Document 156276

October, November, December 2012
"A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half cracked." - Bernard Meltzer
2013 Gyro International Convention
Pages 18-19
L. Duba
L. Duba
6111 N.Larry
Brooks Circle
Fresno, CA
[email protected]
NS 93711
B6L 1N1
[email protected]
[email protected]
W. Michael
Vice President
“Mike” McNally
88 Green
Forest Crt.
88 Green
Forest Crt.
E. Amherst,
E. Amherst,
NY 14051
OH 44512-1437
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
2801 West
Dr. Turner
Terrace Dr.
Tampa, FL 33609-4027
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Third VicePresident
Dr. NW
Canton, OH 44708
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Past President
Past President
26 Forest
Hill P.
26 Forest
Youngstown, OH 44512-1437
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
L. Baijot
Emil L.
1210 Puget
WA 98229-2144
1210 Puget
[email protected]
Bellingham, WA 98229-2144
[email protected]
[email protected]
District I Governor
Kevin Peterson
I Governor
43rd Street
I Governor
4201 Valley
44708Dr. NW
Dan Holz
OH 44708
II Governor
4400 EP True Parkway
W. DesMoines, IA 50265-5615
1730 Garrett
III Governor
Garrett Avenue
IA 52732
IA 52732
III Governor
45 Maple
4381 County
Rd. 29, Box 1172
IV Governor
Rd. 29, Box 1172
F. Kanngiesser
K0L 2H0
3909 Whittle
K0L 2H0
IV Governor
V9Y 8C8
V - Salt
1323 Sherwood
Dr. City President
V9T 1G6 Dr.
3309 S.Nanaimo,
- SaltEast
Salt Lake City, UT 84109-3103
John WitcherV - Salt Lake City President
District VI Governor
John Witcher
2455 Barcelona
James J. White
Barcelona Dr.
UT 84093
VI Governor
VII Governor
Keith AuCoin
430 Stannus
St., Box 1046
St., Box 1046
B0N 2T0
B0N 5J5
VIII Governor
VII Governor
Ted District
Ted Shewchuk
Box Boyle
Box ON
Red Lake,
P0V 2M0
VIII Governor
IX Governor
VIII Governor
Dale Woodroffe
CA 93944
AB T1W 3C9
District X Governor
IX Governor
J. Elliott
2634 Allegre
San Jose,
CA 95124
Texas President
X Governor
Jack Way
5346 Cuero
Lake Worth,
Lake Worth, FL 33463-8023
October, November, December 2012
Volume 94:Number 4
International Web Page –
(follow links to Database, Conventions et al)
Gyro International
Managing Editor: Emil L. Baijot, Secretary-Treasurer
Gyro International – 1096 Mentor Avenue – PO Box 489 – Painesville, OH 44077-0489
Headquarters Phone: 440/352-2501 Fax: 440/352-3882
e-mail: [email protected] - or - [email protected]
Please – when communicating via e-mail, give us your complete name and club affiliation – Thanks!
Larry Duba: The President’s Message ..................................................................... 3
Tidbits from around Gyroland .................................................................................. 4
Editor’s Desk ......................................................................................................... 10
“Lest We Forget!” ................................................................................................... 27
International Officers & District Governors / Index .............................................. 2
District Governors, bios & photos .......................................................................... 8-9
Departed Gyros .................................................................................. 10
“Escape Burma” (just another Gyro) .................................................................. 11-16
2013 Convention - Caribbean cruise................................................................ 18-19
International Interim - Las Vegas details - (note rate change).............................23-24
New Gyro Club - Central Coast (CA) ....................................................................... 25
Say HELLO to new members .......................................................................... 26
Toques, Scarves & Gloves ........................................................................ 30
Report of Finance Committee ...................................................................... 31
Holiday Greetings from International ............................................................... 34
Report from the Finance Committee ....................................................................... 35
New Directory ordering details ..................................................................... 36
Social Media - Facebook review ............................................................................ 37
Fresno Blind Veterans ............................................................................... 38
Membership Report .............................................................................. 40
Future meeting dates ............................................................................... 41
District VIII Curlorama ............................................................................................. 5
District IV Convention ............................................................................................... 6
District VIII Convention ........................................................................................... 20
District VIII Convention Report ................................................................................ 28
District VI Convention Report .................................................................................. 30
District IX Convention ............................................................................................. 31
Stampede City .................................... 17
Cleveland Heights .............................. 22
Central Coast ...................................... 25
Oryg - St. Paul ..................................... 33
Clinton ............................................. 35
Bellingham ........................... 38
Prince George .............................. 39
ABOUT THE COVER: Long-standing policy is to highlight and call attention to the
location of the next International Convention, in this case a Caribbean cruise.
ABOUT THIS DIGITAL GYROSCOPE: This issue is in .pdf format. To print a copy,
simply select PRINT and the printer will start with pages in order. To open properly,
use the free Adobe Acrobat 7 or higher.
Happy Holidays
President’s Message
Larry Duba, President, Gyro International
We just experienced some exciting times as we watched
children and grandchildren enjoy Christmas and the
family gatherings. Family time is especially important
throughout the year. Some of us have made New Years
Resolutions, and one of mine is to maintain contact via
telephone, mail, or E-mail with as many family members
as possible. I feel that our Gyro International
organization is one big family, so don't be surprised if
you receive a call out of the blue .
I am happy to report that Alice and I had a safe and
enjoyable trip to Canmore, Alberta for the the District
VIII Convention, to Ocean Shores, Washington, for the District IV
Convention and to Pismo Beach, California, for the District IX
Convention. We visited many clubs as we traveled, and I appreciate the club
members for sometimes switching their meeting night and/or arranging
an activity while we were passing through their beautiful area. We, also,
appreciate those who opened their homes to us and spent some of their
valuable time with us. More recently, I was overjoyed by being able to
of ciate at the chartering of the new Central Coast Gyro Club in Pismo
Beach, California. I congratulate those who organized it and welcome
the newly inducted members.
You will see articles about the above district conventions and the new
club chartering elsewhere in this issue of the GyroScope. I would like to
thank Emil Baijot for his continued excellent work in formatting and
helping with the GyroScope publication.
Thanks to the staff at our headquarters in Painesville and the corps of
Executive, District and Club Of cers who serve for the bene t of our
members. I realize how much work and time is involved in doing a good job
at communicating, initiating positive ideas, requesting information and
following up on items. In addition, I would like to thank those who are
serving on the Financial, Marketing Plan, and Social Committees; and we
look forward to your reports in Las Vegas.
Please come and share in the good fun and fellowship in Las Vegas
during January 27-31, 2013.
Remember to Invite a Friend to Gyro and
Share the Fun with a Friend.
Alice and I would like to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a
Happy New Year! As a child, I recall listening to the reports on the radio as to
how Santa and his eight tiny reindeer were traveling from the North Pole in our
direction on Christmas Eve. I also recall Santa s sleigh bells on Christmas
morning in 1950 while living in Portland, Oregon. I really appreciate Canada for
giving him the okay to fly through its air space, even though interceptors might
have been alerted on more than one occasion. We believe!
Why do men chase women they have
no intention of marrying?
For the same reason dogs chase cars
they have no intention of driving.
I stayed up all night to see where the
sun went. Then it dawned on me.
... Sherwood Park
Tidbits from around Gyroland
I made Myself a snowball,
As perfect as could be.
I thought I’d keep it as a pet,
And let it sleep with me.
All the toilets in
New York 's police
stations have
been stolen.
The police have
nothing to go on.
... Akron
Woman was taken out
of man; not out of his
head to top him, nor
out of his feet to be
trampled underfoot;
but out of his side to
be equal to him,
under his arm to be
protected, and near his
heart to be loved.
“Gyrette Quote of the Day”
Men are like fine wine. They all start out like
grapes, and it’s our job to stomp on them and
keep them in the dark until they mature into
something with which you’d like to have dinner
“Gyro Quote of the Day”
Women are like fine wine. They all start our
fresh, fruity and intoxicating to the mind, and
then turn full-bodied with age until they go all
sour and vinegary and give you a headache.
... Anon
... President Duba
In our lifetime, we are given a gift. The gift of friendship.
Some friends stay with us forever. Some we only meet briefly.
Whatever the length of time, we are touched forever.
Every person's footprints, leave a lasting mark, on our soul.
To have loved a friend, and be given the love in return,
IS perhaps God's greatest gift.
When my life has ended, it is not money, nor possessions
that will justify my time here. It is my friends, those who will
shed a tear, those who will remember my smile, those who can
tell a funny memory, or just talk about me for a while.
Those friends, who have touched me, and I them,
shall leave here as my memory,
are what I
“a forever friend."
... a reminder from everyone’s friend - Cappy in Tampa
... Charlottetown
How to Impress a Woman
Wine her
Dine her
Call her
Hug her
Support her
Compliment her
Smile at her
Listen to her
Laugh with her
Cry with her
Romance her
Encourage her
Believe in her
Pray with her, pray for her
Cuddle with her
Shop with her
Give her jewelry
Buy her flowers
Hold her hand
Write love letters to her
Go to the end of the Earth
and back for her
How to Impress a Man
Show up naked … bring food …
Don't block the TV!
Article & photos by Ian Greig
Dave Jenner & John Hodgson from Calgary
demonstrate great brughing prowess
Horace Baker with Bob Rowan and
his infamous sweater
“A” Event winners: Alan
Pentney (Stam. City), Larry
Fenton (Calgary, with two
guests, Leighton McCarthy
and Dick Daeninck, with
Dale Green
“B” Event winners:
Jerry Moore,
Bob Hockings,
John Barron, Regina,
with an assist by Derm
Jackman, Castlegar
As is normal, the District VIII Curlorama was held
in Banff, Alberta over the first weekend in
November. Hosted by the Stampede City Club, ably
headed up by Dale Green, teams traveled from as far
away as Port Alberni, BC (650 miles) and Regina,
Saskatchewan (500 miles). A total of 64 curlers and
about 15 manager/observers, made for a great week
end of Gyro fellowship. There were a number of
guests included who now know a lot more about
Friday included a small buffet dinner and lots of
libations to get everyone ready for the serious
curling the next day. Numerous games of skill and
chance broke out around the room with laughter the
prevalent sound.
Most curled three games on Saturday and dragged
themselves back to the hotel for much needed
refreshments, a banquet and a poker tournament.
Many stories were exchanged about the feats of the
day. Some good, but mostly bad. Again, laughter
During the Saturday curling, a group went for
lunch at the Legion and had a great visit with
Calgary Club old timer Horace Baker who is a spry
alert 92 years young.
