the second.
The threesome was destined a few years later to be one of the most dominant teams in Manitoba Senior Women’s competition. Mary Adams, herself a Manitoba champion as lead for Larry Taylor’s 1975 Manitoba Mixed champions, won a berth in the first Manitoba Scott Tournament of Hearts. That began a five-year span in which the Brandon team won three Manitoba Senior Women’s titles and was provincial finalist once. In their three national championships, the team won the championship once and was runner-up the other two occasions.
Their first Canadian championship came in their first appearance in 1983. The Mitchell team repeated as Manitoba champions in 1984 and reached the Canadian final before losing to Ev Krahn’s Saskatchewan team that went on to win three consecutive titles. In 1987, the Mitchell foursome returned to the national scene, again losing the final game.
The Brandon team was the first, and to this day remains the only, Manitoba team to win the Canadian Senior Women’s championship. They are also the only Brandon-based team to ever win a Canadian Curling Association Championship.
Mabel Mitchell was inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame as a Curler in the first induction ceremony in 1987. The Mitchell Senior Women’s foursome was inducted into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame in the Team category in 1996.