2007 Cricket Match

Here Today, Gown Tomorrow: Celebrations but no Wedding Bells for Alumni Team
by Gord Fleming(84-88)


On August 12th, 2007, the 25th Annual Haliburton Scout Reserve Cricket Match was played. Few that participated in that first rain-soaked match in 1983 could have predicted that the two-team HSRCL (Haliburton Scout Reserve Cricket League—Ed) was here to stay. Back then, with nothing more than broken canoe paddles, sawed off broomsticks and a ball made of fragments of electrical tape, the two English guys on staff brought the grand game of the old world to an improvised sports field at HSR.

The now-defunct Lords and Loon Islanders were the Original Two in a league that started out mainly to provide older staff (Loon Islanders) a venue to wail on (wale on? Ed.) ITs (Lords) when it was decided that late-night lard and eyebrow shaving raids were sort of inappropriate.

Over time, equipment would be improved, players learned the actual rules and terminology, and the Original Two franchises were replaced by teams representing current and former staff respectively, resulting in the HSRCL as we know it today.

The 2007 edition would be the first match played under the new format of timed innings, replacing the stodgy old “all out” rotation that so badly slowed the pace of the sport. It offered players the incentive to swing for the fences and play a more aggressive running game, as runs were more important than staying alive.

You need to try something new when fans and players alike are getting bored” said league spokesperson and MVP bowler Shaun Donald (98-06). “You shouldn’t have time to recite three Norse sagas in your head between ball contacts”. When asked which ones, he would only reveal that they were all works by Snorri Sturluson.

As players from both sides emerged to greet the day, they slowly allowed the little scratching thought at the back of their waking minds to take it over: today’s match was their most important of the year. It was also their only game of the year – a must-win, sudden-death, winner-take-all, hyphenated-superlative laced contest for all of the glory and legend that comes with a championship. They had worked so hard all season to get here.

Some may cynically point out that they played no actual cricket, but they certainly watched some baseball on TV and possibly chased the cat around now and then. One may even have taken some pointers from the pros at the 2007 World Cup.

Yes, I picked up some excellent tips by listening to World Cup of Cricket updates on the radio sports briefings” said Alumni Skipper, Gordon Fleming.“Mostly, I learned that if we lost, my body might be found somewhere under mysterious circumstances – so I came here motivated to win.

The alumni team and its die-hard supporters started their intensive pre-game preparation with a hearty meal that included at least 117 of the major food groups, carefully prepared by team chefs Warner and Beth in their awesome recreational mobile conveyance.

The players built their mental toughness with visits to a kybo in which a once vanilla-scented air freshener was hung by the neck until dead as a cruel warning to other air fresheners not to even bother trying.

The Alumni team then hit the field led by new staff ace John McVeigh, decked out in a beautiful wedding gown.

It’s tradition to wear white on these occasions”, said McVeigh. “I really believe that one should respect traditions, even if some of us don’t really have the right to wear white. I’m not naming any names because what happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse, you know? I have to honour that as well”.

So, with a dude in a dress and a new format, the 2007 HSR Cricket Championship was played to a small but enthusiastic crowd, as balls were hit, thrown and caught and people in white ran around the field. In the end, the Alumni team triumphed over Staff team by a margin of, oh, I don’t know…Let’s say…18.

I think that was a key component in our victory” said Skipper Gord during the post-game wrap up. “Like every year, I told our team that the secret to winning is to score a little bit more runs and have the other team score a little bit less runs. I don’t know the exact statistics, but in my experience, the success rate of this approach is pretty high”.

Wise words from the Captain, ringing loud and true as he hoisted the HSRCL trophy for the third straight year.

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2006 Reunion Weekend

August 11th – 13th

Alumni Weekend began over the afternoon and evening on Friday as people arrived, dropped by the registration area, and set-up their camp sites. They were greeted with a warm fire at the registration area, and a place to chat and catch up with others. Some headed to bed after the trip to HSR, but some sat up around the fire until the wee hours of the morning.

