The Gushue Girls of Gander

Published on March 14, 2017

Having made numerous appearances on television screens throughout Canada during the 2017 Brier in St. John’s, the Gushue Girls are six ladies from Gander. Pictured, from the left, are Jeanne Collins, Alice McCarthy, Lorna O’Reilly, Betty Hansen, Gander MHA John Haggie, Doris Johnston and Nancy Dawe.

©Photo courtesy of Gander MHA John Haggie

Gander, NL – 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.

With provincial flags waving, in their hot pink shirts, dawning the Gushue rink name spelled out in individual letters, the ladies appeared on televisions across the country during the 2017 men’s curling Brier.

“I don’t know about famous,” she said, “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, which brought about 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 with Brad Gushue at the Brier Patch.

“We got to offer our congratulations to him and wish him well, and have a few photos,” Hansen said, noting that Gushue immediately recognized the group.  

“’The Gushue Girls!’, he said,” recalled Hansen.

The Brier itself she called an amazing experience, as the ladies had 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 night.”

Whether or not the Gushue Girls will be making another appearance, Hansen says to never rule anything out.  

She doesn’t foresee them taking in the Curling World Championships in Edmonton in the coming weeks, but noted that Gushue has an automatic entry into next year’s Brier in Regina, Saskatchewan.

“So you never know.”