Frei Curling Team
Inducted 2000 Curling
With Norton Frei at skip (renowned for his draw weight), Ken Hendrickson at third, Ron Lewis the mainstay at second (respected for the accuracy he could achieve throwing the big weight) and a variety of leads (Jesse Bratt, Drexel Ford, Floyd Henry, Don Lewis, Earl Lewis) the squad had a lot of success in the 1950’s and 60’s with several trips to southern men’s playdowns and winning the Grand Aggregate twice at the Regina Men’s Bonspiel. The 1960 Grand Aggregate victory (skipped by Don Lewis) was achieved by finishing with 16 wins and no losses (a record that still stands today). The win at the 1964 Massey Farmer’s playdown (also with brother-in-law Don Lewis) resulted in a trip to the nationals in Toronto.
Norton Frei(1930–1994) began curling in the early 50’s. He skipped for a time and also played third with his brother-in-law Don Lewis. He often had his cousin Ron Lewis and Ken Hendrickson on his team. Whenever Norton skipped Ken played third and Ron was the mainstay at second. They had a variety of leads: namely Jesse Bratt, Drex Ford, Floyd Henry or Earl Lewis. They had many successes at the Regina Men’s Bonspiel and won the Grand Aggregate twice. The 1960 Grand Aggregate victory (skipped by Don Lewis) was achieved by being the first rink to finish unbeaten (16 wins - in a competition with 288 rinks) since 1944; a record that still stands today. The team made it to the southern men’s playdowns a few times. One of the most memorable wins was the 1964 Massey Farmer’s playdown (also with Don Lewsi), which gave them a trip to the nationals in Toronto. Norton himself was a superb strategist and shot maker, most teams knew that you should try to make Norton hit because he was deadly with the draw. Norton continued to curl at the rink in Gray even after he was not involved competitively because he enjoyed the game so much.
Norton was also quite an accomplished baseball player, “shagging” down fly balls in center field for years. Norton gave freely of his time to volunteering and was the “foreman” on site when the new rink was built.
Ron Lewis (1930–1984 - or 1985) began curling in high school in Saskatoon. He made the northern playdowns in 1947. In the mid 50’s he began curling with Norton Frei, Don Lewis and Ken Hendrickson. Ron was the mainstay of Norton’s team at second. Ron was respected for the accuracy he could achieve throwing the big weight. Ron also had success curling with his son Bob Lewis, Gary Ford and Glenn Ford and went to the South Final in 1975.
Ken Hendrickson (1929-2006) became interested in curling after being recruited as a school kid to round out teams in the Gray bonspiels. Ken felt fortunate to curl with Bob Montgomery in his first “spiel”. Ken became an accomplished lead with Don Lewis, Norton Frei and Ron Lewis. He moved up to play third when Norton was skipping. They won many events in the Regina Men’s bonspiel including the Grand Aggregate a couple of times. Ken went on to curl in the city for a few years to continue with his love of the sport.