I would like to comment on the wonderful evening hosted by the Edmonton Gyro Club at the University Club in honor of the Founders of Gyro. In attendance were 45 members, spouse, and guests including Sid and Sharon Slade and Allan Bleiken from our Sherwood Park Club. The evening started at 5:30 pm with cocktails and visiting, with an excellent Prime Rib and Yorkshire Pudding buffet served at 6:30.
Duncan Mills was an excellent host and MC and introduced our own Allan Bleiken to speak on behalf of the Sherwood Park Club. Allan spoke very eloquently about Gyro and what it means to him and gave an update on our clubs founding 46 years ago (and that we still have 4 of the original founding members still active in the club). Marty Larsen followed to speak about the Edmonton club.
Following the formalities Duncan introduced the guest speakers Jeffrey Hansen- Carlson, CEO of Prairie Sky Gondola and Claire McDonald who is one of the managers. Prairie Sky Gondola was born from the Edmonton Project which was a city-wide brainstorming competition that picked the urban gondola as a project the business community would back.
Claire read an interesting short book about the value of an idea. Jeffrey and Claire thenspoke about how the company earned the project rights, its plans and progress to date, and what we can expect to see over the next couple of years until the anticipated grand opening in the summer of 2024. Even though I was very skeptical coming into the meeting, the speakers did an excellent job of describing the project and more importantly would not require tax payers funding. The presentation was very well received with a lot of questions and discussion following. Technical details are available in the following link: https://www.prairieskygondola.com/technical
With the COVID announcement on Wednesday it looks like we can no longer have indoor gatherings until further notice. As a result the following events are cancelled:
District VIII Convention – September 23 to 26. Cancelled. Those who have already registered will have been notified directly by Ken Baker and the hotel reservations have been cancelled. Refunds are pending.
Cribbage Night – October 6. Cancelled.
Founders Night – October 19. Still waiting for confirmation from Edmonton Club, but I am assuming it will be cancelled unless restrictions are lifted by then.
District VIII Curlarama – October 22 to 24. Cancelled.
We will wait for further notice if November events can proceed
I have had communications over the past few weeks with representatives from the clubs regarding expected attendance at Curlarama 2021 which was tentatively scheduled for October 22 to 24 in Canmore, While it appeared that participation would be lower than usual, we likely could have proceeded with a somewhat scaled down event. However, given the Government of Alberta’s announcement yesterday of Covid related restrictions on social gatherings, we have decided to cancel the event for the second consecutive year. Hopefully, we will be able to have a Curlarama 2022.
John Hodgson, Gyro Club of Calgary.
On Oct. 22 to Oct. 24 ( Friday to Sunday ) there may be the annual Gyro curling at Canmore. The cost per curler is 295.00 which includes accommodation, curling, smoker with all free booze on Friday night, breakfast Sat. morning, 3 games of 6 end curling on Saturday, banquet Saturday night, and breakfast Sun. morning with presentations. We had 3 teams at last bonspiel and had the likes of Wilson, Malott, Delveaux, Ewanchuk, Austin, Davis, Greig, West, Lanes, Caddey, Hunt, Merrick, and also others other years.
As you can understand in order to run this bonspiel they need a close count on the number of teams so any member with an 80 percent chance of participating can e-mail me at . I think it would be nice to have at least 2 teams from Sherwood Park. I will make up the teams and do some promoting but unfortunately I will not be attending this year due to hip restrictions.
They would like a reply by Monday (Aug 30)so they can make some decisions on proceeding.
Thought I would pass a message on to you. In today’s Edmonton Journal there is an obituary for Allen Ireland, a former member of our club. As the obituary says, Al was a great storyteller who always had one to tell at our meetings.
LAST “MEETING” – COMBINATION SUMMER PICNIC, NEW MEMBER INDUCTION AND OFFICER SWEARING IN CEREMONY:
Once again this year, Bernie and Brenda Kropp generously opened up their back yard to accommodate our club’s annual Summer Picnic. Attendance count estimated 75 souls were present. Due to the Covid pandemic restrictions that we have faced for the past 20 months it also afforded us the opportunity to have the coming year’s club offic- ers installed and two new members formally inducted before a group of real live people rather than virtual ones.
After an original Zoom induction some time ago, District Lieutenant Governor, Sid Slade, performed a live, in person one for two new members, George Huybregts and Nestor Slipchik. He then formally installed the new executive officers:
Past President: Allan Bleiken
President: Ted Ewanchuk
Vice President: Bruce Copeland
Director: Art Merrick
Director: Jack Beattie
Director: Bruce Schelske
Director: Nestor Slipchuk
Secretary: Ray Davis
Treasurer: Erik Braun
Upon completion of the formalities attention turned to the picnic part of the day, enjoying the sunshine, visiting and consuming food and beverages. The Kropps had rented a 20’ x 20’ tent in case of wet weather. It served a better purpose as a source of shade on the sunny and very warm afternoon. Bernie and Don Grieg did the major lifting to put the event together and did a great job.
The picnic included a catered meal of perogies, garlic sausages, meatballs, cabbage rolls and cottage cheese crapes from The Purple Perogy. A fun time was had by all.
Normally you would be reading my Health and Welfare report from the club bulletin published by Scott Brisbin. Unfortunately Scott has had some major computer difficulties which he hopes will be resolved sometime next week. With his okay here is the report that was sent to Scott last week. I have added to the report the very sad news regarding the passing of Carol Lesniak. Take care my friends.
Bill Austin – Bill is feeling much better and putting on a bit of weight. He finished his last radiation treatment on June 22nd and will have some follow up tests in mid July to see how the radiation treatments have worked for his cancer. Like Bill and Norma, we hope for a positive outcome from these tests. On Saturday the 3rd, Bill and Norma are going on a road trip to Radium for a week prior to these tests.