Those still in contention on Sunday started bright
and early with the winners being declared and the
prizes presented in time for everyone to be on the
road by noon. After numerous handshakes and yes,
the usual Gyro hugs, all headed home for a few days
of recuperation.
“C” Event champs:
Jim Hutchison,
Jim Jackson,
Hugo Hess &
Warren Moore,
“D” Event winners
from Stampede City:
Dave Smith, Brad Hines,
Doug Rowden (guest) &
Ridge Forster
notice how the trophies get smaller for each event
Guest Craig Pollock shows his smooth delivery
D-IV Convention at
Ocean Shores, WA
- submitted by Larry Duba -
A cooler venue of Ocean Shores, Washington, was chosen by the host
Olympia Gyro Club during September 7-9, 2012. Alice and I appreciated the
location, since Fresno was still experiencing 100 plus degree temperatures,
and the cool weather and the light rain did not dampen the spirits of the
attendees who were there to experience Gyro fun.
Registration was on Friday afternoon; however, some members arrived the
day before so they could play golf on Friday which, as it turned out, was the
only sunny day. In the late afternoon, we traveled to the Lions Club where we
enjoyed clams, oysters and hot dogs which were excellent.
After dinner Andy McDougall asked me to help, and I had the honor of
installing the new officers of the Olympia Gyro Club. The new officers are as
follows: Dan Durbin (Missy), Immediate Past President; Jerry Wagner
(Dana), President; Matt Johnson (Lisa), 1st VP; Dennis Longnecker ( Judith),
Secretary-Treasurer; and Jack Armstrong (Karen), Ron Larson (Judy), and
Jerry Smith (Kaye) as Board of Directors.
On Saturday morning the Past District Governors' breakfast was followed
by the district's business meeting. After the meeting, the men attended a
luncheon which included a joke competition. I am not one who can
remember or tell jokes, but my jaw was sore from laughing at ones other
members told. People were free in the afternoon to watch the kite flyers on
the beach, visit the many boutique tents set up in the convention center or to
drive around the area. We observed many homes for sale and a lot of pelicans
flying along the bay.
Saturday evening the District President's banquet was held at the hotel. I
had the honor to install the new District IV officers, and they are as follows:
Matt Johnson (Lisa), Immediate Past District Governor; Andy McDougall
(Dona), District Governor; Bud Root (Betty), 1st Lieutenant Governor; Dave
Hart (Sharon), Secretary; Terry Evans (Kathy), Treasurer; and Dan Durbin
(Missy), Webmaster.
The golf awards were presented, and the raffle tickets were drawn until all
the items were claimed. There were many wonderful presentations by
members to the Olympia Club outgoing President's wife and to the outgoing
Governor Matt Johnson and his wife Lisa. The Nanaimo Gyro Club members
put on a humorous skit for Andy as the new Governor.
After the installation, a band from Olympia called the Dukes of Swing
played wonderful big band music and many stayed and danced the night
away. Of course, after the band left, several of us went to the well-stocked
Hospitality Room for more socializing.
On Sunday morning, there was a delicious breakfast for our nourishment
prior to our departure.
The Olympia Gyro Club members are to be commended for hosting a
wonderful and successful District IV Convention.
Tom Meister
District I - Canton
Tom was born in Canton, Ohio and obtained a
Bachelor of Architecture degree from The Ohio State
University. Upon graduation, he returned home and
practiced architecture there for 43 years until his
retirement in 2007. During that period, he had worked
on many school, hospital and government projects
within Canton and throughout Stark County.
Tom and, his wife, Sue have been married for over 43
years and have one son, Frank, his wife Molly, and two
grandchildren, Sam and Caroline.
Joining Gyro in 2002, Tom served as Canton Gyro Club
president in 2007-2008. Enjoying travel, they have
attended many District and International Conventions.
Besides travel to conventions, Tom and Sue enjoy the
sandy beaches of the outer banks of North Carolina and
sunny warmth of Florida in winter. When not traveling,
they remain busy volunteering their services to many
local organizations. With limited yard space, Tom is an
avid container gardener with numerous planters on the
deck in summer and in his greenhouse in the winter.
Andy McDougall
District IV - Nanaimo
Andy was born and grew up in Regina Saskatchewan.
He graduated with a Bachelor of Education from the
University of Regina in 1972. He then went into real
estate for 27 years.
He is a past president of the Regina referees
association, the WA Drum Corps, the Regina Shrine
Club, and holds a life membership in the Shrine, his Blue
Lodge and the Scottish Right bodies of Saskatchewan.
He and his wife Dona moved to Nanaimo BC in 2001. He
joined Gyro in 2002. He served the Nanaimo Gyro Club
as treasurer for 3 years and as bar master for 4 years.
He became the club president in 2009.
He is pleased to be the Governor for 2012-2013. He
and Dona enjoy the travel and making new Gyro friends
in the clubs they visit .The work that PDG Matt Johnson
and he started with the training sessions will be carried
on at the Interim and Conventions. He and Dona look
forward to the international conventions and renewing
the friendships they have made there.
The 2013 Convention will be held in Victoria BC.
Dale Woodroffe
District VIII - Stampede City
Joined the Sherwood Park Gyro Club in 1985.
President in 2005/06. Became an Associate
Member in 2009 while working in North Africa.
Returned to Canada and joined the Stampede
City Club and was President 2011/12.
Married Mary Ann in 1974 after meeting her in
East Africa in 1973. We live in Canmore, Alberta
in the Rocky Mountains about an hour’s drive
outside Calgary. We have two sons both
married. One lives in Edmonton and has one
son. Out other son lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.
I work for Engineering and Construction
company and when not working Mary Ann and I
enjoy hiking, skating, skiing and traveling.
Both Mary Ann and I enjoy our Gyro friendships
and meeting people in different clubs throughout
Canada and the United States.
Dave Langfitt
David Anderson
District II - Davenport
.Dave was born and raised in Clinton, Iowa. He
served on active duty in the US Navy from 1965 – 1969,
continuing as an active reservist for four additional
years while attending college. He is a graduate of the
University of Iowa in 1972. He is married to Pamela for
43 years. They have four sons and twelve
grandchildren. He retired from Lyondellbasell after 35
years with a majority of these years as Purchasing
District III - Peterborough
Dave was born in Toronto, Ontario but calls
Peterborough 'home' since his family relocated there
when he was a child. As a young man, he worked in his
dad's construction company as a licensed carpenter.
His dad, Bob, introduced him to Gyro in the early 1980's
and together, they were the first father-son Gyro's in the
Peterborough Club. Dave and his wife enjoyed Gyro
adventures for a few years until he acquired his Class A
driver's license and began a 15 year career in longdistance trucking, travelling extensively across North
America. In the late1990's, Dave returned to the
construction business alongside his dad, eventually
taking over the family business. He also eagerly rejoined
Gyro and has served as President, Director and
Treasurer over the years. Dave works full time as owner
of his construction company. He and his wife Cathy have
been married 33 years and have two grown daughters.
Cathy is a Realtor with Remax. They reside in Lakefield,
Ontario. Dave enjoys family camping excursions,
Nascar and is an avid fisherman.
He is a Past-President of the Gateway United Way,
Past-President of the Camanche Bowling Association
and is currently President-Elect of the Camanche
He has been a member of the Clinton, Iowa Gyro
Club since 2000, serving as Secretary/ Treasurer for
6 years. He has also served as District II Secretary –
Keith AuCoin
District VI - Dartmouth
Keith was born in 1944 and educated in Cape Breton,
NS. He is licenced as both a NS and Canada Land
Surveyor and a Professional Engineer. For 31 years
he served as the Director of Surveys and Mapping for
the NS Provincial Government and oversaw the
changes to the digital technology of 2005.
He joined Gyro in 1974 serving as Club President
twice, Bulletin Editor and often as Director. He also
served a term as Club Secretary and chaired
many of the Club's key committees.
He has been a very active community
volunteer for 38 years and a key contributor to
minor hockey, baseball and swimming groups; a
Board member of the Provincial Arthritis Society,
the golf club, the Council of the K.C. and the
Boards of several Provincial and National
Professional Organizations.
Keith married his lovely bride, Dolena Ford, in
1968 and they have two wonderful children.
Dick Field
District IX - San Jose
Ted Shewchuk
District VII - McKenzie Island
Ted has been a Gyro since 1994. He has served
for two years as both Club President and Secretary of
the McKenzie Island Club.
Born and raised in Red Lake, he owns Shewchuk
Enterprises, a construction company that specializes
in heavy equipment contracts and he dabbles in R.E.
Ted has been married to Annwyl for 31 years; they
have 3 daughters; Aundrea 22 yrs, Jaclyn 20 yrs and
Ashley 18yrs all attending University. Annwyl retired
as an RN and as hospital Senior Administration.
Ted was an avid hockey player growing up and is
still known to lace up his skates. He also enjoys
getting away to the ski hills with his family. He loves
spending time with his family and traveling to exotic
destinations with Annwyl and his daughters when
they're not in school.
Ted and Annwyl enjoy traveling to district and
International Gyro events meeting new and old
friends and are looking forward to his term as
Governor of District 7.
Jack McGregor
District X -
Jack is a Certified Public Accountant in
practice in Delray Beach, Florida.
He has been in practice since 1956.
He lives with his wife in Lakewood, FL.
He is a Miami Dolphins fan and has
been a season ticket holder since 1972
the year the team won every game.
He has been a member of Lion’s
International for 56 years.
Tom Meister- District I
Andy McDougall - District IV
Dale Woodroffe - District VIII
Dave Langfitt - District II
Keith AuCoin - District VI
Dick Field - District IX
David Anderson- District III
Ted Shewchuk - District VII
Jack McGregor - District X
From the desk of the Editor ...
Remarkable stories and new directions
One of the hopes that we have had for our GyroScope magazine is that we would be able
to publish a continuing series on remarkable achievements by our members. Every one of our
three-thousand plus members has a story to tell. Hearing about them is up to you to submit.
Many members remain who were part of the greatest generation - individuals who grew
up with the depression, went to war, did their duty and sacrificed without complaint! Recently
we printed a story from Ernie Ballard (D-X). In this issue we have the adventures of Bob
Johnson (D-VI) while in WWII Burma. For this story we thank PIP Harold Bernard who sent a
copy of the Burma Star, a publication devoted to those who served in that country.
With many in today s society attempting to re-write history, it is important that we preserve
the truth and the people who lived it. As is often recited, those who choose to ignore history,
are bound to repeat it. As another plus, these recollections are entertaining as well.
