Berwick Curling Team
For many years, Rod Bethune was a valuable member of the Berwick Curling Club.
In addition to being a talented icemaker and general handyman around the club, Rod was also a good curler. He was competitive at the club level, but wanted more.
In the early 1970s, he asked his son Brian, best known at the time as a talented fastball pitcher, to join him on a curling team. Brian took to the sport naturally, and with the same dedication as his father.
It took a while to find two other men to fill out the team, but eventually, they convinced Dave Miller and Bill Wilson – perhaps the strongest front end in curling locally at the time – to join the team.
Miller and Wilson's well-placed draws, superior take-out ability and powerful sweeping were just the things the Bethunes were looking for.
Team Bethune, with Brian as skip, entered provincial play and other highly ranked bonspiels during the 1971-1972 season.
They won the Western Counties bonspiel at the Glooscap club in Kentville, defeating the defending champions from Baccaro 7-6 in the final thanks to a last-rock draw by skip Brian Bethune.
Throughout the competition, and in the final game, skip Bethune received solid support from his teammates, and the team was presented with the Ralston Cup – the second time in the 46-year history of the event it had been won by a team from Berwick.
The 1973 Western Counties bonspiel was hosted in Berwick. Playing on their home ice, and with the local club behind them, Team Bethune, with Brian again as skip, successfully defended its title.
The success of Team Bethune was largely due to their camaraderie both on and off the ice, and their sheer determination to be rated among the top curling teams in the province.
These four curlers competed, together and on other teams, for many years. In several different configurations, they were regular entrants in provincial events, including the British Consols and the Johnson Cup, the provincial intermediate championship.
Team Bethune represented Berwick well at the 1971 British Consols in Bridgewater, the 1972 Johnson Cup in Kentville, the 1973 British Consols in Sydney and the 1975 Johnson Cup, again in Kentville.
In 1971, the Bethune rink was runner-up at the Shamrock bonspiel at CFB Cornwallis. They also competed successfully at the annual CFB Baccaro bonspiel during the 1970s.
Their crowning achievement, though, was winning the Western Counties bonspiel two years in a row, during which time they were regarded as one of the top men's curling teams in the province.
The Berwick Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to induct, in the team category, the championship curling team of Brian Bethune, Rod Bethune, Dave Miller and Bill Wilson.