Written by: Maureen Bonar (A.K.A Mo-Money)
If you know anything about curling, you know about the array of pins that are collected during every major Canadian Curling Championship. It’s a tradition that started many many decades ago and is a way for avid curlers and fans to mark that curling moment in time.
There are three distinct divisions of pin collecting – curlers, volunteers and fans. Pin collectors are motivated differently though. Some try to find the most sought-after pins of the competition, some just want to collect as many pins as they can, and others try to round out their set of pins with those they do not already have. Typically, a curler who enters a bonspiel will receive a pin with the date and name of the curling event.
My first exposure to this world of pins came when my team won the Provincial Junior Women’s curling Championship back in 1982 and, coincidentally, the last time the Brier was held in Brandon. Our Curling Association gave us cards to fill up with the traditional pin representation which included a Manitoba Curling Association pin, Manitoba flag, Manitoba buffalo, Golden Boy, and our local club pin to round out the set.
The entire representing Provincial team made it their task to fill up all of these cards prior to competing at the national competition so that they could be presented to each provincial team we played and during the official handshake at each game.
You are certain to find true pin warriors at this upcoming Brier proudly displaying their pins on hats, sweaters, and jackets. Some of these serious pin collectors are notorious for their collections. If you see someone with many pins, stop and ask them about them. Many can tell you stories around the array of pins they have acquired over the years and the special meaning they all have.
Pictured below is only part of my own Pin Collection! In the second photograph, I have compiled some of my own most memorable pins.