Two significant directions have recently evolved with convention approval. One was to
integrate a Marketing Plan as created within D-IV. That district is currently working on plans,
utilizing four clubs as a starting point, to implement methods to improve our membership
numbers. Other districts will be looking at D-IV, and their conceptual plan, to measure
progress and possible implementation within the other districts. Meanwhile, it is hoped that
the other districts are formulating their own plans to utilize other recommendations.
One of the more significant proposals was to integrate Gyro into the mainstream of
contemporary communications. We must reflect an up-to-date appearance in order to entice
new membership. A committee of knowledgeable individuals was formed, and via email they
concluded that the best means of communicating was through the use of Facebook. It was
noted that about 3/4s of Gyros are somewhat computer literate, and once integrated, this
format would provide a quick and easy means of communicating with one another. Randy
Tarrier of Columbus presented an excellent beginning seminar in Cincinnati that was
attended by almost all the attendees, and well received. Future informational offerings on
Gyro using Facebook will be advanced at our upcoming meetings. Please attend.
Farewell to departed Gyros
August-November 2012
J.G. Alvan Drew, Etobian
Arthur F. Liebert, Rochester
George R. Stevens, Akron
George R. Lanz, Cincinnati
Robert L. Craft, Indianapolis
Harvey W. Cottle, Yakima
David Sawyer, Indianapolis
Harold A. Allen, Jr., Tacoma
- 10 -
William P. McColl, Camosun
Albert R. Pahl, Madison
Alfred H. Heaslip, Vancouver, BC
John D. McInnis, Prince George
... he s just another Gyro!
On Jan14th, 1945,
28 Squadron RAF was
based at Kalemyo, in the
Kabaw Valley, Burma. I was
O.C. 'A' Flight. British Forces had just
crossed the Chindwin River about 16 miles to the east
and were also pushing south in the Kabaw Valley and into the
Gangaw Valley.
In the early morning of the 14th I was briefed by the A.L.O. to do a
reconnaissance of roads, bridges and waterways in the Pokakku Pagan area along the Irrawaddy River. This was about 150 miles
Southeast from Kalemyo. The object was to determine the Japanese
lines of communication over which troops and supplies were being
transported. My No. 2 (or weaver) was FL/LT Gavin Douglas an
experienced pilot, but this was to be his first operational mission. We
got airborne about 8 A.M. and traveled to the target area at low level.
It was a nice sunny day and the flight was uneventful as we skimmed
over trees and paddy fields. I did a close inspection at low level of
roads and bridges and then headed south along the Irrawaddy. No
Japanese had been seen and only a few bullock carts were moving on
the roads. As we went south, Douglas was about 25 feet off the water
and line abreast on my port side.
A short distance, south of Pagan and at a point where a small chaung
came in from the east, I saw some movement. I swung left crossing
close behind Douglas to check it out. I then saw a large river boat a
short distance up the chaung and a dozen or more men were loading
large petrol or oil drums. It was only seconds since I first swung left
and I was now in a steep turn around the mast of the boat when there
were two heavy impacts on my aircraft. I knew at once I had been hit
with fairly heavy flak. I headed northwest across the river gaining
some height and told Douglas over the radio that I'd been hit. There
was a hole in the bottom of my aircraft between my feet and glycol
was spraying up. The other strike must have been on the engine. A
quick check of the instrument panel indicated I was at 1588 feet,
engine temperature was rising and oil pressure was almost zero.
Smoke was coming from the engine. I was now west of the
Irrawaddy and approaching the Yaw Chaung. It looked too rough for
a forced landing so I decided to bail out. I told Douglas by radio of my
intention and just before I pulled the wireless I heard him say “good
luck old chap.” I was losing height, but stayed with it until I was
passing over a village on the west bank of the Yaw Chaung. At that
point I was very low so I jettisoned the canopy and tried to climb out.
I had difficulty standing up so I jettisoned the escape panel on the
starboard side and rolled out. I saw the tail pass in front of my face
then pulled the ripcord.
It seemed only a second or so until I landed with a jar and tumbled
sideways. I was on top of a ridge with a deep gully to the north. My
pistol was missing, probably caught on the aircraft as I rolled out. I
snapped off my escape kit from under the parachute seat cushion and
ran to the west along the ridge.
Within a few minutes I heard voices so I went into a gully. The
wireless cord was a bother so I yanked the earphones from my helmet
and stuffed masks, cord and phones into a hole in the ground. I ran
west along the gully. About 5 minutes later I heard a lot of yelling then
saw people about 500 yards away running toward me along the ridge
on the north side of the gully. There were others on the south ridge
ahead of me.
I climbed the north ridge and slid down a steep slope, the only cover
was low scrub bush. By chance I slid into a shallow depression in the
hillside eighteen inches or so deep and surrounded by dense bush.
The Story of Squadron Leader
R.G. Johnson’s remarkable
escape through Burma
after being shot
down during WWII
I burrowed in pulling the foliage over me then remained motionless.
The voices were suddenly loud and very close.
I carefully slid my knife out but otherwise did not move. People
came so close I thought they would hear my heart pounding, but I was
not discovered. At one point I looked up the hill and saw a Japanese
soldier with a rifle on top of the ridge. The talking and shouting
wou1d sometimes be close to me and sometimes at a distance and
there was also the barking of dogs. I decided to stay under cover until
dark and during the long wait I debated the pros and cons of
surrendering or fighting if I should be discovered. I decided that if
there was only one I would try to silence him quickly, but otherwise
I'd surrender and hope for the best. It was an immense relief when
darkness came and all was quiet.
I waited another hour or so before leaving my hiding place then
climbed to the ridge and followed it west. I moved very cautiously
stopping to listen at frequent intervals, and then the ridge leveled out.
I continued west until I was getting close to a village. I gave the
village a wide birth and was then in rough undulating terrain with thin
bush. Walking was difficult and tiring. At first glimmer of light in the
sky I found a hiding place among the roots of an old dead tree. It had
been washed out some and was almost like a cave. After prodding
around for snakes I crawled in and contemplated the events of the
night and previous day.
I dozed off and on and as the day progressed I occasionally heard
aircraft in the near distance which sounded like Hurricanes. They
were probably search aircraft from 28 Squadron. Having managed to
avoid capture and to get even a short distance away was great boost
for my moral. All was quiet and I judged I must be at least a few miles
beyond the village I had passed. I had been using my escape kit as a
pillow. How fortunate I was to have such a well stocked kit and I
thought back to the time I had sewn it together by hand.
Regulation escape gear was a coverall type of garment with a lot of
pockets for maps etc. I had found the garment much too hot to wear
when flying low level behind a heat producing Rolls Royce Merlin
engine and the pockets were not too adequate anyway. A lot of our
missions were a long way behind enemy lines and I had concluded
that if one were to survive in a hostile environment, it would be
necessary to be self-sufficient for a reasonable period of time.
To improvise, I cut up some khaki trousers and fashioned a square
bag the size of a parachute cushion with a slit, in the center for the
harness. I sewed it by hand and put buttons on a flap at the top. Two
straps, also made of cloth, were sewn on. I extended the tabs which
held the sponge cushion on top of the parachute, so the kit when filled
was 3-4 inches thick, and would fit under the cushion.
It was now time to take stock of supplies and to decide on a plan of
action. I had 3 metal tins containing Horlick’s tablets (malted milk
wafers about 3/4 x 1 x 1/8 inches), Benzedrine tablets, chewing gum,
fish line and hooks, salt tablets, needle and thread, Mepacrine tablets,
water sterilizing crystals, some bandages and sulpha powder. I also
had a bar of hard chocolate, a canvass water canteen, a flashlight with
good batteries, a money belt (Indian Rupees), a magnifying glass, a
metal mirror and maps and compasses. The best compass was a
regulation marching compass with luminous dial with V sight and
mirrored top for taking back bearings. My wrist watch was also
luminous. The maps I had for the mission covered the area over
which I would need to travel but I had others if I wandered too far
astray. One map was of the lower Chindwin area on a scale of 1/500
000 with contours of 580 feet; the other map was a 1/4 inch (1 inch =
4 miles) with contours of' 250 feet. Magnetic deviation was about one
degree east of grid north.
-11As a reconnaissance pilot I was familiar with map reading so with a
good compass and maps I was confident of being able to “steer a
course”. I was wearing heavy leather boots, thick woo1 socks,
tropica1-weight green battle dress and a flying helmet, now without
earphones. I had a clean white handkerchief and a regulation knife
with a 7-inch thick blade. I studied the maps and decided on a course.
I would walk on a bearing of 270 degrees, aiming to strike the Yaw
Chaung where it was joined by the Kin Chaung about 16 to 18 miles
west of my approximate present position. From that point, the Yaw C.
extended west for about 1 mile and thereafter the flow was from the
north down a long valley. The map indicated there was a track more or
less following the chaung and I would then be heading almost due
north and could follow the mountains until I got into the Gangaw
Valley. Our forces had been advancing in this direction when I left.
I estimated it might take me 24 to 30 days to reach Gangaw.
I counted the Horlick’s and, on a ration of 6 per day, there were
enough to last 38 days. I would nibble sparingly of the chocolate until
it was gone. The immediate problem was water and I was already
very thirsty. The map indicated I would be in rough barren country to
begin with, but there was some small chaungs marked where I should
be able to find water. Ken MacVicar, O.C. 'B' Flight, had crashed
behind Jap lines and made his way back just two weeks prior to my
bailout, and since he was close to a village, he had been obliged to
make contact. The villagers professed to be friendly, but within a half
hour, the Japs appeared, MacVicar was very fortunate in being able to
avoid capture. For this reason I decided to avoid contact with
Burmese if at all possible. It would be safer to travel by night and hide
during the day, and additionally, I'd conserve energy when it was
cool. Travel by night would be slower, but I concluded safety and
conservation of energy were more important. I re-packed my kit with
the flashlight on top and put one tin containing Horlick’s in a breast
pocket and the 1/4 inch map in another pocket. I had a piece of string
tied to the marching compass which would be tied to my web belt.
I felt very good about having made all these plans and was anxious
for nightfall so I could get moving. Two Horlick’s for breakfasts two
for lunch and two just before dark did not do much to satisfy hunger
and it was not easy to swallow a Mepacrine tablet without water. I
tried chewing some grass, and in particular the roots, hoping to get
some moisture, but the taste was dreadful and my mouth and tongue
felt dryer than they had before. I studied the map, committing to
memory the general rise and fall of the ground and any salient points I
might be able to pick out at night, especially the chaungs.
I did not start when it was twilight but waited until it was truly dark.
