CLARA’s 50th Birthday Bash

CLARA Had a Party

Yes, we did.  The official party started July 18 and ended on July 20, 2017.  One of our guests arrived in Winnipeg on July 16th, and proceeded to tour the city.  I arrived also on the 16th, but went to visit family for the day, and finally made my way to the hotel on Monday, July 17th.  Then the work started.

In the evening of July 17th, several of our guests had already arrived at the hotel, and they gathered for supper in Dalton’s Restaurant and then around 7 pm they made their way up to the Party Headquarters Room 644 and oh, for me meeting this first group was absolutely awesome and a wonderful experience.

So, we proceeded with lots of chatter and laughter to fill the Treasure Bags.  Oh, the laughter was wonderful.  Soon all the bags were full, and someone said, “Oh Val, you have so much left over”.   So, we just kept adding more treasures to the bags.  Once the bags were filled, we then had snacks, Saskatoon Champagne (non-alcoholic) and some of us had white wine, as well as Girl Guide cookies, that had absolutely no calories.  Besides, we were not worried about calories, we were there to party.

Tuesday, July 18th, I was up early and went to the banquet room to start decorating and getting ready for our guests.  The guests who arrived on Monday, took off on tours of Winnipeg.   The rest of the guests started to arrive and there were many cheers and hugs going on in the lobby.  I am sure the staff were greatly amused by our antics.

Our Tuesday buffet was wonderful. Baked Salmon and Sliced Chicken, the great veggies, salads and desserts—oh we were stuffed.  A couple of our guests didn’t make it on time for supper, but that is called Air traffic.  They finally did arrive later in the evening.

Wednesday, July 19th came and oh talk about a busy day.  The weather unfortunately was overcast and a bit windy, but we did persevere.  We started with breakfast in Dalton’s, and then I made sure that everyone had sweaters and jackets as we had to go outside for our group pictures.  Then the bus arrived and I missed getting into one of the pictures, but that is ok.   Our bus driver Lawrence was wonderful.  He got us to the Royal Aviation of Western Canada, and was just a bit shocked when I told him that he was coming on tour with us.  What a tour.  Our guide was Keith, VE4VO who is co-founder of the museum. Everyone had a wonderful time listening to David explain about all the planes, and we were even treated to a tour of the back of the museum where all the hard-working volunteers fix and rebuild all the displays.  This is a “no go zone” for visitors, guess we were special to get this part of the tour.

Then it was time for lunch, so we went upstairs to the lounge, and we had a welcome speech by the CEO of the museum, and then we were off to the tables where the catered lunch by Stella’s Catering gave us the most delicious sandwiches that I ever had.  Their salads were awesome as well.  Pam, the Program Director supplied the dessert for everyone.

Next, we boarded the bus once again and went over to Nav Canada for a tour.  Now for everyone’s clarity, these are the men and women who are the Air Traffic Control people.  They make sure that your planes get on the ground and take off safely.  This is not a job I would do.  Their shifts in the summer are 1 hour on, ½ hour break, due to the fact of very busy traffic.  These men and women have 4 computer monitors each, and I am sure, that there were at least 60 stations, each one having 4 screens, 1 ACC person per station, a supervisor is not far away in case of a problem.  Our group was split into 2 groups as we had to be very quiet in the center, and the rest waited in the lounge.  The one I was on, our guide told us that it is a 2-year course, 8 months in class and the rest On Job Training.  He also told us that only 30% of applicant’s  were successful in passing.  It is a very stressful job, but it is a necessary job.  So, these men and women deserve our praise at all time.

We then went back to the hotel, and many decided that they were going to go on some other tours before supper.  Some of us just went for a cup of tea and a bit of a rest before the rest of the events.  Supper again was just superb with Four Cheese Ravioli and Slow Roasted Alberta Inside Round beef.  Again, the chef’s desserts were wonderful.

The evening continued with a wonderful slide show and talk by Sarla VU2SWS on her DX-pedition.  She concluded her speech saying that “We Ladies need to get out there and do a DX-pedition of our own”.

Thursday, July 20th arrived and the CLARA ladies had their AGM, and our subject was on how to get and maintain members.  What a great meeting.  We also took a group picture of all the CLARA members present. One girl was missing, don’t know where she was as her OM Pete VE4PEH our photographer was there, but miss it she did.

Thursday Evening- We were treated to the Winnipeg Police Choir and their awesome singing, before the banquet.  These wonderful singers first song was “Hey Look Us Over” and from there until the end, there was lots of foot tapping, people keeping time swaying, and the odd tear to wipe away.  “Bill Grogan’s Goat” was so funny, I think everyone had sore sides from laughing.

The choir does lots of community events from September to end of May.  Then comes summer and many of the officers cover for others who are away on holidays etc., so it was with grateful hearts that they decided to perform for our group of Amateur Radio Operators.  Thank you’s are definitely not enough.

The evening was capped off with the banquet, Chicken Wellington and all the fixings. Oh, wait until you see the picture of our salad.  I have been to many a banquet, and have never ever seen a salad presented in this way.   The final piece da resistance had to be the Birthday Cake from Jeannie’s Bakery.  I used to have this cake every birthday when I was growing up, and I still to this day cannot get enough of it.  A white cake, on top of a cookie shortbread bottom, think there were 4 layers to this cake, beautiful icing, with the sides in dark chocolate curls.  We decided on the CLARA’s Birthday Bash Badge for decoration and Pete Haertel, VE4PH was the author of 50 Wonderful Years.

Our Guest speaker David Rosner, VE4DAR carried on the theme of our AGM, with so many ideas that we were just thrilled.
Friday, July, 21st  saw many of our guests with packed bags, and then into the restaurant for a final good-bye to the old friends they knew and the new friends they made.  A couple of our guests were staying on for another day or two.  Thank you everyone who came, thank you also for the wonderful door prizes that you donated, nobody went home without at least 2 gifts each.  For those of you who could not come******* You Missed a Great Party.  Oh well, there is always another YL convention someplace.

Lastly, thank you to my executive without whose support this party would not have happened.  To Pat VE4PLG, Pat VE4PEH, Pete, VE4PH (photographer) who were my feet on the ground in Winnipeg, my brother and sister-in-law who also did lots of running around for me, and my Aunt Muriel and Uncle Gordon for their support as well. Oops forgot the most important person was Harv, VE5AC who is not only my OM, but was my main supporter and GOPHER!

Till we meet again

33, 73, 88 as the case may be.
CLARA Executive
Val, VE5ACJ, Ann, VE3HAI, Heather, VE3HQH and & Helen, VA1YL