20 Feb 21
WE are indebted to Vice President Rob White for his tribute to Hubert Ireland
HONORARY PRESIDENT HUBERT IRELAND (Crosshill Curling Club)
June 1931-January 2021
It has been a sad January in the midst of lockdown when we lost one of our stalwarts in Honorary President Hubert Ireland. He had been an installation in the curling club for so long it will seem strange not having him present any more. When it came to scoring and sorting out the rules for all the competitions, he was the fount of all knowledge always dispensed with his natural grace and good manners. His curling excellence was admired by many and he managed it without having to throw stones at breakneck speed to make good shots.
Hubert was born at Dumfries House, Cumnock but as far as we know he was not related to the present incumbent. He married May Bryden in September 1956 and it is said she was the original source of the home knitted socks which he used to protect his highly polished brogue on his sliding foot. They had a long and happy marriage and after May passed away Hubert spent a lot of time at the ice rink where he was always among friends.
Curling started for him at the old Ayr ice rink when he joined Crosshill and played with the family pair of stones. He started with Jim Montgomerie’s rink and then moved on to J. K. Dunlop’s with whom he travelled around Scotland playing in various competitions. When the new rink opened, he formed his own rink with Robert Baird, Tom McGill and Jim Dunlop and in one season they played in eleven finals and won NONE. One of his more memorable games was in the Ne’erday Bonspiel in 1980 when he beat the rink of Andrew McQuisten who were the junior world champions. After trying for 40 years, he eventually won the Hugh Fergusson plate in 2013, which was quite special as he had been at school with Hugh.
This was Hubert winning the Unders and Overs with Alistair Goldie – the youngest curler and the oldest in the competition.
Hubert was President of Ayr Curling Club in 2000 and made Honorary President in 2017. His dedication to curling was unsurpassed and if you asked him to stand in for a missing player he very rarely refused. A few years ago, we were in his company at a dance in the rink and someone complimented him on the high polish on his black leather shoes to which he replied they were very good quality and he had purchased them for his wedding some fifty odd years previously. One of his memories in playing in the Maxwell Trophy was going up to Edinburgh by train one day, staying overnight and going on to Dundee the next day to play another round there and coming back by train. No flash cars in those days!! He was extremely well known in curling circles and it was rare if you went to any ice rink in Scotland and Hubert did not know some of the curlers.
Members, we have truly lost one of our most dedicated curlers, a true gentleman, friend to many and someone who could always be relied on to help any in need.
We will miss you Hubert. R.I.P.