The sky was clear and having noted a compass course, I used a bright
star in the western sky as a guide. Later that night I discovered the
constellation of Orion was due east and since it was so readily
distinguishable, I used it constantly. There was only scrub bush in the
rough hilly country and no sign of habitation. The first stream bed I
came upon was absolutely dry. Using my knife and hands, I dug 2 to 3
feet, but there was no sign of moisture. On two other occasions that
night I came upon dried up stream beds and although I dug a number
of holes, there was no moisture to be found. By the time the sky
started to lighten I was feeling very tired and quite discouraged at not
finding water. I convinced myself I'd be more fortunate the next
night. So sticking to my plan, I found a fairly dense clump of bush
that would provide both concealment and shade.
The night had been quite cool, but the day was hot and again I had
difficulty swallowing the Mepacrine and Horlick’s. I dozed off and
on and resisted the urge to move on by daylight. I studied the map and
when darkness came set off using the stars as guides. My efforts at
finding water were a repeat of the previous night, no luck at all. By the
time the sky brightened I was very tired and in very low spirits. Again
I found a place to hide and keep out of the sun. By this time I realized
how essential it was to avoid the sun and to rest as much as I could.
According to the map I should have come upon at least two tracks in
the arid country and I had decided to follow either one of them north
to a village and a source of water. I had not found them and concluded
there was a chance the map was inaccurate or the tracks were no
longer used and had drifted over. I had not had a pinpoint on my
location so there was no way of being certain I was on my intended
course. I was discouraged with the situation and at times visualized
simply perishing in the bloody barren part of the country. I'd never be
found and the vultures would make short work of me. I thought often
of my family in Canada and wondered if they knew what had
happened. At times I dreamed of guzzling quarts of ice cold milk and
eating all sorts of nice food.
It was now the 4th day and it was obvious I had not traveled the
number of miles as planned. Digging for water took a lot of time and
by this time my fingers were raw and sore. I was afraid of infection.
As well, it had been necessary to stop to rest frequently the previous
night. I decided not to dig for water as it seemed of no avail and I
would then he able to cover more ground. I set off again after dark and
had walked only an hour or so when I had to stop for a rest. I do not
remember starting up again but suddenly found myself stumbling
along and shortly came to the terrifying realization the kit was not on
my back. I was in a state of panic and alternately cursed and cried as I
searched for it. I eventually calmed down and started a systematic
search trying to retrace my steps in a series of square search patterns.
It must have been about 3 hours later that I found some of my tracks in
sand and there was the kit in the place I had stopped to rest. At this
point my curses changed to prayers and I was so exhausted I fell
asleep and did not awaken until daylight.
I had been keeping track of the days by making marks on the map
and continued to do so although I don't remember much of the next 3
days and nights. My tongue was swollen, my throat parched, and I
seemed to have a continuous high temperature. It was after midnight
on the 7th night when I came upon a bullock cart track which ran
north and south. I followed it north and soon realized I was walking in
soft mud. I hurried along and soon found myself in water a few inches
deep. I gulped and gulped until I regurgitated. I had been gulping half
mud and half water. Realizing the water was used as a watering place
for water buffalo, I looked for the deepest part and drank some clearer
water. After soaking the water canteen, I filled it with reasonably
clear water and tied it to my web belt with the cloth straps from the
canteen. Lady Luck was again with me and I was on “cloud 9”. I felt
that a village would not be far off and that there wou1d probably be a
source of water such as a stream. I continued north, found the village,
and since all was quiet, circled it at a short distance but did not find
any water. I followed the track north and when daylight was near
found a hiding place a 1/4 mile or so west of the cart track. The
vegetation was now reasonably dense so it was not difficult to find a
safe place.
Although I heard voices in the distance, I slept more than usual
during the day. I was confident I would now be able to find a stream
and resolved I would not stray very far from water at any time. I
sipped sparingly of the murky water which I'd doctored with
sterilizing crystals and about 1/2 remained at day's end.
Again I waited until the sun was well below the mountains in the
west, then headed north looking for the Yaw C. I lost the cart track in
some unexplainable way and found myself in quite dense bush.
Progress was slow, so at daylight when all was quiet, I decided to
continue walking for an hour or so to make up for lost time. After a
short time, I suddenly found I was close to the edge of what appeared
to be a clearing. On moving cautiously forward, I saw a native
woman with a basket on her head walking along a path toward me.
Thinking she had not seen me I dropped to my knees. She came
slowly toward me, peering into the bush with a wide grin on her face
and it was obvious she was aware of something. I tried to pretend I
was a dog by making barking noises but she was not fooled. She
parted the bushes so I stood up and stepped forward. Her expression
changed abruptly. I pointed to her basket and by signs indicated I
wanted something to eat. She shook her head and at once hurried off
I crossed the track and open area then crouched in the bush. The
woman did not look back, but I could then see she was going directly
to some huts. Almost at once, a number of native men brandishing
bamboo staves and shouting, ran out from among the huts and headed
in my direction. I ran away from the track and was making a lot of
noise in my haste. The shouting was getting louder so I scrambled
into a very dense clump of bush, pulled twigs and leaves over myself,
then remained still. The shouting came closer then started to fade and
I realized the natives were following the track thinking I had gone in
that direction. I moved off to the west, stopping frequently to listen
and after a few miles, I found a good hiding place. Although I was
almost exhausted when I stopped, I was so apprehensive of having
been followed, I slept very little during the day and vowed I'd stick to
night travel only. On pondering over the map, I could not come to a
conclusion as to my position. I finished off the little water remaining
in the canteen and felt I'd have to find more soon. It was obvious I was
still south of the Yaw but since it swung north in a big loop, I might
still be more than a night's travel from It. My spirits soared and
sagged depending on immediate events and I think that having no one
to share problems with induced a very lonely feeling. I was tempted
to try the Benzedrine, but since I had been told that the high it
produced was followed by a low, I resisted the impulse.
The next night was uneventful other than very difficult walking in
dense growth over hilly terrain, I did not find any water. Insects were
now more plentiful but since it was the dry season, fortunately there
were no leaches. Spiders caused some concern as during the day I saw
innumerable large webs with great hairy spiders waiting patiently for
their prey. I did not know if any were poisonous but since they were so
obnoxious looking, I avoided them like the plague. However, when
moving at night, I wou1d sometimes resort to crawling through some
particularly dense areas because there was less growth close to the
ground. At times I would suddenly find my face enveloped by a web
which stuck to my beard. Even after a lot of clawing and tearing at it,
there was always a lingering feeling of something crawling down my
The following night I was still not sure of my position and due to the
denser growth, the stars were not always in view. It was impossible to
hold a steady course. I resorted to using the compass more often, and
occasionally when I felt it safe, I would shield the flashlight with my
handkerchief, so only a glimmer of light was visible and thus try to
relate particularly high rises in ground to map contours. It was
obvious I covered a lot of ground without advancing a great distance.
However there was always something to be thankful for and I was at
least not being chased and my strength was holding up. Long after
midnight, I came upon another cart track and on following it to the
north, I found another water hole. Much 1arger and deeper than the
first one. Putting my handkerchief over my face, I sucked water
through it and soon felt quite refreshed.
Having filled my canteen, I looked for the village which was no
doubt not far away. The ground was now sloping away sharply in
front of me and I suddenly heard a dog bark. On creeping forward I
saw a lot of bashas and could smell wood smoke along with the aroma
of food. Thinking I might be able to find a cooking pot with some
dregs in it I started to enter the vi1lage. Other dogs began barking but
they did not follow when I made a hasty retreat. I heard voices as
some villagers were awakened. I decided that as long as I had the
Horlick’s, trying to steal food wasn't worth the risk. The sloping of the
ground indicated the village may have been near a stream so I moved
away to the west for a distance then followed the slope to the north.
Although it was not yet daybreak, I began to hear voices and other
sounds not too far away so I decided I'd find a hiding place for the day.
I went back into the densely covered hills and had entered a small
clearing on the side of a hill when all at once I heard an animal bark. I
had heard the same sound several times during the night and it didn't
sound like a dog's bark. I'd had no problem with wild animals so
far, but this was quite scary. I had stopped and was motionless when
suddenly a small deer burst from the bush into the clearing, wheeled
away and gave another loud bark as it crashed back into the bush. I
saw a short white tail and heard other deer jump into motion and crash
off through the bush. (I learned later they were Muntjacs). It was a
decided relief to know the fierce sounding bark was not made by
some ferocious animal. It was quite cool so I thought I'd rest at the
edge of the bush until the sun came out. In a short time I began to feel
the warmth of the sun and drifted off to sleep. I was suddenly aware of
something, but didn't know what had triggered the feeling. I had
become accustomed to awakening yet remaining motionless until I
was aware of my surroundings and on this occasion, I heard nothing
but did feel a slight movement on my legs. Still without moving I
glanced down and saw a snake about 3 feet long slithering across my
legs just below the knees. It continued moving and disappeared in
twigs and leaves along the side of the hill. I thought it was a Cobra. It
was the only snake I saw on my trek although there were undoubtedly
plenty them around. It was for this reason I had chosen to wear heavy
boots and gaiters as part of my flying gear.
I had water in my canteen and moreover felt I was getting close to
the Yaw. I was in a confident mood when I set off on a westerly
course that night and sure enough it wasn't 1ong before I found the
elusive stream. I considered it a real milestone as I'd now be in
country where map reading would be easier and water would no
longer be a problem. I could hear a gurgling sound in the near
distance and soon found the junction where the Kin Chaung came in
from the south. I stripped off and wallowed in the cool water, rinsed
my canteen thoroughly and refilled it. With my boots and clothes in a
bundle, which I held over my head, I forded the Kin C. After dressing,
I set off along the gravel bank on the south side of the Yaw C. The
stream did not follow a straight course, but I was making good time. It
was so much better than walking through the forest. I was aware my
boots made quite a noise on the gravel and before daybreak heard the
sound of natives and water buffalo a short distance ahead. I stopped at
once and a voice called out as if hai1ing me. There was some
conversation and the voices came closer, so I scrambled up the bank,
into some thorn bushes and remained quiet. The natives did not climb
the bank but I heard them going to and fro along the gravel. After a
time all was quiet so I moved off into the hills and found a hiding
place for the day.
I was absolutely elated at having found the junction of the two
streams. There should now be no problem following either the Yaw
C. as it wound it's way down narrow valleys or the track which was
more or less parallel to it. When the Yaw swung off to the west, just
north of the village of Pasok, there was a track that led north through
the mountains to Tilin and thence to Gangaw.
