Alan and Sherry McGunigal extended a warm welcome to attendees at the 59th Annual International Western Convention in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, July 5-8.
Although many last- minute changes in the agenda were necessary (due to the BLE's march and rally in Washington D.C.), the planning committee took it all in stride. The convention began on July 5 with a golf tournament at Cottonwood Golf Course and, for the non-golfers, a lunch and tour of Calgary's Big Rock Brewery.
On Tuesday, a "stampede breakfast" around the pool at the downtown Holiday Inn introduced out-of-towners to a Calgary tradition.
After Tuesday's opening ceremonies BLE Vice-Presidents Giles Hallé, George Hucker, Joe Cassidy and Ed Rodzwicz gave presentations that were followed by a question and answer period.
Wednesday morning there was a presentation made on contemporary issues in arbitration followed by a working lunch with an Operation Lifesaver presentation made by the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Vice-President Bill Walpert, who flew in from Washington D.C. late Tuesday, reported on the successful March and Rally and showed a brief video overview of the event. The rest of the afternoon revolved around a Rail Traffic Controller workshop and a fatigue workshop.
By Wednesday evening, convention participants were ready to kick up their
heels at the western-style dinner dance at Calgary's Heritage Park. A steam train ride around the historic theme park provided an overview of the park's features. The prime rib buffet was followed by country-western line dancing instructions and an evening of great music and fellowship.
At the Delegates' Meeting on Thursday morning, IWC Secretary-Treasurer Mark Robb, whose three-year term in this position was ending, passed the gavel to Skip Colyer of Ft. Collins, Colo. The Alternate S-T position was passed from Dee Eckersley to Larry Buchan of Calgary, Alberta.
Many participants stayed on in Calgary after the close of the IWC to enjoy the world-famous Calgary Stampede, which began on Friday with a parade, arena events, and chuck wagon races.
Jim Lance is chairman of next year's IWC, which is scheduled for Jackson Hole, Wyo. However, convention dates were not available at press time.
BLE members rode this steam train as they toured Calgary's Heritage Park on Wednesday evening. Larry S. Buchan of BLE Division 355 worked as the fireman during the run.
Gilles Hallé, BLE Canadian Director and International Vice-President.
During Wednesday night's festivities, several BLE members were presented with pins marking 45-years or more of consecutive BLE membership.
Former IWC Secretary-Treasurer Mark Robb, left, passes the gavel to Skip Colyer, who is the new IWC S-T.
Assistant GIA Canadian Representative Brenda Hayes helps Mike Milberry with his convention registration forms.
Several members attended the BLE's Mobilization Workshop at the IWC. Seated, from left: BLE Canadian Director Gilles Hallé; Bob Toole; and Darrell Arnold. Standing, from left: Bruce Willows; Gerry Gregoire; Line Robillard; Randy Stinchcombe; Vice-President BIll Walpert; Benoit Brunet; and Jim Ruddick.
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