With no activities scheduled for Saturday morning, we got to sleep in.  Although, only the heaviest sleepers can sleep through Saturday morning commotion going on at the barge docks, with the previous week’s troops heading home.  In the late morning, we headed down to Smokey Hollow for lunch.  Over hot dogs and cream soda, we took in the recent renovations to the campfire site. The Annual General Meeting followed lunch, and the executive was pleased to have some members stick around for the meeting. Afterwards, we had free time until dinner, to take a walk, a canoe, a kayak, or for some, a nap.

The kitchen staff, including our very own Jeff Lake (76-77, 06), with Alumni helpers put on a great spread for dinner. We feasted on steak, corn on the cob, a fresh salad, and (cooked!) baked potatoes.

The Staff Bursary was awarded to Dean Janowski (02-05) during dinner announcements.

After dinner, the Alumni Weekend organizing team got to work remaking the Hub in the Hub & Cub Pub – the highlight of Alumni Weekend. Alumni and staff were treated to imported pub fare and a variety of cocktails. An Open Mic area was set up. Both staff and Alumni entertained us the night through. With full bellies, we headed back to our camp sites, and a group continued the festivities around the camp fire.

Sunday morning, we were able to sleep in without the noise of troops coming and going. We gathered for brunch at the newly renovated Snack Shack area. Once again, we were treated to a wonderful meal of egg-on-a-muffin, peameal bacon, fruit trays, and plentiful coffee and juice. The cricket team headed to practice after brunch, to get ready for the big game.

Alumni and staff gathered at the Mill Site in the afternoon for the annual cricket match, which the Alumni handily won (see 2006 Cricket Match). Then it was back to the Hub for High Tea and the cricket trophy presentation. Unfortunately, that was when most of the Alumni had to say good-bye to each other and HSR, and head home.

Attendees included:
Katrina Angel (89-90), Tim Collier (96-99), Heather Eggleton (99 -02), Murray Fenner (64), Gord Fleming (84-88) and Sara Nunes, Nathan Frey (99-02), Heather Gillies (88-89), Joe (90-91) and Shirley Godwin, Katherin Green (89), Rob Kelly (01-04), Grant (88) and Terri Lafontaine, Tara (90) and Declan McNally, John McVeigh (98-02), Graham Molenhuis (00-04), Dan “Peaches” Piccininni (00-03), Ben Schneider (02-04), Dave Webster  (96-00), David Wharrie (00-03)

Joining us for the Cricket match: Dave (02-05) and Nelly Ashworth, James Donald (05), David Frankovich (01-03), Sandy Stenhouse (81-84), Dale Warburton (80-83)

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2006 Cricket Match

How’s That!—Alumni Team wins 2006 Match
By Gord Fleming (84—88)

Watch a video of the 2006 Cricket Match filmed and edited by our videographer Dean Janowski (02-05).

HALIBURTON – The 24th Annual Staff vs. Alumni Cricket match was a hotly anticipated event, as clearly demonstrated by the HSR Staff team, which somehow managed to keep their whites looking their whitest for almost two months. They were a well-organized squad, with two full teams of players ready to take the field. The Alumni team on the other hand was again hastily cobbled together from a ragtag bunch that turned up to eat some eggs the morning of the game, and a few mystery guests who arrived just prior to the coin toss.

There was much at stake after last year’s one-run Alumni loss, which also saw the end of the career of veteran bowler Mark Burns who sustained a severe knee injury while executing about the coolest fake-out ever to secure an out in the late stages of the game. Another blow to the Alumni squad was the no-show of star Silly Mid Off Dave “the iron man” Taylor, whose consecutive match record ends at 23. Pending review by the league commissioner, he is expected to be heavily fined.