I was now in very hilly country - the beginning of the Chin
Mountains, covered mostly with bamboo forest. The walking was not
too difficult so I decided to move more or less parallel to the stream
until I was beyond the village before I went down for water. At one
point I went into a depression between two hills and suddenly the
bamboos were alive with monkeys. They seemed to be everywhere shrieking and howling - and obviously very agitated. I had seen
monkeys attack and claw a friend of mine when he teased them with a
banana. The antics of this horde were terrifying to me. I retreated up
the slope and was thankful that they did not follow after me farther
than the crest of the hill. Although it meant a lot of walking, I gave the
narrow valley a wide birth and eventually went down to the stream to
wash up and fill the canteen. The remainder of the night was
uneventful and at daybreak I again took refuge in the high hills away
from the stream.
That night I was still heading west when I came upon a cart track
and the junction of a small chaung. Thinking I was in the vicinity of
the village of Hnetchaung, where the Yaw swung north, I crossed the
Yaw and followed a track leading north. The track soon petered out so
I did a zig-zag course trying to find the Yaw C. again. When daylight
came I had not found it and I realized I was lost. I finally climbed a
high peak to find a landmark. From this position I saw that the hills
sloped away to the east and almost at the horizon I could see the sun
shining on a broad river that curved down from the north at a point
where a smaller river joined it from the west. I recognized it as being
the junction of the Kyaw River and the Yaw Chaung. Looking to the
west where the mountains rose sharply, I saw a prominent peak which
I tentatively identified as being a spot height (7923') marked on the
1/4 inch map near the village of Kanpetlet about 20 miles to the S.W. I
took a back bearing with my compass and an approximate fix on my
position. I was about 4 miles north of where I thought I should be.
Having traversed a lot of hilly country, I decided to rest during the day
as usual and retrace my path to the Yaw C. at night.
As the sun was sinking behind the mountains I headed south and in
due time came to the Yaw C. and picked up my intended course once
more. By daybreak I was near the village of Kyaukleit and found a
thick bush in which to hide for the day. I had not noticed a shrine or
place of worship when I went into hiding, but during the day women
and children came to visit the place which was only about 150 feet
from where I was hiding. I could hear voices and sounds from the
village throughout the day and was not able to get much sleep.
When darkness came and the villagers seemed to have bedded
down, I moved off to the west looking for the village of Hnetchaung
where the Yaw came down from the north. I forded a stream and when
I could not find the cart track I was looking for re-crossed the stream
and eventually found the village which I circled before going back to
the stream again. On approaching the water, I was suddenly aware
there were about half dozen people stretched out sleeping and there
were a number of rafts on which were large wicker baskets. I was
about two feet from one man. He was covered with a blanket and his
head was on a pack. I was certain he was Japanese as there were boots
on his feet. I had walked across gravel and it was miraculous the
sound had not wakened them. Moving with extreme caution and
keeping a watch at the sleeping men, I walked backwards until I was
off the gravel. I found the track I had been looking for and followed it
north. I skirted one more village and by daybreak had reached the
village of Pasok. I found a place to hide in the hills overlooking the
large village and fell asleep.
The sun was well above the horizon when I was awakened by the
sound of voices singing and chanting. I covered myself with twigs
and leaves and remained quiet. The singing came very close on the
hillside below me and I could see a group of about 20 native men.
They had long, wide bladed knives with large handles, with which
they proceeded to chop down bamboo trees. As they worked, they
sang. The path they had followed up the hill was below me and I was
relieved to see they were working their way down the hill. This
continued until afternoon, so again I did not get too much rest.
When darkness came, I found the cart track and followed it to the
north. I had traveled for a few miles when I heard bullock carts
creaking down the track towards me. I hid in the bushes until they
passed then continued walking. I had not gone far when I came upon a
cart stopped on the track. The terrain was such that I could not pass it
readily without being seen. Natives did not generally move about at
night but I knew that the Japanese did so I decided to detour. I went
across country back to the Yaw C. and followed the stream until it was
time to take cover for the day. There was no sound, or other indication
such as a smell of smoke, to suggest there was any habitation near so I
washed my socks and spread my clothes to dry while I basked in the
sun. I dozed during the day and pondered on the events of the past
week or so. I was now at a higher altitude and the nights were quite
cool. This was particularly noticeable when I was wet from wading
across streams. There had been no rain. I hadn't been able to find any
berries or other edible growth. The Horlick’s seemed to provide a
reasonable amount of energy but frequent rests were necessary. I'd
lost considerable weight and had twice sewn tucks in the waistband
of my trousers. The waist was adjustable with straps but the
adjustment had not been enough to take up the slack. The web belt
supported my knife and water canteen but did nothing for the trousers
and they were a rea1 nuisance when they sagged. Despite the
difficulties, I was convinced that moving at night was my best option.
If our own forces had made any gains, I might encounter Japanese
forces at any time.
As twilight deepened, I pushed on, crossing one stream then
another. I was in an area of sparse vegetation when I heard a low
flying twin-engine aircraft approaching. I hurriedly got my flashlight
out and when the aircraft was near, flashed in morse code
dit,dah,dah,dah for J, the first letter of my name. I did this a few times
and was certain I'd seen the navigation lights flash in recognition. The
aircraft did not circle but disappeared on a northerly course. It could
have been RAF or Japanese, I had no way of knowing. Later that
night I was trying to pick up a cart track and had been in quite dense
bush when I came upon a clearing bounded on two sides by a hedge. I
thought I was probably near a village but had not heard any sounds or
detected any unusual aromas. I'd just started to cross the clearing
when there was a sudden shrieking and screaming of monkeys in the
trees to my left. They came down from the trees arid spread around
the clearing. They seemed to be quite large, at least two to three feet
high and one large one came toward me making growling noises. I
found some twigs and pebbles and threw them at him. He became all
the more agitated and jumped around in a menacing way. I was
starting to panic when I pulled my flashlight from the top of my kit
and shone it at the 1arge anima1 who was now about ten feet away. As
soon as the light went on there was louder screaming and the entire
pack of them rushed for the trees. I could hear them shrieking as they
crashed off through the trees. I lost no time in going in the opposite
direction jumping a hedge into another clearing and then off into
more bush. I do not know if they were monkeys or apes but they
seemed to be larger than the monkeys I had encountered previously . I
moved away from the area, found the cart tracks and followed it till
I was hiding in bush near an open area on the side of a hill when a
DC3 came along the valley flying low. I hurriedly got my metal
mirror out and tried to attract attention by reflection of the sun. There
was no response and the DC3 did not come back, however it was an
exciting development. The DC3 with side door open and at such a
1ow altitude probably meant it was looking for a drop zone. It could
be that our forces which had been pushing south toward Gangaw had
made a really great advance and were now south of the Gangaw
Valley or perhaps there was a V force (organized natives) operating
somewhere in the hills. I did a lot of speculating, but there was no way
I could arrive at any conclusion other than to feel I might not have to
travel as far as Gangaw after all.
After dark I went back to the cart track headed north, and due to the
recent aircraft activity was more cautious than ever, pausing often to
listen for unusual sounds. At about midnight I felt I should be getting
close to the village of Mi—e, so I was moving only a hundred yards
or so at a time. All at once I was aware of voices in the bush on the east
side of the track. I crept closer and concluded the language was not
like any I had heard used by natives. Keeping close to the bush I crept
along the track and saw the glow of some fires through the bush. Very
shortly I came to a stream and was looking for a shallow place to
cross when I heard a rattle of stones on the other side of the stream. I
ran behind a clump of thorn bushes and crouched on one knee with
my knife in my hand. I remained motionless for quite a time when
suddenly there was a splash and clatter of stones. A figure, with rifle
and bayonet extended, rounded the thorn bush. I dived at him and we
both sprawled on the ground. I lunged with my knife hitting him on
the back but there was no penetration. He started to roll over. My right
hand, which had been my support as I lunged, happened to be on a fair
sized rock. I swung the rock in an overhead motion and hit him in the
face just as he rolled. There was no sound from him and he did not
move. I got to my feet, splashed across the stream and went as fast as I
could along the track. After about two hundred yards, the track went
up a slight rise when a Japanese soldier appeared walking toward me.
He was very close when I saw him and I instinctively felt that to run
would be fatal. I slouched by him and as soon as I reached some bush
I took cover. Almost immediately about 20 or more Japanese came
along all carrying packs and rifles. There was also a couple of bullock
carts. I remained in the bush at the side of the track and very shortly a
large number of Japanese passed by, perhaps a hundred or more. I
moved away from the track into the hills and pondered as to what my
next move should be. Just at daylight I crept back down to the track
and saw another small group of Japanese pass by. I went back into the
hills and found cover for the day.
It seemed the Japanese might be retreating so friendly forces should
be somewhere in the general area, but perhaps only an LRP. If there
were more Japs to the north of my position, it was possible they could
take a different route in retreat and our forces might by-pass the
Mi—e area. Now that I was getting close, I gave considerable thought
as to how I might make safe contact. In dense country one's view was
very limited so it was impossible to observe troop movements from a
distance. By the time anyone was within sight, it was too late to run.
I'd just have to take a chance.
I thought I'd avoid the cart track and instead head across country to
the north in the direction of the village of Lessaw, so at dusk I started
to move. I soon saw some campfires ahead and decided not to risk
trying to pass them. On returning to the track I heard voices so
retreated back to the hills. I was feeling very frustrated, but didn't
want to make a bad decision after all the many nights of struggle.
During the next few hours, I heard the sounds of fighting in the
distance to the north. There was the sound of what I thought to be
mortars and also the rattle of automatic weapons. It was spasmodic
and it was hard to judge the distance due to echoes in the valley, but I
concluded it might be 3 to 4 miles away. I remained in my safe place
and during the day all was quiet. My second tin of Horlick’s was
almost gone so I thought I'd get the last tin opened and ready for use.
To my dismay it was not in the kit. It may have fallen out when I had
the struggle with the Jap back near Mi—e. At any rate there were only
6 Horlick’s left. I decided to try the Benzadrine, so about 6 pm I ate 2
Horlick’s and a Benzedrine.
When it was dark I swallowed another Benzadrine and went back to
the track. Al1 was quiet so I headed north. When I came to a small
village, I took off my boots and socks so as to make less noise and
then walked straight through. I didn't stop to rest that night and just
before daybreak I estimated I should be quite near Lessaw. I moved
off the track and found cover on the side of a hill about 50 feet below a
ridge. Almost immediately I heard the plodding of animal hoofs, the
creak of leather and jingle of chains. Not knowing if they were friend
or foe I remained hiding.
