Gander’s Gushue Girls
Six friends become famous fans
Six friends become famous fans at 2017 Brier.
Betty Hansen can’t help but laugh at the notion of being famous.
Hansen, along with five other friends from Gander, have become affectionately known as the Gushue Girls.
In their hot pink shirts, individual letters spelling out “G-US-H-U-E” the ladies appeared on televisions across the country during the 2017 men’s curling Brier in St. John’s.
“I don’t know about famous,” said Hansen, “but we sure had a lot of pictures taken and a lot of messages from people letting us know that they saw us on T.V.”
The six ladies – Jeanne Collins, Lorna O’Reilly, Nancy Dawe, Alice McCarthy, Doris Johnston and Hansen – love curling. They have been members of the Gander club since it opened in 1974.
The idea for the shirts came about last year, when they decided to attend the 2016 Brier in Ottawa.
They wanted to show their support for their home province team, and came up with the idea of the individual lettered shirts. Last year the shirts were a lavender colour and got a great reception.
With this year’s Brier being held in St. John’s, the Gushue Girls were determined to make another appearance.
“We decided to go with hot pink and it really stood out in the stands,” she said.
Their support didn’t go unnoticed by Team NL either.
After winning the Brier, the ladies got to meet up Brad Gushue at the Brier Patch.
“We got to offer our congratulations to him . . . and have a few photos,” Hansen said, noting that Gushue immediately recognized the group.
“’The Gushue Girls!’, he said,” recalled Hansen.
The Brier itself was an amazing experience, she said.
All six friends attended the event from start to finish, walking to games in the morning and taking cabs back to their hotel at night.
“It really was an unbelievable experience,” said Hansen. “The fans, the support, to win on home ice, it was just an electrified place.”
Asked whether the Gushue Girls might show up again, Hansen says to never rule anything out.
She doesn’t think they’ll attend the Curling World Championships in Edmonton later this year, but noted that Gushue has an automatic entry into next year’s Brier in Regina, Saskatchewan.
“So you never know.”
The ‘Gushue Girls’ from Gander — Jeanne Collins, Lorna O’Reilly, Nancy Dawe, Alice McCarthy, Doris Johnston and Betty Hansen (with Gander MHA Dr. John Haggie getting in the frame for this photo) — made numerous appearances on television screens across Canada during the 2017 Brier in St. John’s.