Several off-season call ups filled the void, part of the new youth movement that the Alumni management has identified as its new direction. “Like that creepy beaver skull at the Trapper’s Cabin, we were getting a little long in the tooth there” said captain Gord Fleming. “We needed some young arms and strong bats to make up for the injuries, stiffness, ear hair and alarming weight gain that can slow a veteran lineup down“.

The new approach paid off in another exciting match. Bowlers on both sides sometimes delivered balls within the batsmen’s reach, and the batsmen responded by periodically hitting them. Every now and then, runs were scored while search parties were dispatched to the forest to retrieve hit balls. Following a fast-paced first inning, two 20 minute halves were given to each side to generate as much offence as possible. Some was, and the Alumni triumphed over the staff by four runs.

We knew that all we had to do was score a little more and have the Staff team score a little less to give us a good chance of winning“, Fleming astutely observed. “It was close though. I think we’re finally starting to see some parity. That’s important in a two-team league“.

Next year’s tilt will have the added dimension of being the 25th match – a strong incentive for any team to claim victory. Fans and casual observers alike will want to plan a trip to the Mill Site next August to see this historic event first hand. World Cricket supremacy will be on the line!

See also 2006 Reunion Weekend.

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2005 Reunion Weekend

Wasn’t That a Party……
by Warner Clarke (66-70)

at HSR in late
June of 1966 as an IT
with a borrowed Harmony
arch-top guitar and possibly 4
guitar chords. I found that HSR and music
are complementary and there were always
opportunities to play and sing with somebody. I always
found someone that I could learn things from and in later
years was able to reciprocate by showing someone else a few
something I knew. Lessons learned at HSR play out well in life.

Fast forward 39 years and for the second consecutive Alumni
Weekend, my bass playing wife Beth and I hosted an open
mic at the Saturday night social, also known as the
“Hub and Cub “. Great talent in this year’s
staff group for sure and lots of spirit.
Here are some of our
favourite pics of
the night.

See also 2005 Cricket Match.

2005 Cricket Match

by Gord Fleming

After a year-long layoff, sports fans were treated to the return of the HSRCL, as it kicked off its 23rd season, wrapped it up and crowned its champion on August 10th. As there are only two surviving teams,  everybody already knows who’d wind up in the final, so nobody can think of a good reason to have more than a one-game season.

Carrying on without the benefit of any corporate sponsorship or paying customers, the HSR Staff and the HSR Staff Alumni continue a rivalry that dates back to the demise of the Original Two, the HSR Lords and the HSR Loon Islanders.

Dave Taylor, the only remaining player from the inaugural days of the original league reminisced prior to taking the field in his usual Silly Mid On position.

We played with sawed off broomsticks and canoe paddles. We used Bisquick to draw the lines. There were wasps everywhere. Not to mention the puddles of Red Man chew all over the pitch. These kids just don’t know how good they’ve got it”. Taylor’s production has understandably tapered off of late, but he is still feared.

The HSR Staff Alumni team once again fielded an impressive team made up largely of Daves, led by team manager Gord Fleming and legendary but oft-injured bowler Mark Burns. The team was complete only after the stunning signing of current staff member free agent Justin Way.

Team Manager Gord Fleming had this to say:

“Our future plans keep getting thwarted by staff that just will not leave the farm team to join the senior club. We fully expected to land (star bowler) Shaun Donald in the off-season, but he surprised…well let’s face it, he surprised absolutely no one by returning to the Staff side for one more season. Nicking Justin was sort of payback”.

The match itself got underway under the “impartial” eye of Camp Ranger Kevin Bell, a first-time umpire who is on the injury list due to chronic back problems. With his bat out of the Alumni lineup, they would be in tough. At least the Alumni could count on a few calls going their way (thanks Kev!)

What followed was a low scoring bowlers’ duel, which featured the usual assortment of very wide bowls, several dropped balls and the always amusing everybody-run-blindly-into-the-woods-and-tear-open-your-legs-on-the-junipers-ball-search plays.