During the day I saw DC3s dropping supplies at the east end of the
long valley in the vicinity of a couple of knolls. At dark I finished off
the Horlick’s and took a couple of Benzedrine tablets before I started
to move that night. I did not walk on the track but rather in the bush
and parallel to it in an easterly direction. I did not want to be caught in
the open by surprise. The Benzedrine did it's work and by daylight I
was at the east end of the valley. There had been some gunfire during
the night but due to the dense growth, I could not pinpoint it. It was
now quite light and from my position on a ridge, I could see the 2
knolls so decided I'd go in that direction. I went down the hill, passed
close to some huts and saw 2 natives. They in, turn saw me but I just
kept on going. I hiked across the valley to the closest knoll and
climbed to its top. I thought this would be a good vantage point from
which to spot the drop zone if the DC3s came back. I took my canteen
from my belt and leaned down to rest it against a large tree. At that
moment, I heard movement and at once saw 3 Indian soldiers coming
over the crest of the hill. It flashed through my mind that I was safe at
last and started to raise my hands. The soldier nearest to me had an
automatic weapon at about his hip level and just as I raised my hands
he pulled the trigger. There was the swish of bullets around me before
I dived behind the tree. I yelled in English, “ Do not fire, I'm a British
officer”. There were another couple of bursts which thudded into the
tree and threw up dirt from the ground. I yelled again, this time in
Urdu. No answer and no sound. I pulled out my handkerchief, waived
it around the tree and shouted again. Still no sound. I thought they
might be circling around the knoll so I jumped up, scrambled down
the hill and across the valley to the closest hill and bush. I ran along a
ridge for a short distance then hid under some dead fallen trees. Al1
was quiet the remainder of the day. I thought the Indian soldiers must
be part of a long range patrol which could be well in advance of the
main forces. With no Horlick’s tablets and feeling the let down from
the Benzedrine, I concluded I was in a “now or never” situation. My
bursts of energy at night were getting shorter and I was having to rest
more frequently. Although the Benzedrine had a short range effect, I
didn't think I could make it through the hills to Gangaw. After much
agonizing I made a decision in the late afternoon. I stripped off to the
waist so as to expose my white skin, carried my battledress top and kit
by hand and started back along the ridge. If I encountered Japs I'd
have to rely on running or hiding, but if I came upon our own forces,
perhaps they'd see I was white skinned and hold their fire. I walked
down into the valley and after a mile or so I heard voices through the
bush ahead. I crawled forward and saw a group of natives in a dried
up gully. There was about a dozen men and also women and children.
There were cooking pots over fires. I watched them for a short time
then decided to risk making contact. As I scrambled down into the
gully the women and children ran off but the men remained. By sign
language I indicated I wanted some food. Their expressions were
neither friendly nor antagonistic but they were obviously
apprehensive. I guessed they may have been obliged to leave their
village because of the recent fighting. I sat down with legs crossed
and the men crouched in a semicircle in front of me. I desperately
wanted to show them I was friendly so got out my last small piece of
chewing gum, broke it in two and handed a piece to an older native
who seemed to be in authority. I chewed my piece and he did
likewise. He broke into a grin and chattered to the other men.
Suddenly they were all smiles, the women and children came back,
and as result of signs and gestures I was given a bowl of rice. I ate
more than I should have under the circumstances. The old man
handed me some sort of a cigar which I think was rolled up bamboo
leaves. It was not pleasant but I had a puff or two just to please him. I
had a card in my kit with several native dialects in phonetic phrases
and I tried to converse with them. The only words which triggered a
response were UNGLI and JAPONI. When I repeated Ungli over and
over the old man pointed to the southwest. Again by sign language I
indicated I wanted him to take me to the Ungli. He nodded but
indicated that first we would sleep and when the sun came up we
would go. I thought of MacVicar's experience when natives had
professed to be friendly and I felt suddenly very uneasy with the
situation. I got slowly to my feet and indicated we should go now. He
didn't seem too pleased but nevertheless nodded. I indicated he
should walk ahead of me and took a boy of slight stature with me. A
couple of other men trailed behind. For what it was worth I made sure
the old man saw my hand on my knife.
We walked down the valley through sparse bush for several miles
and suddenly came to a stream. About 100 feet ahead of me a group of
Indian soldiers were washing themselves in the stream and a soldier
with a rifle was standing guard on the bank. We walked up to him and
I said “Commanding Officer, kidhur hai.” He looked at me and
casually said “Udhur hai Sahib“ and nodded to his left. He sloped
arms and off we went natives included. Within half a minute we
walked into a shallow ravine where the officers of the 4th/l4th
Punjabi Regiment were having their evening meal. After
explanations and introductions I gave the natives metal rupees from
my money belt before they departed. I ate more food and was sorry
for having done so.
I cannot remember the Colonel's name but he was most understand-
ing and solicitous as to my well-being. He was much interested in
knowing where I had encountered the Japanese and fortunately, due
to the 1/4 inch map, I was able to be quite specific. He eventually said
they would break camp at daylight and head for Mi—e and that I
would go by jeep with him to where DC3s were landing with
supplies, and the main force was presently located. He summoned the
three soldiers who had shot at me in the morning and they explained
they had thought I was part of a Jap patrol, so after firing a couple of
bursts they went to get reinforcements. I bedded down in a shallow
slit trench but didn't sleep too wel1 because of fierce stomach cramps.
At dawn the Colonel gave me a rifle with part of the stock missing, a
bandolier of ammunition and suggested we should keep a sharp
lookout as his regiment had pushed quickly through the hills in
pursuit of the Japanese and he didn't think any troops had followed to
mop up any Jap stragglers they may have missed. We set off in a jeep,
myself, an Indian driver, an Indian medical officer and a wounded
Chin tribesman who had been with the regiment. The Chin was
strapped on an overhead stretcher, but since he kept rolling off, we
soon discarded the stretcher and tied him in the front seat. The track
was extremely rough and we had about 20 miles to cover. We had
gone about 4 or 5 miles when I saw a lot of brown skinned men on the
track ahead and they quickly disappeared in the bush. The jeep came
to an abrupt halt and I scrambled behind a large rock. The Chin was
tied down but the two Indians had also dived for cover. When I found
courage to peek around the boulder, I saw a British officer, nattily
dressed in bush hat, shorts, socks complete with tabs and he was
walking toward us. I stood up and he said. “It's OK chaps - we are a
Chin Patrol.” We chatted for 5 minutes or so. He was part of V force
and had been operating alone in the Chin Mountains for more than a
year, organizing native resistance. Supplied mostly by air, he
gathered information and generally tried to harass the Japs from time
to time. He said they had been in the Pasok area a week or so ago and
if I'd known might have been able to contact them. Before we parted
company he told us we would come to two knolls in a valley about 4
or 5 miles along the track. He warned us not to try to pass the knolls
without contacting his friend by whistling as loud as possible.
Otherwise we might be shot.
We did as he suggested and in response to several whistles, a tall red
headed Irishman came out of the dense growth and introduced
himself. He too was a V force operative working with a group of
Chins. (I can't remember his name). We had lunch with him - hard
tack and canned cheese. He said that under normal circumstances he
could have alerted forces at Tilin of our coming but due to having
been surprised by Japs a few days earlier, had lost some gear
including his radio.
We pressed on and arrived at Tilin where the medical officer
dropped me off at a landing strip. When I approached the pilot of the
first DC3 to come in and explained my position he merely said he was
very sorry but he had strict orders not to take any passengers. I was
utterly astounded that he wouldn't take me as by this time I was a sad
looking sight with scruffy beard, thin as a bean pole, tattered battle
dress, but still with wings and rank stripes on my tunic. It was just as
well as it turned out because at that time I had need to find a latrine
which I did with some haste. I practically exploded and it occurred to
me this was the first bowel movement I'd had since the third day after
I had bailed out. Feeling considerably better I went back to the strip to
try the next aircraft. This time the pilot - an Australian - was very
sympathetic and agreed to take me to his destination at Imphal main
strip. After we were airbourne, I talked him into dropping me off at
Kalemyo. He told me 28 Squadron, was no longer there but 221
Group HQ was nearby. On landing I went up to the tower and called
Group HQ by land line asking for Air Commodore Vincent. The AOC
was a fine person and knew every pilot in his group. His aide-decamp answered the phone and I heard him say to another person, “he
says he is F1t/Lt Johnson of 28 Squadron.” I could hear the AOC say
in a loud voice,”Johnson, Johnson, where in the hell IS he?” He then
came on the line and after a few words said his staff car would be
there in a few minutes to pick me up.
At Group HQ I was greeted by Air Comm.
Vincent and General Stratomyer who was
visiting at the time. It was the 6th of Feb and I
remained at HQ until an intelligence officer,
Sqdn/Ldr Huxtable, flew in from Calcutta to
debrief me. I returned to 28 Sqdrn. at Yeu in
central Burma a few days later. A few months
after this I was notified I had been awarded a
Military Cross. Presumably the info I had given
the CO of the Punjabi regiment had been of some
value. In about April I was sent to visit all
forward-area squadrons lecturing on escape and
Sqdn/Ldr R.G. Johnson M.C. J7810 R.C.A.F. (Retired)
(ed. note): The Military Cross can be awarded to commissioned officers of the substantive rank of
Captain or below or Warrant Officers for distinguished and meritorious services in battle. In 1920,
the terms were altered to clearly state the award was for gallant and distinguished services in
action and that naval and air force officers could be awarded the cross for gallant and
distinguished services on the ground.)
Bob Johnson just celebrated his 95th birthday and has been a Charlottetown Gyro since 2000 where he never
misses a meeting. Following WWII, Bob’s career was as an insurance adjustor on Prince Edward Island.
more Stampede City at 50 Years
Former member Joe Dobos chats with
Al Clark and Nigel Way
40 year plus member Bob Rowan with Bill Atchison
(upper right) Receiving 50-year plaques & pins, Richard Duncan, Nigel & Ann Way, and Marj & Jim Duncan
(lower right) An interested group watches the video presentation: Jim Copeland, Charter “Gyrunt”
Sara (Way) Kessler, Ian Greig, Ted Gaffney and Don Greig
Stampede City
50 years
of Friendship
Article by Ian Greig PIP - Photos by Ken Williamson
The Charter Members ~ Installation 1962
On October 13th and 14th, the Stampede City Gyro Club
celebrated 50 years of Gyro friendship. Among the 103
attendees were five charter members and a widow of a
charter member. Guests from other Clubs included two
Past International Presidents, numerous Past District
Governors and a Past Governor of District IV from the
Albernis, Bob Kanngiesser, who had been a member of
the Club briefly before relocating. The sponsoring
Calgary Gyro Club and the seconding Lethbridge Gyro
Club were well represented. We were pleased to welcome
five former members and their ladies and four widows of
former members.
The event started early with the group reacquainting
themselves with the former members present. Displays of
old photos and other memorabilia were viewed with
interest and some amazement at how young we used to be.
What really made the event special was a video
presentation prepared by Past District Governor Al Clark.
