Golf course owner Harley Currie "lived for hockey''

Jim Day jday@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on December 7, 2012
Harley Currie

Golf was Harley Currie’s business, but hockey was his passion.

Currie, who owned and operated Glen Afton Golf Course with his wife Merina, played hockey in about four different rec leagues.

At times, he would lace up seven times a week.

“He lived for hockey,’’ said Merina.

“I’ve seen him go to hockey when he was so sore…He was in such good shape.’’

Currie even continued to play hockey after a diagnosis in September showed that he had cancer in his bladder and in his kidney.

“The cancer didn’t affect his strength at all,’’ said Merina.

He played hockey four times this week before a massive heart attack ended his life Wednesday at the age of 60. Merina finds comfort in knowing that her husband died in his sleep and did not suffer.

Like many, she is celebrating a great life while mourning a big loss.

“He had so many friends,’’ she said.

“He talked to everybody. He teased and tortured everybody. He could take as well as give.’’

Merina says her husband’s buddies at the local coffee shop in Cornwall are clearly crushed. They were all crying when she went through following Currie’s death.

“He was one of them,’’ she said.

He was also very much a part of the hockey fraternity.

Harley played hockey with so many people, says good friend Frank Morrison, that everybody considered him a teammate.

“Rest in peace Big Guy; we hope to see you in the ‘big rink’ some day,’’ Morrison said in an email to Currie’s family.

Merina says Currie had a soft spot for children but loved to talk and joke with all people he came across on and off the golf course.

“He just seemed to know so many people,’’ she said.

“He was a great father to Michelle (Ward) and Jonathan,’’ she added.

“He was always there. And he was a really good husband.’’

Currie put in long hours as superintendent tending to the course maintenance. He could be seen cutting grass during the day and watering the course late in the evening.

“It was run as a family business,” said Merina.

“We didn’t get any government grants. We did with so little.’’

Still, Merina and her husband wanted to give back. For the past 11 years, they have run the Delmar Currie Memorial Benefit Golf Tournament.

The tournament was named after Currie’s father, who started Glen Afton in 1972 as a nine-hole family-oriented course in Nine Mile Creek (it went to 18 holes in the early 1990s).

The tournament has raised more than $100,000 over the years, helping families deal with major health and financial issues.

Merina is determined to continue running the golf course with her son Jonathan and her son-in-law Blaine Ward.

“We will need to hire somebody to help but we will never, ever replace Harley,’’ she said.

Currie’s body is resting at Belvedere Funeral Home in Charlottetown where the funeral will be held Saturday at 2 p.m.

Visitation is today from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made to KIDSPORT P.E.I. or the Children’s Wish Foundation.