Above: Ribbon cutting with MFGA Clayton Pennell, Sturgeon County Councillor Jerry Kaup, Miles Allan, SC Councillor Patrick Tighe, Jack Reader, SC Councillor Susan Evans, SC Councillor Wayne Bokenfohr, Joe Sinclair, Morinville Deputy Mayor Rob Ladouceur, Mayor Lisa Holmes Joe Dwyer, Morinville Councillors Stephen Dafoe, Nicole Boutestein and Brennan Fitzgerald and MFGA Wayne Bhnisch.
by Lucie Roy
Morinville News Correspondent
Morinville Fish & Game Association (MFGA) held the Grand Opening of their new clubhouse Feb. 10 with more than 50 in attendance.
MFGA Treasurer Joe Dwyer said he was pleased with how the building, which took six to seven months to complete, turned out. Original projections were more than $400,000, but the building came in far less. “With all the volunteers and all the help and donations, the whole building — paid in full — came at $166,000,” he said, adding they did everything they could to make sure the people working on the facility were from Morinville or Sturgeon County.
“It was a huge project, and it is a project that is going to grow and keep growing through the years,” Dwyer said. Now that the building is officially open, Dwyer said one of the big things is to do a lot for the youth in the area, and getting involved in programs around fish and game. They are planning to start by getting some guest speakers in to talk about fly fishing, bears and other topics of interest to those who like the outdoors.
In addition to club activities, the building will also be available for other non-profit groups that want to use it. “It is a community hall but fish and game first,” Dwyer said. “The MFGA is definitely up to working with community groups and non-profit groups who want to use the hall for special events.”
Also speaking at the opening was President Joe Sinclair and Stella Chitra, a member of one of the Morinville Fish and Game Association’s original founding families.
Chitra said the Association started when Frank Ricard, Ray Souliere, Jack Reader and others started it by getting a building from Namao Armed Forces and setting it up by the pond.
“What a good place to start,” she said. “The Association is very good for all ages and involves different ages to learn about hunting, fishing, operating boats and all-terrain vehicles, use of guns and good fellowship.”
President Joe Sinclair said the current clubhouse is dedicated to the work of members dating back to 1991, some who are not alive today. “[There was] a lot of effort to get this going and start raising money and all those things, and we can’t forget about them,” Sinclair said. “Our work is dedicated to them.”
The MFGA has to get rid of the old clubhouse, which has a deck on the pond. The Association is watching and listening for opportunities. If nothing materializes, the old clubhouse will be demolished, hauled away and the land reclaimed.
The area around the new building will be reseeded, and they are also looking at building a deck facing the lake. The Association is talking about adding an archery range in the future if they can.
Above: Stella Chitra speaking at the Grand Opening.
– Lucie Roy Photos