I lived next to Molly and Ted Pirie for eight years. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning, as well as Monday afternoons, all through those winters, Molly would jump in her little car and go somewhere. I didn’t know then but I know now where she was going…Halifax Curling Club, to the Day Ladies curling.
And curl she did! I’m not sure of all of Molly’s history in curling but she was not a novice when she moved from Montreal to Nova Scotia with her family. She joined Halifax Curling Club and Verda Kempton’s team and never looked back.
1982 started a string of victories for Molly’s team, skipped by Verda Kempton. Over the next seven years Molly would win four Provincial Senior Women’s titles with that team, throwing either lead or second stones. But that wasn’t all…because for two of those years, 1982 and 1987, the team won the Canadian Seniors as well. In May of 1988 Molly was honoured as the Sport Nova Scotia Athlete of the Year, an award that she still prizes highly.
From 1990 to 1995, Molly was second on two different teams (skipped by Jo Sutherland and Mary Harper) and won three Nova Scotia Master’s Championships and two Maritime Masters.
Molly’s level of interest and participation in provincial competition was not as keen in the next years but she never lost her love of competition and treated every time she was on the ice, with whatever team she was dealt, with the same intensity. She was a fierce competitor and expected that you would always do your best. Nothing less was tolerated. But her disappointment never left the ice shed. She was willing and eager to help those who were interested in getting better. The first year I was able to curl in the daytime, I wasn’t sure that I was going to commit to more than one of either Tuesday or Thursday mornings. Molly was quick to ask if I expected to become a better curler (she may have said a decent curler 😊) because you can’t improve playing once a week. I must admit that I have channeled Molly more than once with newer, reluctant or frustrated curlers in echoing this advice.
Letters of support for this kind of nomination are part of the application process. Several of Molly’s clubmates weighed in with their memories of playing with Molly.
Both Lucie-Anne and Judy passed on Molly’s philosophy of sweeping a rock: Sweep first, then check the progress of the rock. There’s nothing you can do to speed it up once it starts to lose its steam. At HCC you can often hear this come from other skips. I wonder where they heard that first?
Molly loved playing golf as well but she didn’t keep score and tried a shot a second time if she felt like it. Her playing partners were told before they started the game that that was her practice and if it bothered them, they probably should play with someone else. Molly did things with integrity and she would not change to suit anyone else.
Another of her ‘fan’ letters of support remarked that curling clubs today could use more Molly Piries and the sentiment of that is certainly true but I fear that when they made our Molly, they broke the mold. This long-deserved honour, induction into the Nova Scotia Curling Association’s Hall of Fame, belongs to Molly Pirie – one of a kind!
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