Games and plenty of music characterize this Canadian chapter’s activities.
Imagine sauntering up to a rally of FMCA members where plenty of live music is being played and exciting games are under way. That’s what Alberta Wild Rose rallies are like.
It is an unusual coincidence that musicians who play the violin, accordion, trumpet, saxophone, guitar, drums, keyboard, and more are represented in this one chapter. “We’re just blessed with quite a bit of musical talent,” chapter president Tom Barker, F166340, said.
As for the games, the group has many card players, as well as folks who like participating in the 50-50 raffle that is offered at the gatherings. On top of that, some kind of group outing usually is planned for each rally. In the past, attendees have visited farmer’s markets and toured area sites, such as a pulp and lumber mill.
Chapter rallies take place in May, July, and September. Some chapter members still work during the week, so the gatherings begin on Friday afternoon and continue to Sunday. Outside of those three gatherings, quite a few of the members see each other at an unofficial meeting in Quartzsite, Arizona, each winter.
Tom said that the Alberta Wild Rose chapter was initiated in 1999 thanks to chapter members Cliff and Vi Brotherston. At that time, there was no FMCA chapter in the province. The chapter’s name is based on the fact that the wild rose is Alberta’s provincial flower. “The countryside is loaded with them all summer,” noted Tom’s wife, Elaine, who serves as chapter secretary and treasurer.
After Alberta Wild Rose became the first chapter in the province, two more FMCA chapters quickly followed “” the Klondikers in 2001, and the Southern Alberta Drifters in 2002. Tom said the latter encompasses the province’s southern region, and the Klondikers take up the northern portion. Alberta Wild Rose is “in the middle; we sit in between the two,” he said. Chapter rallies take place mostly around Edmonton, Red Deer, or Calgary.
None of the chapter’s three rallies has a big fee. Tom said 2008 rally fees have been set at a mere $65 for the entire weekend. Part of the reason for this is that they are held at inexpensive community halls, of which Elaine said there are many in the area. The halls provide all the group needs “” room to park, cooking facilities, and meeting space “” and, of course, enough room for game-players and musicians.
Chapter dues are $35 the first year, which includes a $25 initiation fee and $10 for membership. Dues are $10 per year after that. Badges are $13 per person. If you would like more information about the Alberta Wild Rose chapter, contact the Chapter Services Department at the FMCA national office: (800) 543-3622; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like your chapter to be featured in “Chapter Spotlight,” contact FMC associate editor Peggy Jordan at email@example.com or (800) 543-3622, ext. 212.