Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James “Jim” Congalton (1879-1947)

Curler.

Born at Guelph, Ontario on 26 September 1879 to Alexander and Janet Congalton, he started curling at age 12. In 1906, the family moved to Winnipeg where he played at Thistle Curling Club and Strathcona Curling Club, finally making a home at the Granite Curling Club. In his working life, he was a salesman for the Codville Company.

He surrounded himself with notable curlers of that era including Mac Braden, Howard Wood, Billy Finlay, Mac Rochon, Vic Wood, and Frank Cassidy. That much talent allowed him to set an impressive record of seven MCA Bonspiel Grand Aggregate titles in 1912, 1913, 1917, 1918, 1930, 1932, and 1933. In addition, he won 22 event trophies, three Manitoba Men's Championships (1927, 1930, 1932), two Canadian Men's Championships (1930, 1932), and five City Championships.

Always modest, he enjoyed the game’s great competition rather than the accolades. A tribute to his skill was given by Howard Wood: “I enjoyed curling with Jim Congalton but I enjoyed better playing against him, for he was one of the best competitive curlers in the game.” Known for his incredible memory, he was able to retell stories about his games years after they happened.

In recognition of his curling prowess, he was inducted posthumously into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame (1975) and Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame (1997), and was part of a team induction for the 1930 team (2012) and 1932 team (2013). The 1930 and 1932 teams were also inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame (2019).

In 1906, he married Blanche Hildegarde Dyson (1879-1946) and they had two children. He was a member of Elmhurst Golf Club and Westminister United Church.

He died at Winnipeg on 10 October 1947 and was buried in the Elmwood Cemetery.

Sources:

“J. Congalton, famed curler, athlete, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 10 October 1947.

Website, Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame.

Website, Canadian Curling Hall of Fame.

Website, Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.

This page was prepared by Rick Mutton.

Page revised: 5 April 2022

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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