CHARLOTTETOWN – A familiar face in curling rinks across the country for more than 40 years is about to enter the P.E.I. Curling Hall of Fame and Museum.
Mark O’Rourke will be inducted – along with his wife, Kathy O’Rourke, Mark Butler, Robert Campbell and Peter Gallant – at the Cornwall Curling Club on Oct. 23. The induction ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $10 and available at the door.
The second in a Journal Pioneer series of profiles on the inductees features Mark O’Rourke, who will enter the Hall of Fame under the “Curler” category.
Start in sport
O’Rourke started to curl at the age of 12 in 1974 at the Charlottetown Curling Club. He has continued to be a strong competitor since, and has shown that he is one of the most talented and winning curlers to come out of Canada’s smallest provinces.
His impressive resumé reads one provincial junior men’s title, 10 provincial men’s championships, three provincial mixed titles, one Canadian mixed championship and two P.E.I. senior men’s crowns.
The 1989 season was a special one for O’Rourke as he, skip Robert Campbell, third stone Angela Roberts and lead Kathy O’Rourke not only won his first provincial mixed championship, but the rink would go on to win the Canadian mixed title. O’Rourke played second stone.
O’Rourke also enjoyed more success at the national level in 2013 as he was selected to the all-star team of the Canadian senior championships in Summerside for the second stone position.
Along with winning the Tankard 10 times, O’Rourke has also been a runner-up in the provincial men’s championship a total of seven times – the first in 1990 and the last in 2016.
Atlantic Curling Tour
O’Rourke also enjoyed success on the Atlantic Curling Tour. The highlight was winning the McCain SuperSpiel East in 1996 with Campbell, Gallant and Butler. They would go on to play in the TSN Skins Game.
As well as a stellar curling record, O’Rourke served on the executive as vice chair of the 1999 national Scott Tournament of Hearts committee in Charlottetown. He was also vice-president of the Charlottetown Curling Club in 1994, and president in 1995.
O’Rourke was a member of the Rod MacDonald-skipped Curl P.E.I. team of the year for the 2012-13 season.
O’Rourke is a valued 10-year sponsor of the Prince Edward Island Curling Hall of Fame and Museum.
Mark O’Rourke’s provincial titles:
1981 – lead with skip Doug Weeks, third stone Blair Weeks, second Billy Dillon.
1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999 – second stone with skip Robert Campbell, third Peter Gallant, lead Mark Butler.
2001 – second stone with skip and brother-in-law Peter MacDonald, third Peter Gallant, lead Mark Butler.
2007 – second stone with skip Peter Gallant, third Kevin Champion, lead Robert Campbell.
2008 – second stone with skip Peter Gallant, third Kevin Champion, lead John Desrosiers.
2009 – lead with skip and brother-in-law Rod MacDonald, third stone Kevin Champion, second Andrew Robinson.
2010 – second stone with skip Rod MacDonald, third Kevin Champion, lead Andrew Robinson.
1989 – second stone with skip Robert Campbell, third Angela Roberts, lead Kathy O’Rourke.
1998 – second stone with skip Peter MacDonald, third Kathy O’Rourke, lead Karen A. MacDonald.
2013 – second stone with skip Rod MacDonald, third stone Kathy O’Rourke, lead Karen E. MacDonald.
2013 – second stone with skip Rod MacDonald, third stone John Likely, lead Peter MacDonald.
2016 – second stone with skip Rod MacDonald, third stone Kevin Champion, lead Mark Butler.