Fred Ford Curling Team
Inducted 1999 Curling
Fred and his sons, Roy, John and Drexel, curled together for 16 years (late 1940's and 1950's). Fred and the boys traveled many miles to many events and gained respect as one of the top teams in Southern Sask. They were winners of many trophies and aggregates. They played in the same era as the Campbell and the Richardson rinks.
The team definitely brought recognition to their community as the 'Ford Family Team from Gray'.
Fred (May 1892 - July 1962) was born in Iowa and came to Canada in 1910 with Huffy Houghtailing and Ross Cottingham. In 1912 Fred married Bessie Powell and they had three sons and a daughter. Curling was not always utmost in Fred’s mind, but when his sons, John and Drex, came back form the war they formed their family team (along with Roy). At first Fred skipped and threw last stones, eventually Fred threw lead stones then skipped the rest of the end, while John threw skip rocks.
Roy "Pebblehead" (Dec 1915 - Feb 2020) went on to the ice-making profession with his son Gary, traveling to Toronto to work there. While in Toronto he started working and developing a new pebble-head nozzle from copper. He experimented with many different perforated hole sizes in a spoon-shaped design; fine, medium and coarse. His model came to be in demand and he hand-hammered out pebble-heads for distribution across Canada for nearly 20 years.
Drexel (Oct 1918 - Aug 2011) curling was his first love and in 1941 he played with John Lafoy, Dave Montgomery and Fred (Flury) Van de Kamp and won the District playdowns. After serving as a pilot in World War II he returned home and the Ford Family Team was formed. Drex occasionally curled with Norton Frei.
John (Mar 1924 - Mar 2018 ) had the responsibility of the ‘last’ stones. He developed quite a feel for the touch that was needed. These were the days of hitting and the Ford team was proficient at this skill. John has been involved extensively in community work over a number of years. Whether it is Hamlet duties, Gray Memorial Hall or Gray Recreation Centre John will help out. John was the recipient of the Royal Bank Hockey Leader award (2007) recognizing his long-term contributions to the rink and a 2008 recipient of the Saskatchewan Volunteer Medal.