In Pictures: the 2012 Revelstoke Rod & Gun Club Annual Banquet and Fundraiser

By David F. Rooney

This year’s Rod & Gun Club Banquet was a good party but this year’s event was especially poignant as the club thanked Vera Aura for her years of dedication to local sportsmen and, naturally, their kids, too.

Gail Ferguson gave a moving and eloquent speech on behalf of the club:

“Good evening everyone,

“It is my honor tonight to be able to pay tribute to someone who has given so much to our club.

“In 1964 Johnnie and Vera Aura opened their business here in Revelstoke. Of those 48 years since first opening, they together, and then Vera after Johnnie passed, have worked silently for our club for at least 30 years.

“Johnnie’s is where when we were younger we took our fish to be weighed, then we took our children with their fish to have Vera weigh them, and I for one hope that Vera is still at Johnnie’s when my grandson catches his first fish so she can be the one to weigh it. When our junior members take a fish in, Vera always makes them feel like it is a whopper!  No fish brought into Vera’s is not a great fish!! The photos on the walls around her tell the stories of many fish over the years and I do believe that Vera can quite likely recall the story behind a majority of them.

“Vera’s is also the place where we head when we have lost our husband’s favorite fish hook and pray the whole way down Victoria Road that she has one hanging on the wall. If by chance she doesn’t, she will order one in to make sure that we can replace it. Not that this has ever happened to me personally….but I have heard that it happens to some wives…something about a tempter…and it likely being the last one on earth…but I forget the exact details…

“I have been a regular at Vera’s over the past two years to gather the memberships she sells on our behalf and at banquet time, to gather up the money from tickets that she very generously sells for us as she has for many many years.  “The collector” as she sometimes refers to me is always greeted with a smile and a recounting of the sales.

“Earlier this year, Vera shared with me that she is thinking of retiring sometime in the not too distant future and taking some well deserved time for herself. Not knowing when that might happen, we would have been negligent had we not as a club taken this opportunity to very publicly thank Vera for all the work over all the years that she has done for us.

“Vera, my master ticket seller….

“Thank you so much for being our source of fishing supplies and fishing stories. Thank you for weighing all those hundreds of fish over the years. Thank you for the thousands of memberships you have sold for us and also for the tens of thousands of banquet tickets you have sold with a “have a good time” wish. Thank you for always giving us a great deal, even when we don’t expect it, and thank you for just being the wonderful, generous person that you are.“

Scroll down to see photos from this terrific annual event:

Want a great firearm? Peter Bernacki pitched tickets for this 338 at the annual Rod and Gun Club Annual Banquet and Fundraiser at the Community Centre on Saturday night. David F. Rooney photo
There were some pretty spectacular pets and trophies on the walls above the silent auction items. David F. Rooney photo
This wolverine was a fine example of the taxidermist's art. David F. Rooney photo
So was this bear mounted above a very realistic looking caribou carcass. David F. Rooney photo
These skulls were from the kills by a number of this year's contenders in Fish and Wildlife categories. David F. Rooney photo
Nice sheep. David F. Rooney photo
This trophy head almost tells a story, doesn't it? David F. Rooney photo


There was an amazing spread at the banquet. Guests, such as MP David Wilks (foreground) and Mayor David Raven dined on rout, salmon, elk, white tail deer, elk, bear and moose. David F. Rooney photo
This was the scene as people lined up for their share of the feast. David F. Rooney photo
The head table seated (from the left) Club President Gary Krestinsky, his wife Maryanne, Maria Stagliano, Mayor David Raven, MP David Wilks, Valerie Johnson and her friend, auctioneer Harvey Hantula and the Buhlers. David F. Rooney photo
BC Liberal candidate, Doug Clovechok, thanks the club for inviting him to the banquet. This was the first time he has attended. David F. Rooney photo
Vera Aura received a hug from Gail Ferguson and a standing ovation for the small but very important role she has played in Revelstoke since she and her late husband, Johnnie, opened their shop, Johnnie's back in 1964. David F. Rooney photo
Young Matt Cadden took second place amd the Lorne Taylor Memorial Trophy for the largest rainbow caught in the Arow Lakes by a junior fisherman. This catch was 2 lbs. 15 oz. David F. Rooney photo
Jenn Howe poses on behalf of her brother, Jordan, with the trophy for the largest rainbow caught by a junior. His fish weighed in at 6 lbs. 2 oz. David F. Rooney photo
Charlie Keates' grandfather, Cyril, poses with the second-place Dolly trophy. The fish young Charlie caught weighed 14 lbs. 3 oz. David F. Rooney photo
Matt Cadden was back in the limelight with the trophy for the first-place Dolly and the Harley Foat Memorial Trophy for the largest Dolly caught by a junior. His fish was 15 lbs. 2 oz. David F. Rooney photo


Mel Martens had both the first-place and second-place Dolly in the Ladies Category. Her fish weighed in at 8 lbs. 9 oz and 5 lbs. 5 oz. David F. Rooney photo
Ken Howe won both the first- and second-place rainbows in the Men's Category. His fish were 15 lbs. 2 oz. and 8 lbs. 1 oz., respectively. David F. Rooney photo
Howe also won the Art Davis Memorial Trophy for the largest fish caught in Trout Lake. David F. Rooney photo
This friend of Adam Fujino's accepted the trophy he won for the first-place Kokanee, which weighed in at 3 lbs. 2 oz. David F. Rooney photo
Peter Bernacki pulled in the second-place Dolly in the Men's Category with a 14 lb. 2 oz. fish. David F. Rooney photo


Jerry Olsen won the first-place Dolly award with an 18 lb. 3 oz whopper. David F. Rooney photo
Dawson Caponero smiles after receiving trophies for the first-place grizzly bear and second-place white tail deer shot by a junior. David F. Rooney photo
Jenn Howe picks up the first-place white tail deer trophy won by her brother Jordan. David F. Rooney photo
Mel Martens won the first-place trophy for a black bear in the Ladies' Category. David F. Rooney photo
Kyle Buhler receives the first-place award for a black bear. David F. Rooney photo
Mitch Roggensack received the first-place award for the best white tail and the second-place awards for the best mule deer. David F. Rooney photo
Don Munroe accepts the first-place trophy for a white tail deer as he cradles his son in his left arm. David F. Rooney photo
John Bafaro received the first-place trophy for a moose as well as the Bruno Dicaire Memorial Award for the Largest Moose. David F. Rooney photo
Kyle Buhler receives the award for the best goat as well as the Hunter Sportsman of the Year. David F. Rooney photo
Kyle Buhler poses with his awards for Black Bear Men's 17 6/8, Goat Men's 46 6/8 and Hunter Sportsman of the Year. Linda Chell photo
Local Girl Guides bused the tables at the banquet to earn enough money to go to Calgary to see the pandas that are being sent to Canada by the Chinese government. The polite, well-mannered girls who put in their time on Saturday night are (from left to right): Kallie Kampman, Raylin Robinson, Emma Burke, Alex Cole, Taylor Tehborg, Arianna Burke, Arden Davis, Linnea Allain, Anna Kampman and their leader, Michelle Cole. Thanks ladies! David F. Rooney photo