This included hundreds of old photos, a video of the
“Chicago” skit presented at the 2006 International
Convention and an old movie entitled “The Lavender
Cowboy” which was made by the club members in 1965.
A comment that was made more than once was “I had
forgotten how much fun we used to have.”
Immediate Past District Governor Ken Baker gave a
Founders Day Presentation. He was followed by the
District 1st Lt. Governor Jim Malott who brought
greetings from the District and installed the new Club
executive led by third time president Paul Stout. We then
took a refreshment break and returned for dinner.
After dinner the 50th anniversary celebrations began.
Ian Greig, Al Clark and Paul Stout gave presentations of
the Club history covering the early years, the middle years
and recent times respectively. Each of these was
accompanied by a series of photos from the era. Many
stories from the past were told, many more could not be
repeated. Letters of congratulations were read.
Of course the highlight of the evening was a presentation
to the Charter Members present being David Crowe, Bill
Atchison, Bev Clarke (widow of Wib), Richard Duncan,
Jim Duncan and Nigel Way. The latter three also received
their 50 year plaques and pins from Gyro International.
Dancing and considerably more socializing followed.
We reconvened the following morning for a farewell
Based on the comments received, it was a very
continued on page 15
successful event.
IPDG Ken Baker delivers Founders Day Address
New Secretary, Ridge Forster with Jim Malott
New President Paul Stout telling us
“how it's going to be”.
Immediate Past President & District Governor
Dale Woodroffe congratulated by Jim Malott
Directors Sam Cameron, Dale Green and Jim Barrette installed by 1st Lt.
Governor Jim Malott. (missing Dave Smith)
Allan Pentney recives the clubs
Gyro of the Year Award
Charter members share a laugh
Charter members, Richard Duncan, Bill Atchison, Bev Clarke, David & Donna
Crowe, Nigel & Ann Way, and Marj & Jim Duncan, congratulated by PIP Ian Greig
- 18 -
- 19 -
D-VIII at Canmore, Alberta
- submitted by Larry Duba -
The Calgary Gyro Club selected wonderful venue for the District VIII
convention which was held during August 23-26, 2012. There were 150
Gyros and Ladies who enjoyed the Gyro fun. Steve Denny organized the
registration committee; and after registration on Thursday afternoon,
members walked to the Cornerstone Theater for a dinner show titled “Oh
Canada Eh!” The show included songs which were written by Canadian
composers, and the entertainers had beautiful voices. Governer Ken Baker
was seen riding a wooden horse up and down the isles between the tables to
everyone's delight.
On Friday morning, 29 teams of four participated in a Car Rally. I, of
course, being an engineer figured out that the three ladies in my car would be
assigned different roles at a stop that included the need to count the number of
small, medium, and large mail boxes at a housing complex. I assigned each
lady to a size to count. Once counted, I began to drive off while the numbers
were being recorded. Even though I did not speed between points, we ended
up 33 minutes early, so being more efficient did not pay any dividends.
However, we all enjoyed seeing more of Canmore with the beautiful
mountains in the background. Jim Copeland (Sherwood Park Gyro Club) had the winning car rally team.
For those 17 members who decided to play golf at the
Kananaskis Ranch, they experienced some cool and wet
conditions. Although it is said that golfers don't have enough
sense to come out of the rain, most of the members decided to
quit. However, the four with questionable judgment were Mike
Wagg, Zig Doborzynski, Garry Pattison and Wayne Sinclair.
The most honest golfer was Past International President Jim
Roberts (Hollyburn Gyro Club, B.C.).
On Friday afternoon, the Bocce Tournament was held
followed by a tasty BBQ dinner of beef tenderloin at the
Creekside Hall. Once again, my team did not win. Jim
Copeland had the winning Bocce Tournament team made up of
the Green family (Karin, Mackenzie, and Danielle) from
Stampede City. The “B” Event runners-up included Dick
Nichols, Edmonton; Hazel Coates, Calgary; Alida Martin,
Calgary; and Fred Schulte, Edmonton.
Alice and I were honored by a representative of the Calgary
Stampede. We were made honorary citizens of Calgary, and we
were presented with the traditional white Stetson hats. We were
shocked and very grateful for this presentation and honor.
The entertainment for the evening was a special musical
presentation by the Keester Family Fiddlers which included a
mother and four daughters (17, 15 and 12 year old fraternal
twins). We had to buy a CD so that we could listen to this great
music on the Gyro trail.
The business meeting was held Saturday morning, and the
mandatory requirement to hold a District Interim Convention
was eliminated. As a result of this constitutional change, the
annual convention will normally be held at the Fairmont Resort
in May or June at a time that does not conflict with the
International Annual General Meeting Convention. The
Wallace Gyro Club has committed to hosting the 2014 District
VIII Convention in Wallace, Idaho. Another change was to
change the end of the fiscal year to April 30th to coincide with
the fiscal year for Gyro International.
The Best Bulletin Award was won by the Sherwood Park
Club which earlier won the International Award for the Best
Gyro Club Bulletin. The Man Mile Award was given to the
Regina Gyro Club, and the Membership Award was won
jointly by the Calgary and Edmonton Gyro Clubs.
The Installation of the Calgary Club Officers was
conducted by Dale Woodroffe, 1st Lt. Governor, after the
luncheon. The new officers are as follows: Dale Woodroffe,
Immediate Past President; Paul Stout, President; Brand
Hinds, Vice-President; Garry Pattison, Treasurer; Ridge
Forster, Secretary; and Dale Green, Dave Smith and Jim
barrette, Directors. I had the opportunity to speak about the
priorities for the International Executive in the coming year
followed by a question and answer period.
Saturday evening was the time for the Governor's
Celebration and Banquet. Various awards were given to
participants of the many activities. I presented information
about the history of the district, recognized various Gyro
Award recipients and gave some information about the
background of the district officers and wives before installing
the new Executive Officers for District VIII. The new officers
are as follows: Ken Baker, Immediate Past Governor; Dale
Woodroffe, Governor; Jim Malott, 1st Lt. Governor, David
DeRoos, 2nd Lt. Governor will be installed later as he was not
able to attend the convention; and Alan Pentney, Secretary
After the installation, we were entertained by an
illusionist, and several members, including myself, were
asked to go on stage to participate in the fun program.
On Sunday morning, we were treated to a great
farewell breakfast before departing.
- 20 -
canmore, cont.
- 21 -
George Nothnagel & Chris Snyder, on camera Nancy Pittard, Ruth Kay, Reba & Court Lilley
Boris Dioneff is pensive while Mary Lou
Bregitzer and Fred Scharlott discuss
Chatting keeps all warmer
Breakfast in the Park - Cleveland Heights Style
- submitted by Ed Benhoff -
Don Smejkal, Sally & Len Elliot with Jackie B’s
white hat
Bob Gibson tries to explain to Jackie B
why she shouldn’t have any more from the cup
Co-hostesses Marion Gulic & Roberta Winston
take a break by the cooking center
Don Smejkal, Jackie B & Bob Gibson
They come from far and wide; north and south - all
for one common goal. They come to celebrate
GYRO friendship! It doesn't matter that it's in midOctober, about 10 miles from Lake Erie, only about
9AM, or that the weather can be anything
imaginable. They still come.
This year, October 13th was the nicest weather any
of the attendees could remember. The sun was out
and a roaring fire was going in the shelter as usual.
No snow or rain or howling wind for a change and
there were the various libations to warm any cold
body or at least make it forget the chill.
The hosts, as for the last 5-6 years were Marion
(eggs are ready!) and Bob (I'm getting more wood)
Gulic who were ably assisted by Roberta (I'll worry
the potatoes) and Brian (I'm happy to wear these
longjohns) Winston. Now these four have been
practicing for all these years and it is felt that they
are learning rather well. Another 11 years and things
should be running even smoother.
Besides the Heights Gyros in attendance, regality
showed up in the form of our District I Governor and
spouse, Tom & Sue Meister along with the 3rd
International VP Chris Snyder and lovely wife
Linda. Two PDGs in the form of Bob Barnaby from
Canton and Larry Larson of Akron and Joel Walker,
also of Akron came as stags. Former Heights Gyros,
and now from the Powell club, Joan and Fred
Scharlott came up to see old friends and help in the
early hours of the cooking.
The rest of the story is in the pictures and, as with
any Gyro event, everyone went home full in all
ways needed and with smiles on their faces.
Jane Smejkal & Jackie B discuss while
Phylis & George Nothnagel wonder about both
Nancy Pittard, Roberta Winston, Bob Gibson
Barnaby, Larson & Scharlott comparing notes
Marion Gulic explains to Carole Mooney that
you can’t get fries with that
Shirley Dionefand & others enjoy the warm fire
2013 Gyro International Interim Meeting
January 27 - 31
L as
2411 W. Sahara Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89102
Palace Station Hotel & Casino
Free scheduled hotel shuttle to “Strip” and airport / Full casino - slots & cards /
Six restaurants in hotel for convenient dine around / Great views / Irish Bar /
Comedy club entertainment / Friendly atmosphere / Two pools / Starbucks
Please submit the registration fee to Sheila at HQ before December 30, 2012.
