In Pictures: The annual Rod and Gun Club Dinner

By David F. Rooney

Members and friends of  the Rod and Gun Club celebrated their annual dinner Saturday, secure in the knowledge that they make a major contribution to public understanding of the natural world and ready to face the other challenges that await them in the future.

One of those challenges, said Club President Gary Krestinsky, is a planned move from Camozzi Road to a new site for the club house and gun range off Westside Road near the Revelstoke Dam.

“Times have changed,” he said during an interview at the dinner. “There are new people moving here with a different mentality.”

He said development near Camozzi Road has brought in new residents who are uncomfortable being near a shooting range.

“We realize things are changing,” Krestinsky said. “We realize there’s a potential safety problem and the range doesn’t meet our needs.”

As a result, the club has been negotiating for new land near the dam — several kilometres from residential developments — where it believes it can move its club house and build a new and larger range that would permit the club to hold larger shooting competitions.

The club needs to conduct an archaeological survey at the new site and an environmental assessment at the old shooting range as there is a lot of lead in the ground from years of shooting. How much and whether the lead-contaminated soil can simply be trucked away and buried or must be shipped to Edmonton for treatment remains to be seen.

But don’t expect a move anytime soon. Krestinsky it could be two years before all the paperwork and studies are completed.

As Krestinsky spoke his wife, Maryanne, surveyed the crowd of 309 club members and their friends and family members. The fact that the annual dinner attracts families is significant.

“This really is a family affair,” she said. “We do things outdoors with our families because we love nature. So we celebrate as families, too.”

And celebrate they did. You can photos of the annual dinner below:

Gail Ferguson and Judy Vigue greeted all of the 390 guests at this year's Rod and Gun Club Dinner at the Community Centre on Saturday. David F. Rooney
Dawson Caponero, Mary Vigue and Daryin Cameron check out some of the trophies, including the boys' own, at the annual dinner. David F. Rooney photo
Peter Bernacki was busy flogging draw tickets for a .308-caliber rifle. This was a very popular draw. David F. Rooney photo
There were scores of valuable items in the silent auction ranging from snowshoes to camouflage hunting clothes. David F. Rooney photo
The draws were extremely popular. "I can't believe how much money are spending," said Peter Bernacki, who was flogging tickets for one draw. David F. Rooney photo
Trophies for the best fish and game animals are lined up beside the head table. David F. Rooney photo
The Community Centre's Multi-Purpose Room was jammed with happy hunters, fishermen and friends and family. David F. Rooney photo
One of the big draws at the annual dinner is the chance to chow down on superb wild game such as Dolly Varden and rainbow trout, venison and moose tacos. The menu also included roast elk, cougar stroganoff, white tail deer and roast bison. Man, was it good! David F. Rooney photo
Clint and Jordan Lenzi were very interested in some of the art that formed part of the live auction inventory. David F. Rooney photo
This lovely print of polar bears was the first painting auctioned off. David F. Rooney photo
Ruth Boettger shares a few words with MLA Norm Macdonald, who was one of the guests of honour at the dinner. Macdonald has been to every dinner since he was first elected in 2005. David F. Rooney photo
Jack Carten says grace at the beginning of the meal. David F. Rooney photo
No stranger to fishing and hunting, Dr. Chris MacDonald is an avid outdoorsman and really enjoys his wild game. David F. Rooney photo
Michael Hillier had his eye on a nice, juicy slab of Tim Boaz's roast bison. David F. Rooney photo
All of the tables sported these attractive decorations made by Kim Doebert. "We got these ironwood bear figures from Mexico for 50 cents each and Kim built the settings around them," said Club President Gary Krestinsky. David F. Rooney photo
MLA Norm Macdonald listens as Gary Krestinsky speaks to the crowd of diners. David F. Rooney photo
The kids in Michelle Gadbois' Grade Seven class at Arrow Heights Elementary School did a terrific job busing tables and cleaning up in the kitchen. David F. Rooney photo
The bar, of course, saw a lot of action. David F. Rooney photo
Tim Boaz, Dave Bennewith and Alan Kepler take a break in the kitchen, midway through the dinner. David F. Rooney photo
Young fishermen Jordan Howe, Daryin Cameron, Justus Cameron and Ashton Todds show off their trophies in the Junior Fishing category. David F. Rooney photo
Ken Howe and Peter Bernacki cleaned up in the Men's Fishing Division. Bernacki won in four categories: First and Second Place Dolly Vardens, the Art Davis Memorial Trophy and the Hibert/Mair Largest Dolly Trophy for a 24 lb. Dolly he caught last year. Ken Howe had the trophy for the largest rainbow and the Art Davis Memorial Trophy for the largest rainbow caught in Trout Lake. His catch weighed in at six pounds 14 ounces. David F. Rooney photo
Daryin Cameron, Dawson Caponero, Cyril Keates (accepting for his grandson, Charlie) and Jordan Howe pose with trophies marking their first deer or moose. David F. Rooney photo
Doreen Cameron and Bobbi Doebert pose with their trophies for hunting whitetail deer. David F. Rooney photo
Trophies were handed out in the Men's Hunting Division to Kyle Buhler, Dan Caponero, Bob Roggensack, Keith Fredrickson, Tom Brake, Allen Cameron, Dave Bensrud and Wade Howe. David F. Rooney photo
Harvey Hantula guided the live auction action after the awards were presented. David F. Rooney photo
Gail Ferguson displays one of the paintings in the live auction. David F. Rooney photo
And, finally, after all the food, awards and auctioneering it was time for dancing to the music of the Maritime Kitchen Party. David F. Rooney photo