The highlight in the late going of this very close match was a stunning fake-out by bowler Mark Burns in the dying moments of the Staff half of the second innings. He wound up and followed through, but held on to the ball. The runner took the bait and ran from the box as Burns knocked the bales for the out. He paid for this sweet move with a blown knee and had to be carried from the field, nearly a hero.  It is not yet known if this is a career threatening injury, but several threats were subsequently received by the alumni team by a woman claiming to be his wife Georgina.

The Alumni were unfortunately unable to capitalize on this bit of heroism, as the clock cruelly ran out on them with only four runs separating them from victory over their most intense – and only – rivals.

The Alumni team congratulated the Staff team on its hard fought victory, but indicated that it will be making some exciting off-season moves and promises a much improved on-field product next summer.

See also 2005 Reunion Weekend.

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2004 Reunion Weekend

Friday August 6 – Sunday August 8

The feeling starts when you see the green sign pointing to the way from the highway. The Kennaway/East Bay Road winds and curves in a still – familiar path through the woods. Always a new hole in the asphalt or in the woods to the left or right, but it’s still that same old road: the one that brings busloads of kids back and forth on Saturdays. The one that winds just a little more when it brings staffers back from town after a night at the Molou. The one that winds more still for the unfortunate identity thieves who are returning from Parade Night at the “curling rink”.

The big log gates aren’t there anymore to welcome us to “luxury in the wilderness”, but we feel welcome just the same. The parking lot is still packed with cars, the M.O.K.s pickup is still scooting past with garbage and a couple of really messy kids in the bed, and the distant yet pervasive sound of a 9.9 on a lake run still provides the soundtrack.

Home again.
This is the weekend that many former staff look forward to the most – the chance to go back to where we learned so much, met so many friends and spent what are very likely to remain the best summers of our lives. The crown jewel of HSR Staff Alumni Association events, the annual Alumni Weekend gives us the opportunity to recapture that magic, even if it is in a sort of  “Who – Live at Casino Rama” kind of way.

We arrive with just enough light left to throw up a tent, and just enough time to head down to Smokey Hollow for the campfire (or at least a camplightbulb in drier years). There we are treated to modern interpretations of the Japanese Submarine and Big Jerk skits and songs that beg the questions of what one’s best option is for dealing with Drunken Sailors, and what precisely was wrong with Father Abraham’s Seven Sons.

This sets the tone for an always-too-short weekend where former staff members join the current ones to enjoy a few meals, swap some stories, go for a swim and play a little Cricket at the Second Happiest Place on Earth (we all know the truth, but why risk lawsuits…).

Forecast for Twister Point: 13oC and drizzle.
During this past winter, your HSR Alumni Association Executive began planning a different sort of weekend, recognizing that many things have changed over the years, and hoping to interact a little more with today’s staff members while allowing them to conduct the business of the camp smoothly. Initial suggestions of re-enactments of the classic naval Battles of Mud Bay were quickly voted down, as gasoline prices were at an all-time high, and there was no guarantee that the kitchen would be left unattended long enough to stockpile the necessary ordnance (potatoes, stale bread and fruit).

Instead, in order to stay out of the way during the hectic Saturday changeover, the Alumni gathered at Twister Point for a gigantic fire (to which Twister Point is no stranger) and a few burgers and dogs (ibid.). Some generous soul also provided a 3-litre bottle of Faygo, not realizing that this is a beverage not to be experimented with. Ever. The Alumni in attendance got a little reminder of what it was like to be on one of HSR’s campsites, preparing a meal on an unnecessarily cold and damp Saturday afternoon. We felt kinship with the poor kids who decided to do some camping during this, the Worst Summer Ever.

The Hub and Cub
There was a time when the alumni could retire to the guest sites, build a fire and pull frosty adults-only soda pops out of coolers, sing Cat Stevens songs and reminisce about RCBs and Wozzles that may or may not have involved some degree of actual criminal activity. Those days are gone, and maybe it’s just as well.