Garry Jones – Garry has been given the thumbs up from his doctor and is back to 100%. In fact when I phoned he was at their lake retreat in northeastern Alberta.
Sid Slade – A few weeks ago Sid was hospitalized a few days for pneumonia. Shortly after returning home he had severe pains in his abdomen and after a CT Scan it was found he had a bulging aorta. The first full week of July, Sid has a lung capacity test scheduled and a follow up with his doctor. The results of this will determine whether Sid will have laparoscopic surgery on July 12th to put in a stint that will fix the bulging aorta. Sid, to you and Sharon our best wishes as you go through this process.
Audrey Zmurchuk – As has been previously reported, Audrey is at Capital Care Norwood receiving physiotherapy treatment. Herb feels these treatments have built up some muscle but she needs the aid of a walker for walking. Some good news is that if all goes well, Audrey will be home on Thursday the 8th with visits from HomeCare to help Audrey and Herb.
Carol Lesniak – It is with deep sadness that we learned of Carol Lesniak’s passing on the evening of Monday the 5th. Our thoughts, prayers and sympathy are with Ken and the family at this very sad time.
Well that was one heck of a year; let’s hope it is all behind us.
We started the year with a glimmer of hope. July saw us enjoy the golf tournament organized by Gordon Stewart. In our enthusiasm for finally getting together again we forgot (or chose to ignore) the social and distancing guidelines. Fortunately no-one got ill so the event was a huge success.
Gary Kleebaum hosted the annual outdoor Bocce tournament at his backyard in August. Once again, people were so enthused about getting together again that not a single Bocce ball was thrown; not even in anger. We also sent congratulations to Dawn and John Williams for their 60th wedding anniversary celebration.
September saw us once again at the German Canadian Cultural Club for our Annual General Meeting. Our attendance was lower than normal due to uncertainty around distancing and concern from our aging Gyros. September also saw us lose Jeanne Carter which was a tremendous blow to us all; and she will be forever missed.
The Indoor Bocce and Founders Night October events were both cancelled.
We held our first Zoom meeting in November to install the new Executive and to induct our new member George Huybregts. We also welcomed back Jack Beatty and introduced Nestor Slipchuk as a new prospect.
The President’s Christmas Party was cancelled. However we did participate in an excellent Zoom presentation from Allan Bleiken on the topic of the Coronavirus Pandemic.
A Zoom meeting took place on January 13th where we inducted Nestor Slipchuk into Gyro. The rest of the meeting was reserved to have each participant give us a summary of how they endured a Pandemic Christmas without family and loved ones. January 30 was a sad day for the Gyro family as Judy Taylor – Merrick lost her battle with cancer.
On Wednesday, February 10th, 28 Gyros joined in a Zoom meeting. The guest speaker was Sheldon Croome, President and CEO of Atlas Biotechnologies, a locally based company making exciting strides in the field of medical cannabis and having an impact on the national and international scene. Our own Peter Elzinga is Board Chairman for the company and arranged for the guest speaker.
A Zoom meeting was held March 10th with 27 members and one guest participating. Our guest speaker was Larry Neumeister, chemical engineer, who took us through a fascinating eight year journey as he designed and oversaw construction of his unique home in Sherwood Park. Thanks to Bernie Kropp for arranging this meeting.
Our April Zoom meeting took place on April 14th and featured guest speaker Allison McCollum, a partner in the law firm Whitten LLP, who spoke to us on Wills and Estates. The topic was a significant one and Allison was a great educator. She spent over an hour with us covering the “must do’s” and pitfalls to avoid in areas ranging from wills, to trusts, to power of attorneys. Thanks to Richard Craddock for introducing the speaker.
Twenty three Gyros participated in the May 20th Zoom Meeting which was essentially an election meeting to determine the leadership for the coming year. There were three candidates for the position of Director . Roger Delveaux nominated and introduced Jack Beatty. Dorne Hunt nominated and introduced Bruce Schelske. Sid Slade introduced and nominated Nestor Slipchuk. All candidates passed the challenging requirements precipitated by an extremely high qualification bar and were acclaimed. Bruce Copeland introduced himself as candidate for VP, spoke glowingly and called for nominations to cease, thus assuring his election.
No meetings in June. Allen Govenlock passed away suddenly on June 3rd from a stroke he had a few days earlier. Allen and Judy were friends to many and although he was a member of Gyro for a short period of time, his presence will be missed by the members of the club.
At this time I would like to thank our departing Board of Directors for their efforts during a very trying year:
Past President Allan Bleiken
Vice- President Peter Elzinga
Secretary Ray Davis
Treasurer Erik Braun
Director Bernie Kropp
Director Ian Bannatyne
Director Bruce Copeland
Director Art Merrik
Park Points Bulletin Editor Scott Brisbin
Health and Wellness Coordinator Don Greig
Club Administrator John Williams
Club Registrar Dorne Hunt
With the COVID restrictions now lifted we can look forward to a new and exciting year and a return to some level of normalcy. I hope that I never see another Zoom Meeting again 😊.
I hope to see you all at the Golf tournament on July 7 and the Kropp Family Picnic on July 25.
I attended the Gyro International Annual General Meeting (Zoom) this morning and am pleased to announce that Scott Brisbin has once again won the award for Best Bulletin for medium sized clubs. Congratulations Scott.
I have just learned from Lloyd Wilson that our friend, Allen Govenlock passed away last night(June 3). A few days ago, Allen had a severe stroke from which he never recovered. Our deepest sympathy is extended to Judy and family at this very sad time. When available, I will pass on to you Allen’s obituary.