Jacksons inducted into college hall of fame

Local curling couple Kathie and Lorne Jackson are now Hall-of-Famers.
The pair were inducted into the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association Hall of Fame last Wednesday in Oshawa in recognition of their career at Confederation College, which was highlighted by a national mixed curling championship—the capper on an 18-0 season in 1987-88.
“It was great. It was really nice. It was a nice honour just to be there,” Lorne Jackson said.
“I don’t know what to say,” he laughed.
“It was an honour to be there,” his wife agreed. “It was nice to be with my husband for a few days.”
The Jacksons were nominated for induction by their coach at Confederation College, Ron Fearon, who himself was inducted to the hall as a builder this year.
“They certainly were the class of their field,” Fearon said. “I think it was unique that they wound up becoming husband and wife.”
Scott Dennis, marketing and communications co-ordinator with the OCAA, said it is unique.
“I believe that is a first,” he remarked. “I don’t think there ever has been a married couple inducted in the Hall of Fame, especially in the same year.”
While their big season is almost 20 years past, the Jacksons both have fond memories of it.
“It was really nice,” Lorne said. “We travelled all over Ontario. They flew us around to curl and they probably spent a lot of money, and it was a great program in that aspect.
“It gave us a lot of opportunities to play everywhere,” he added. “Met a lot of people. Made a lot of friends.”
“The college always treated us well,” Kathie noted.
“Yes, the college treated us well, and it was nice to be there,” Lorne agreed. “I don’t think we appreciated it as much at the time.”
The only thing that would have made it better for the Jacksons was if their whole team had been inducted to the OCAA Hall of Fame. But the hall only inducts individuals, not teams.
“We were a little disappointed, to say the least,” Kathie said.
The front end of their team was made up of Donna-Rae Carter of Dryden (“Still my best friend,” Kathie said) and Lorne’s brother, Dale, who lives in Thunder Bay.
They were “very close knit,” Kathie said. “To do what we did together was very neat.”
Fearon explained each college only can nominate two athletes per year, and had to choose to nominate the driving forces of the championship quartet.
“Being on the back end of the team, that’s the leadership part of the team,” he said, crediting the Jacksons for “their leadership skills and keeping their team together and focused and motivated.”
It seems only natural for the two to be inducted together after spending so many years together on the ice.
Their parents were friends when they were children, and Kathie’s mother often said they “crawled around the floor of the curling club while we were babies,” Lorne noted.
While they both are very proud of the honour, Lorne admitted curling together hasn’t been all about Hall of Fame awards.
“Curling with my wife, or future wife, was interesting. . . . It was interesting for the fact that married couples curling together can be interesting at times,” he laughed.
“It’s a very political thing on the ice.”