Having spent a couple of Alumni Weekend Saturdays at the Wilberforce Legion, your Alumni Executive determined that leaving camp in search of two-dollar beers was not really the intent of the weekend. We wanted a little more quality time with the staff, in a social atmosphere that would be a little out of the ordinary for those doing longer sentences at HSR.  It was therefore decided to set up a “pub” that would welcome everyone, with plenty of family – oriented beverages and pub-style snacks that might not be on the regular menu. A stage was also set up by Alumni hepcat Warner Clarke, who brought his gear and bass-playing wife Beth for some sweet open-mc jams.

Serving mocktails with HSR-appropriate names like Gough Syrup and Buck Island Iced Tea, the Hub and Cub also featured traditional pub fare such as chicken wings, potato skins, deep fried cheese – all of the things that keep cardiac surgeons up to date on their yacht payments. Musical alumni and staff members kept a packed house entertained well into the wee hours with skilful renditions of classics by the Eagles, Pink Floyd and Neil Young, as well as some newfangled stuff that the kids are listening to these days.

A good time was had by all at the Hub and Cub. Perhaps smoke and alcohol free pubs have a future after all…

Brunch at the Snack Shack
There is something to be said for waking up the morning after a fine pub night without the taste of a mouth full of wool soaked in tree sap and the sensation of a drill bit lodged in the brain. Recalling the past folly of volunteering in such condition to make Sunday breakfast for the staff, we also resolved to do our own brunch when we were damn good and ready. This would keep us out of the way and allow us to plan our strategy for the afternoon Cricket match. The sun shone brightly and warmly on us and our pancakes, more than making up for a typically terrible HSR Saturday.

It was there that we heard the news that a Scouter who arrived with his troop the previous day had passed away on site during the night. There was a great deal of reflection as we had our meal, many of us agreeing that if our time was up, HSR would be a more than acceptable last stop before moving on. Later, we learned of the respectful and dignified manner with which our young friends on staff responded to this sad event – a response we doubt any of them were prepared for, despite the old motto. We were certainly downhearted for the Scouter’s family and for the troop that could not have expected such a tragic start to their week, but also extremely proud to be associated with the HSR staff who upheld the Promise and the Law so brilliantly that day.

Showing our age? Comments like that ain’t cricket!
With a team made up almost exclusively of Daves (including the legendary Taylor, who has participated in every HSR Cricket match since its inception in 1983), the Alumni hoped to win the 2004 space on the trophy. Expectations were low, as the roster was not finalized until two minutes before the coin toss, and, as Shirley Whitwell (the Dave Taylor of the HSR kitchen) pointed out, many of us were “beginning to show our age”.

Anchored by the Googly Yorkers of bowler of Mark Burns, a surprising performance by young rookie Lori Anne “Dave” Donald and the defence of Kevin “Dave” Bell and Dave “Dave” Taylor, the Alumni quickly all-outed a staff team that featured Donald’s brother Shaun – a fine All Rounder – in their first innings.

In a long Alumni at-bat, monstrous numbers were posted, as the staff defence was quite powerless against the onslaught of wood shots, clever running tactics and distractions provided by Bell’s running re-enactment of Simpsons episodes. In the end, the staff team had to concede the game, as they knew there was not enough daylight to catch the mighty 2004 Alumni team. Age ain’t nothin’ but a number, Shirley!

The final score: Alumni: A Lot, Staff: Not So Much.

High Tea and High Tailin’
As always, the joy of winning the match was tempered by the melancholy of knowing that we had to leave again for another year. Before we did, we were treated to the traditional and always delicious high tea back at the Hub. Crudites, little crustless sandwiches, and scones with whipped cream and jam washed down with the finest Earl Grey were laid out to ensure that our long journey back to real life would at least be made on a full stomach.

