On Thursday, November 4, 28 members in person and 12 members on Zoom joined together for our monthly meeting. Members were greeted at the door by Donna Crozier and her team who were checking Vaccine Passports and IDs.
President John McGinn thanked members for coming and said that it was good to be back in person after 19 long months. He stated that despite the struggle, we have persevered thanks to Jim Belair and the cadre of Activity Coordinators whose work is much appreciated. Following in Past President Tony’s footsteps, President McGinn finished with a funny joke.
Vice-President Alan Brown introduced our speaker, Ian Thompson.
As Remembrance Day draws near, Ian Thompson presented his power point presentation on the involvement of the Comox Valley Communities during WW1.
Many Canadians signed up to fight overseas in the first two years of the war including several men from the Comox-Atlin riding which included Hazelton in Northern BC to the Lower Mainland. This was a huge area to draw from and the men were a tough bunch of independent loggers, farmers, and fishermen. These men formed the 102nd Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces. They came to the Goose Spit for training where there was no electricity, no water, and the food was poor with the men living in teepee like tents. In June 1916, the 102nd Battalion boarded a steamship from the Comox pier to Victoria, then by train to the Canadian Forces Base in Valcartier, Quebec and finally to England. The 102nd Battalion fought in France and Flanders until the end of the war and were one of the divisions involved in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. One member, Lieutenant Graham Thomson Lyall was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at the Battle Du Nord. There were 3863 members; 676 died and 1715 were injured. This battered bunch were the occupation forces after the War. The 102nd Battalion disbanded in 1920.
In 1917 the federal government decided to conscript young men for overseas military service as Canada was struggling to maintain voluntary troop numbers.
Ian spoke briefly about Albert “Ginger” Goodwin who was a coal miner in Cumberland and fought for workers rights and was against military conscription. He led many strikes and was an organizer of the Socialist Party of Canada. He was killed in 1918 possibly from an accident or for his political beliefs. Ian noted the Ginger Goodwin Way sign on the Highway 19 near Cumberland commemorating this labour leader.
Ian drew attention to the Sandwick Memorial Cairn in Courtenay which honours those who gave their lives in WWI and is made from stones brought from the farms of their families. Near the Cairn is an English Oak tree that came all the way from Windsor Castle and was planted in June of 1937 to commemorate the Coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.
In conclusion, Ian stated that the operational headquarters in France recommended that returning vets receive land and a farmhouse. These discharged soldiers returned to the Island and named the area Merville after the place in France where they had their first field headquarters. These men and their families have formed the agricultural base of the Valley today.
Alan Brown thanked Ian for his presentation.
“Looking for something new to do”? Alan asked, introducing Markko Floyd who exclaimed tongue in cheek, that “we were a younger group than he’s usually talked to”. Markko is a self-proclaimed biker, skier, mountain climber, adrenaline junkie whose knee injuries forced him to look elsewhere to get outside and do something active and fun. Markko is the President of the Comox Valley Disc Golf Club (CVDGC)which has 200 tags or members. This is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote Disc Golf in the Valley. They hold clinics at schools, even to 5- and 6-year-olds. Disc Golf has been around for many years but recently the sport has experienced a real growth spurt. One gets to be outside in the woods, it is a social game, there are tournaments and DISC GOLF IS FREE! There are currently 4 Disc Golf Courses in the valley: Coal Creek in Cumberland, Lake Trail in Courtenay, Village Park in Comox, and The Park at Crown Isle.
“Steady Eddie” Headrick is considered the Father of Disc Golf having invented and patented the Frisbee in 1966 at Wham-O. He further invented and patented the Disc Golf Pole in 1975 which is the basket design used today. The Disc Golf Association (DGA) was founded in 1975 and the first $50,000 Disc Golf Tournament was held in 1979. Markko talked about several pro disc golf players, citing Paul McBeth with a 10-year contract for $10M not including shoe, hat, and other endorsements. Check out both the DGA and the Professional Golf Disc Association (PGDA)website for more information.
So how does it work? Just like ball golf but instead of a ball and clubs players throw discs into a basket. Kids and dogs are welcome, it is you against the course, you can play alone or with 4-6 others, you can play all year long in the rain, wind, and snow, and even at night with special ‘glow in the dark’ discs! There are no tee times, and you can play 9 holes in 25-40 minutes and 18 holes in 11/2 -2 hours. The discs are of different sizes and have numbers written on them. The first number represents the speed or how quickly the disc flies. The second number represents the glide or the ability of the disc to stay in the air with a higher number meaning the disc has more flight time. The third number represents the turn of the disc or the inclination of the disc to turn right in its flight with the higher number meaning it will keep going longer and turn to right later. The fourth number represents the ability of the disc to come back with the higher number meaning it is more likely to return.
A basic golf disc is a putter that costs $10-$15. A putter is not fast but is curved and domed and will fly 40-150 feet. Mid-range and distant drivers are flatter and squarer on the edge. One can also buy a starter pack which includes a putter, driver and an under stable fairway. The only downside is the use of plastic, but some companies are using recycled
Markko showed us his impressive disc golf cart and his artistic work on the discs. This hobby and Collector Discs have been a spin-off from this sport.
Markko also mentioned 3 local disc golf businesses: Circle One Disc Golf, Disc Market, and the website: letsthrow.ca. He acknowledged the support of Blue Toque since the beginning.
In conclusion, Markko demonstrated his skills at throwing a disc easily getting it through the basket plane.
Sheila Precious noted that there is a practice basket at Bean Around the World coffee shop. Markko had a box of $10 putter discs that were quickly grabbed up by the Frisbee Generation present. Markko will talk with Michelle Morton with regards to getting a group out.
Markko suggested we check out the following: The App: UDisc; the Website: CVdiscgolf.com and the many YouTube videos on Disc Golf.
The winners of the Art Knapp draw were: Sheila Precious, Dorothy McGinn, Steve Latta, and Gary Lucas.
Happy Holidays, see you in January 2022!
Pictures compliments of Ian Thompson