Gyro Club of Sherwood Park
June 17th, 2020
It has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve as the President of the Gyro Club of Sherwood Park for the year 2019/2020. It has been an interesting and unusual year in that the last seven meetings of the year had to be cancelled due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
Serving as President was made easy and enjoyable because of a remarkable Board of Directors who provided advice and assistance throughout the year. Rick Craddock and Ted Ewanchuk provided exceptional support and advice on every occasion. Eric Braun, as usual, did a stellar job as Treasurer, and Ray Davis kept everything on track as Secretary and Club Webmaster. As Directors, George Ward, Ian Bannatyne, Roger Delveaux, and Brian Wolfe, stepped in at every opportunity to make sure the programs ran smoothly. Unfortunately, Brian sadly passed away during the year, and Bernie Kropp volunteered to replace him as a Director. Scott Brisbin continued to do his remarkable version of William Shakespeare in serving as our Bulletin Editor. And John Williams continued to serve as the Club Administrator, as he has done for many years. And last, but not least, Dorne Hunt served as the club Registrar and kept the 50/50 draw on track. With this incredible team, serving as your President was a joy and a great reward. Thank you.
The highlights of the year included:
- The AGM meeting on Sept. 4th, which approved the budget, the annual meeting program, and simplified New Member Procedure. And, once again, the Curlarama budget was denied.
- On September 18th, Dorne Hunt, Jim Malott, Terry Bajer, and Milt Lanes won the Horseshoe tournament.
- On October 2nd, we enjoyed an interclub Bocce tournament with the Edmonton Club with 48 members in attendance from both clubs. Bocce has become one of the meeting highlights of the year.
- October 16th was Founder’s Night, which was another interclub meeting with the Edmonton Club, attended by more than 80 members. Our guest speaker was Dr. Jasneet Parmar, who spoke on the issue of Seniors in Society. Keith Bradley delivered the Founder’s Night speech in his usual and gifted way.
- Curlarama was held on November 1st through 3rd, and the team of Ray Davis, Don Grieg, Terry Bajer, and guest player Dave Rozak, brought home the trophy. Thanks to Bill Austin for organizing this event.
- Our annual Crib tournament took place on November 13th, with Paul West and Brian Wolfe were the first-place winners, while, Les Bellan and Ray Davis came in second.
- November 27th was Billiards Night with 22 members attending. Ted Ewanchuk and Ian Bannatyne were the first-place winners, while Ken Lesniak and Art Merrick placed second. Each of the players went home with a fine bottle of wine.
- November 11th was Bowling Night. Bill Austin and Ray Davis were the first-place winners and Al Govenlock and new member George Huybregts were the follow-up winners.
- Our annual Christmas Party took place on December 21st, at the Belvedere Country Club, with 64 members in attendance. As usual, it was a great mixed meeting, and everyone was decked out in their party best. It was great to have Bill and Jeanne Carter in attendance.
- Darts Night took occurred on January 15th, at the German Club. It was a crowded event, which took place in the basement. Having lost in the first round, I left early and do not know who won the event. The good news is that no one was injured by an errant dart throw, although there were some close calls.
- One of the best events of the year was our Valentines Dance organized by Garry Jones. It occurred on February 14th, at the OLPH, which was magnificently decorated for the evening. In included a live auction and it is rumored that the last Gyro couple left the party around midnight.
- Poker night occurred on March 4th, and Peter Elzinga, Augie Annicchiarico, and John Williams were the winners. As usual, everyone had a good time. Unfortunately, because of COVID 19, this was the last Gyro meeting of the year. Based on the restrictions issued by the Alberta Government, all other meetings for the year had to be cancelled.
COVOD 19 tossed a real monkey wrench into our Gyro year. Not only did the club have to cancel the remaining meetings of the year, the District and International Conventions were cancelled. Of some concern, was the fact that Auction night was cancelled, which is a critical meeting for club finances. However, Erik Braun worked his magic and advised that the costs saved by not having the seven remaining meetings offset the revenue expected from Auction Night. As a result, Erik was happy to report the Club is in good financial condition.
Rick Craddock and his election committee carried out election night by phone and email and was happy to report that Peter Elzinga had volunteered to serve as Vice President and Bruce Copeland and Art Merrick had volunteered as the two new Directors. It was agreed that the Gyro summer events would be turned over to be handled by the new Executive.
While not a participant in their events, it is understood that the Gyrette Club had another great year as well. They too, had to adjust their program year because of the need to self-isolate.
On health and welfare, it was not such a good year for our Club. We lost two members, Brian Wolfe and Les Bellan, and several our Gyros and Gyrettes experienced serious health issues. This brought great sadness to every member of our Club and our deepest condolences to the families of Brian and Les, and our heartfelt best wishes to those who suffered illness. As has often been said, words cannot begin to express our sadness and hope for all members of our Gyro family.
In closing, my sincere thanks to every member of the Gyro and Gyrette Clubs. You have been wonderful friends to Kay and me. And my thanks again to an incredible Board of Directors, who have made the job of being President so easy and so enjoyable.
Allan Bleiken, President
PS – One more bit of good news is that we have a new member, George Huybrechts, who was sponsored by Bill Austin and seconded by Lloyd Wilson – Welcome George.