Hall of Famer
HOWARD 'PAPPY' WOOD
Inducted in 1977
Competed in 65 consecutive Manitoba Bonspiels, a mark recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records
Winner, Canadian Brier
Winner, first Nipawin Automobile Bonspiel
For Howard "Pappy" Wood, curling was not just a sport but a lifelong activity, intimately tied to his everyday being. He was active on the rink throughout his life, competing in the Manitoba Bonspiel every single year between 1908 and 1972. This 65-year string of participation was so monumental that it earned him mention in the Guinness Book of World Records. Wood's curling career began at the turn of the century in the backyard of his Winnipeg home. His father, a prominent contractor with a passion for the sport, created a backyard curling sheet, making curling stones fashioned from wooden blocks with bent spikes for handles, and then draw rings on the ice using a special coloured powder obtained from his business' construction materials. It's no wonder that Howard and his brothers were ace curlers by the time they were teenagers. A member of Winnipeg's Granite Curling Club, Wood curled his first bonspiel in 1908. He won his first Grand Aggregate in 1911 and went on to collect seven more by 1940. By 1915, he had collected eleven cups and, by 1916, he was skipping his own rink. Nineteen-twenty-five was a year that Wood would never forget. This was the first year that Canadian curling reached the national level of competition, and Wood was there to witness "the birth of the Brier." A victory in the British Consols earned him an all expenses paid trip to the eastern provinces and parts of the United States where he skipped Western Canada's representative rink. Wood skipped Brier winners in 1930 and 1940 and was third in Jim Congalton's 1932 championship rink. His 1940 triumph was particularly poignant as this marked the first time that the Brier, emblematic of the Canadian curling championships, was held outside of Toronto. In his hometown of Winnipeg, Wood skipped his rink to victory in front of a sold out crowd of 5,000, a clear indication that curling was well on its way to becoming a successful "spectator sport" across the country. Wood was sure to pass along his talent and zest for the sport to his sons, Howard Jr. and Lionel. Howie was a member of the great championship rink of 1940 and also helped his father win the first Nipawin automobile bonspiel in 1947. Aside from his numerous curling accomplishments, Wood is one of few athletes to have won national titles in more than sport. He was a halfback for the Winnipeg Scottish soccer team which won the Canadian championships in 1915. Wood's numerous achievements on the ice, as well as the unparalleled longevity of his career, made him a legend in Canadian curling. He was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 1974.