Hector’s Life

Hec Gervais, the man known as “The Friendly Giant”, began his curling career as a young man in St. Alberta in the 1950’s. By 1959 he was considered to be one of the hottest new young curlers having won the City of Edmonton Bonspiel three years in a row. This caught the attention of the legendary Matt Baldwin who had just won his third Brier title. In 1960 Hector joined forces with Matt and they were on top of their game at the bonspiel level, but were not able to win in the playdowns.

The next year Hector returned to the tee head to skip his own team of Ron Anton at third, Ray Werner at second and Wally Ursuliak at lead. This team swept through the 1961 provincial playdowns winning a purple heart to represent Alberta at the Brier. They went on to win the MacDonald’s Brier and then the Men’s World Curling Championship – The Scotch Cup.

Hector would go on to compete in four more Briers, winning it for a second time in 1974 with teammates Ron Anton, Warren Hansen and Darrell Sutton.

Hector was given credit for revolutionizing the game of curling in the 1960’s with placing guards in front of the rings and drawing around the rocks for protection. Along with this strategy he also became very well known for the touch he had with his draw weight.

Off the ice, Hec and his wife Helen, raised five children on a potato farm just outside of St. Albert. In 1988 Hector became the manager of the Avonair Curling Club, and would remain there running the club until his sudden passing in 1997. It was a huge loss for his family and the curling community.

Hector could walk into any curling rink in Canada and be instantly recognized. The Friendly Giant would strike up a conversation with anyone and he always had a good story to share. If he had met you before, chances are that he would remember your name. Curling was a game Hec loved, and he would be very proud that his legacy lives on by helping out the youth of the sport with the scholarships that are now awarded in his name.
 


 
[1975] inducted in The Canadian Curling Hall of Fame (curler)
[1991] inducted in The Alberta Sports Hall of Fame (athlete)

 


 




NACA MEN’S NORTHERNS
YEAR CLUB REP. SKIP THIRD SECOND LEAD WON
1961 Alberta Avenue Hec Gervais Ron Anton Ray Werner Wally Ursuliak Worlds
1962 Alberta Avenue Hec Gervais Ron Anton Ray Werner Wally Ursuliak Provincials
1962 Derrick Hec Gervais Ron Anton Ray Werner Fred Fekette
1964 Derrick Hec Gervais Ron Anton Ray Werner Wally Ursuliak Northern A
1965 Alberta Avenue Hec Gervais Ron Anton Bob Esdale Wally Ursuliak Northern A
1966 Alberta Avenue Hec Gervais Ron Anton Bob Hawkins Wally Ursuliak
1967 Alberta Avenue Hec Gervais Don Anderson Bob Hawkins Wally Ursuliak Northern A
1970 Granite Hec Gervais Bill Mitchell Wayne Saboe Bill Tainsh Provincials
1971 St. Albert Hec Gervais Bill Mitchell Wayne Saboe Bill Tainsh
1972 St. Albert Hec Gervais Bill Mitchell Wayne Saboe Bill Tainsh Northern A
1974 St. Albert Hec Gervais Ron Anton Warren Hanson Darryl Sutton Canadians
1976 St. Albert Hec Gervais Ron Anton Millard Evans Bill Tainsh
1980 St. Albert Hec Gervais Bob Hawkins Dennis Sutton Lorne Barker
1990 Avonair Hec Gervais Ron Anton Stan Gervais Terry Thornton
NACA MIXED
YEAR CLUB REP. SKIP THIRD SECOND LEAD WON
1971 St. Albert Hec Gervais Pearl Quintal Tom Nuttall Henrietta York Northern A
1976 St. Albert Hec Gervais Betty Anderson Casey Anderson Helen Gervais
1981 St. Albert Hec Gervais Jackie-Rae Anderson Hec Gervais Jr. Diane St. Clair
1992 St. Albert Hec Gervais Val Herlmeier Jon Donais Maureen Twidale
NACA SENIOR MEN
YEAR CLUB REP. SKIP THIRD SECOND LEAD WON
1986 St. Albert Hec Gervais Don McLeod Gary Hanson Terry Lewis
1988 Balmoral Hec Gervais Borden Woytkiw Bill Donaldson Dave Graves
1989 Balmoral Hec Gervais Borden Woytkiw Bill Donaldson Dave Graves Northern B
1993 Avonair Hec Gervais Ron Anton Wally Ewoniak Ron Freeman
1995 Avonair Hec Gervais Ron Anton Rick Tuffs Ron Freeman
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