It was Thanksgiving, 1968. The Outdoors Club was on its annual camping trip to Pachena Bay. Surprisingly it was raining.
Laurie Creak arrives in his green Chev pickup with its homemade wooden canopy. It's called the Great Green Grom. Steve Donaldson arrives in his white International van. It's called the White Elephant. They back the vehicles up close to each other, put down the tailgate and open the doors and we all scramble inside out of the rain, passing bottle of Berry Jack and Prince of Denmark Cherry Wine, singing "Hey Jude" at the top of our lungs. Suddenly, from the back of the Grom comes Laurie Creak's voice saying "I hate to break up this interesting conversation but its time for a Socialable!" Everyone scrambles to get a drink and then they raise their arms into the air and yell "Socialable". It was the best of times.
Welcome everyone. What an amazing journey it has been this past ten months. Your biographies have been absolutely outstanding. Thank you to Sue Hendricks for suggesting the biographies and to Brian Morin for suggesting we also send along pictures. It was like Christmas morning everyday for Laurie and I over the past two months as we never knew what biography gift we would receive that day.
It was just over a year ago last June that Laurie and I and Brian and Delores Morin attended Bob Ennis' memorial. It was very sad but at the same time inspiring as Bob has lived such a full and rich life. His son, Tim, read aloud a wonderful letter from Scott Gain that spoke of his friendship with Bob in the Outdoors Club and of their amazing adventures as they reopened the West Coast Trail along with Laurie Creak, Dave Palmer, Norm Willey and on occasion, John Sampson. As the service ended we met with Brian and Delores and said that we absolutely had to have an Outdoors Club reunion. By September we had a plan in place - Brian would find a venue and arrange the dinner and dance; I would begin the search for members and send out emails giving details about the event. As you all know by now my job grew somewhat over the months but I enjoyed every minute of it!
One of the first people I emailed was Al Mikalishen, What I didn't know about Al was that he has a detailed list of Outdoors Club members complete with addresses and emails. It is because of that list we were able to find so many of you. Thank you so much, Al. Per Jensen, at the very last moment, planned a wonderful pub night which we attended last night. I think that he and Brian need to take up a new profession - Event Planners!! I would also like to thank Laurie for always having my back during the past ten months. Just like when he guided me over the boardless suspension bridges on our honeymoon, he guided me through the planning of this event.
Lastly, I would like to give a huge thank you to the Alumni Association for giving me such tremendous support. They have arranged for us to have this room, have supplied all the food and drink this morning, have made our nametags, given us "swag" and have provided tour guides for our UVIC campus tour that we will go on shortly.
Thank you all for being so enthusiastic about coming today!!
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