As the sun went down, we climbed into our cars and set out on the long and winding dirt road as we replayed the weekend in our heads with freshened memories of our own time there. We would like to thank all of the Alumni for coming up and helping out, and the staff for being so welcoming, and for reminding us of why it is that we are already looking forward to the same time next year.

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2002 Reunion Weekend

The weekend of August 9 – 11, 2002  saw about 40 people, including guests and family of alumni visit the camp.  The weather was cooperative. As in past years, the Alumni Bursaries were announced during the weekend.

The Alumni cricket team played very well, but was defeated by a well tuned and more densely populated staff group.

It is heartening to see old staff members visiting the camp. The Association is fortunate to have the consent and cooperation of the council and senior staff at HSR who certainly assist in making this activity possible and successful.

Alumni Team

1999 Reunion Weekend

By Heather Gillies (88-89), Social Chair

Alumni Weekend was the place to be August 6 -8.  The weather was beautiful (as it always is at Haliburton Scout Reserve)! And with around 50 Alumni members, it was a bit “cozy” come mealtime, but we made some new friends and got reacquainted with some old faces that we hadn’t seen for a while.

Most of the group arrived Friday and were in time to catch the staff campfire, followed by snack time at the hub. Then and early wake-up call for the few that volunteered to do inspections (better you than me). Most of the day was spent checking out the camp, volunteering where needed and checking in at Kennaway (my headquarters). Then we moved on to the annual Alumni scavenger hunt – and congratulations to our big winners, Georgina and Brianne Burns!! At around 4:30 our expert team of BBQ’ers headed down to the Hub to cook us a sumptuous feast – thanks for braving the smoke and flames for us – my steak was perfect.

Dinner ended with the usual announcement period where each Alumni member stood and told everyone who they were, when they worked at camp, what they did then and what they do now. I must say that we have one group of very talented and successful people in the Alumni!  And following that our Bursary Chair, the lovely Katrina Angel, presented the 2nd ever Alumni Bursary to Alan Halley …. CONGRATULATIONS ALLAN!

Saturday evening consisted of a barge tour of the lake, the annual “Soiree” in the hub and just a lot of socializing in general.  Unfortunately for me, I wasn’t feeling to well, so I missed most of the festivities – but my spies tell me that a good time was had by all who attended!  Thank you to everyone who was so concerned about me ….and a very special thank you to the group who went out early Sunday morning to clean up the Ab Shack.

Sunday the Alumni took on the staff for the annual cricket match. Once again the Alumni was victorious with the alumni almost breaking 100 (97 in fact) runs in the first inning alone (we didn’t need to bother playing our 2nd up). HOW WAS THAT! The staff had tried to faze us by taking our side of the mill site before we got there, but it obviously worked against them! Congratulations Team Alumni!

Next we had a lovely high tea at the hub, and most of the alumni headed home once again. Hope to see everyone again next summer!

Thanks to everyone who made it out this year:

Warner Clarke, Heather Gillies, Tara Neal, Simon McNally, Katherin Green, Kevin Bell, John Stephens, Katrina Angel, Chris “FooFoo” Franklin, Georgina Burns, Mark Burns, Brianne Burns, Russ Thomson, Alan Torster, Adam Whyte, Colin Quinn, Ken Wrigglesworth, Don Wrigglesworth, Rudy Mulder, Melinda Passmore, Jeff Lake, Dave “Chip” Cipolone, Jenny Jones, Andrew Cook, Paul Burns, Sandy Stenhouse, Matt Evans, Steve Samborsky, Jeff Dowding, David Kelly, Doug Kelly and the Kelly clan, Len McVeigh, Barry McVeigh, James McVeigh, Andrew Gauwer, Peter Aylan-Parker, Christie Aylan-Parker, Greg Taylor (and Amy), Kent Taylor (and Amy), Dave, Kyra and Cressen Taylor, Mark Purcell (sorry if I missed anyone).