Contact Sheila at: [email protected] or call 1-440-352-2501 or use form on reverse
Make own hotel reservations - complete data on back - prior to December 27, 2012
Registration Fee: $90/person
Covers Hotel Banquet, Hospitality, Ladies Coffee
Great Room Rates $39-$79
See registration page for Details
Mardi Gras Costume Contest
Prizes for best Men’s & Ladies Costumes
at Thursday Banquet Dinner
January 27 - January 31
ĤMŌÞ MǾŘ 2 7 th ro u g h Ja n u a ry 3 1 , 2 0 1 3
P a la c e S ta tio n H o te l & C a sin o
Las Vegas, N evada
7 :0 0 p m – 1 0 :0 0 p m
9 :0 0 p m – 1 1 :3 0 p m
M onday
- E x e c u tiv e C o u n c il D in n e r
- H o s p ita lity R o o m o p e n (P D G s in c h a rg e )
W ednesday
T h u rs d a y
8 :3 0 a m
12 noon
3 :0 0 p m
5 :0 0 p m
7 :0 0 p m
9 :3 0 p m
8 :3 0 a m
12 noon
1 :3 0 p m
5 :0 0 p m
7 :0 0 p m
9 :3 0 p m
5 :0 0 p m
- 5 :0 0 p m
- 7 :0 0 p m
- 9 :3 0 p m
- 1 1 :3 0 p m
E x e c u tiv e C o u n c il M e e tin g
E x e c u tiv e C o u n c il L a d ie s L u n c h e o n
P a s t D is tric t G o v e rn o r s M e e tin g
H o s p ita lity R o o m o p e n
D in e a ro u n d – E C & B O G
H o s p ita lity R o o m o p e n
- 12 noon
- 1 :0 0 p m
- 5 :0 0 p m
- 7 :0 0 p m
- 9 :3 0 p m
- 1 1 :3 0 p m
B o a rd o f G o v e rn o rs M e e tin g
H o s p ita lity R o o m
B o a rd o f G o v e rn o rs M e e tin g re s u m e s
H o s p ita lity R o o m
D in e a ro u n d – E C & B o a rd o f G o v e rn o rs
H o s p ita lity R o o m
8 :3 0 a m - 1 2 n o o n
9 :3 0 a m - 1 0 :4 5 a m
1 0 :3 0 a m - 1 0 :4 5 a m
1 0 :4 5 a m - 1 2 n o o n
1 2 n o o n - 1 :0 0 p m
A fte rn o o n
5 :0 0 p m - 6 :0 0 p m
7 :0 0 p m
9 :3 0 p m - 1 1 :3 0 p m
D is tric t O ffic e r T ra in in g
L a d ie s C o ffe e S o c ia l – H o s p ita lity S u ite
E C m e e t w ith la d ie s
S o c ia l M e d ia re v ie w & u p d a te
H o s p ita lity R o o m
fre e tim e
H o s p ita lity R o o m
D in n e r (o n y o u r o w n )
H o s p ita lity R o o m
8 :3 0 a m - 1 2 n o o n
1 2 n o o n - 1 :0 0 p m
a fte rn o o n
5 :0 0 p m - 6 :3 0 p m
6 :3 0 p m - 9 :3 0 p m
9 :3 0 p m -
M e m b e rs h ip S e m in a r – M a rk e tin g P la n
H o s p ita lity R o o m
fre e tim e
H o s p ita lity R o o m
P re s id e n t’s H o te l D in n e r (o p tio n a l) * *
H o s p ita lity R o o m
“S ig h ts e e in g a n d to u r in fo rm a tio n w ill b e in y o u r ‘W e lc o m e E n v e lo p e ’ w h e n y o u c h e c k in .”
( ** c a s u a l d r e s s )
S c h e d u le a s o f S e p te m b e r 1 , 2 0 1 2
Because of recent promotional offerings, the Palace Station Hotel has adjusted the published Gyro room rates. The
Tower rate for week nights, Sunday through Thursday, will now be $5/night less, or $54 rather than $59. The weekend
rates, Friday & Saturday, will be $5 higher, or $74 rather than $69. There is no change to the Courtyard room rates. A
$4.95 daily service fee is added to each room. This fee provides for shuttle service to the strip, etc. In addition, there is a
12% room tax. Overall, this is a slight reduction in costs for the attendees.
The hotel will accept reservations at the above rate until December 27, after which the regular rates will apply. To make
reservations, call the hotel at (800)634-3101 and identify yourself as “PCIGYRO.”
- 24 -
Gyro Club
On November 10, 2012, in
Pismo Beach, California, a new
Central Coast Gyro Club held
their meeting that included its
chartering, installation of
officers and induction of four
new members. I had the honor to
officiate at this great event which
was held at Marie Calendar's
Restaurant in the Ship Room. I
am glad that the event was held
on land, since I don't have my sea
legs yet.
Six members (Roger Lindley,
Bob McGill, Mark Westfall, Bill
Morrow, John DeYulia, and Jim
Wi g g i n s ) o f t h e n e a r b y
Blacklake Gyro Club decided to
unite and organize a new club in
the central coast area of
California. They began having
meetings, developed a
constitution and by-laws and
inviting a friend to Gyro. The
Fresno Club agreed to be the
Sponsoring Club and the
Blacklake Gyro Club agreed to
be the Seconding Club.
Roger Lindley presided as
Master of Ceremonies, and John
DeYulia created and printed the
Program for the evening. John
gave the invocation and all
joined in as we sang the National
Anthem. Roger introduced the
guests as follows: Lowell Gist,
Immediate Past District
Governor (IPDG), Jim Vaughan,
President of the Fresno Gyro
Club, and myself, President of
Gyro International.
- continued page 26
- 25 -
Welcome to New Gyros
August thru November 2012
Lawrence Dennis, Edmonton
Don White, Ft. Lauderdale/GC
Larry Feinman, Canton
Larry J. Johnson, Des Moines
Tracy DesLaurier, Edmonton
Carroll S. Simpson, Tacoma
Stephen B. Morrison, Tacoma
Robert S. Kakish, Painesville
Donald W. Boone, Calgary
Zeb Lilja, Yakima
Jim Arnott, Camosun
Steven J. Sletten, Madison
Richard Thompson, Madison
Jack Lucyk, Regina
Murray Hugel, Regina
David W. Harris, Nor-West
John P. Tuohy, Oryg
Bruce Swanson, Edmonton
Arthur W. Schuster, Jr., Rochester
Robert Rasmussen, Oryg
Douglas Bruce, Oryg
Robert D. Baldwin, Winnipeg
Ken Graham, Painesville
Thomas F. Zarfoss, Painesville
Rand Schiltz, Vancouver, WA
Gerald Pulak, Calgary
Stan Childers, Yakima
Donald Kapps, Oryg
Charles J. McCarthy, Oryg
Gary Sirek, Oryg
Max Zarling, Oryg
Jonathan E. Lane, Gasparilla
Rick O’Shaughnessy, Gasparilla
Todd Mueller, Clinton
Jeremy Van Zuiden, Clinton
Dale Schroeder, Clinton
Dennis Schroeder, Clinton
John Barnes, Vancouver, WA
Eddie L. Brown, Indianapolis
John McArthur, Vancouver, WA
Richard H. Nelson, Fresno
Roger Lindley*, C. Coast
Bob McGill*, C. Coast
Mark Westfall*, C. Coast
John DeYulia*, C. Coast
Bill Morrow*, C. Coast
Jim Wiggins*, C. Coast
Larry Duba*, C. Coast
Merle Ackerman, C. Coast
Arnold Neil, C. Coast
Richard Davis, C. Coast
Thomas E. Bonds, C. Coast
Stanley C. Sharpe, C. Coast
Robert G. Richards, Blacklake
Gerit Fenega, Blacklake
James W. Pearson, Madison
Garry R. Jones, Sherwood Park
Eddie Gailant, Charlottetown
Shawn Hamilton, Victoria
Ian McGillivray, Victoria
Wayne Ward, Prince George
David Duck, Prince George
William C. Robertson, Painesville
Damon Rodehorst, Painesville
Michael P. Huler, Painesville
Howard D. Riches, Stampede City
Mina N. Fahim, Victoria
Robert H. Brown, Victoria
* denotes dual membership
- continued from page 25
Central Coast Gyro Club Chartered!
I installed the club's officers as follows: Roger Lindley (Carol) as President; Bob McGill (Lynn) as Vice
President; Mark Westfall (Barbara) as Secretary; Jim Wiggins (Diana) as Treasurer; and the Directors Bill Morrow
(Kaye) and John DeYulia (Darlene).
Ed Henderson, 2nd Lt. Governor, presented the Charter to Roger Lindley on behalf of Gyro International.
Lowell Gist, IPDG, presented a gavel to Roger on behalf of Gyro International. Jim Vaughan, President of the Fresno
Club, gave a congratulatory message on behalf of the Sponsoring Club. Mike Eisner, President of the Blacklake
Club, gave a congratulatory message on behalf of the Seconding Club.
I had the pleasure of inducting four new members as follows: 1. Merle Ackerman (Marsha); 2. Tom Bonds
(Sue); 3. Richard “Dick” Davis (Paloma Nieto); and Stan Sharp (Mary). Jim Wiggins was the sponsor of Merle
Ackerman, Roger was the sponsor of Tom Bond, Bill Morrow was the sponsor for Dick Davis and Mark Westfall was
the sponsor for Stan Sharp. A fifth new member, Arnie Neil (Joellen) could not attend and he will be inducted at a
subsequent meeting. The sponsor for Arnie is Jim Wiggins.
Roger commented that many letters and message of congratulations were received from our International
President, Past International Presidents, Presidents of several Gyro Clubs and many other members. They were very
much appreciated by the members of the Central Coast Gyro Club. Roger gave the closing remarks and thanked
those who helped in organizing the new club, congratulated the newly inducted members, and thanked everyone for
attending this important event. The meeting was closed and all sang the song “Thanks for the Fraternity” to the tune
of “Thanks for the Memories.”
The six club organizers and the three guests all became Charter members. Therefore, the club begins with 13
members, and the 14th member will be inducted in the near future. The new Central Coast Gyro Club becomes the
seventh club in District IX. The other six clubs were chartered as follows: San Jose in 1932, Oakland in 1937, Long
Beach in 1946, Fresno in 1964, Blacklake in 1993 and Coachella Valley.
- 26 -
“... lest we forget!”
From reading Gyro Club bulletins, we see that
many Gyro clubs dedicate time at their meetings, on or near November 11 each year, to remember those men
from both countries who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that those following can remain free.
Remembrance Day / Veterans Day are also known as Armistice Day and Poppy Day ~ the date signifies
the official end of WWI on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
Remembrance Day
Veterans Day
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
Lt. Colonel John McCrae
- Canadian soldier,
physician and poet penned this poem
while awaiting the next battle
and shortly after burying,
in the absence
of the brigade pastor,
his close friend
Lieutenant Alexis Helmer.
We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
The poppy is recognized
as the symbol of our
remembrance because
it was the first flower to
grow in the terribly
disturbed battlefields.
- John McCrae
- 27 -
District VIII Convent ion
Canmore, Alberta
- submitted by Bryan Sherwood -
The convention started Thursday afternoon with
registration of the delegates under the watchful eyes of
Marilyn and Bob Lane, as well as a host of volunteers who
looked after the actual registrations, handed out the gift bags
and acted as greeters in the parking lot at the Radisson Hotel.
There were a total of 153 registered delegates. There
were 2 each from Castlegar, Fresno, California, Vancouver,
and International Associates. There were 6 from Lethbridge
and 8 from each of Cranbrook and Nelson. There were 9 from
Regina, 10 from Sherwood Park, 12 from Edmonton, 26 from
the Stampede City Club, and 66 from our own club.
Once registered, delegates headed for the hospitality
room, hosted by our club, to meet and greet old friends. It also
gave delegates a chance to view the items on display for the
Silent Auction. And after a drink or two delegates began to
choose the items they liked and made their bid.
We were then treated to a dinner theatre show at the
Cornerstone Theatre in Canmore. It was a 5 minute walk from
the hotel. The production was titled 'Oh Canada Eh!'. The
servers are the actors and you are served your meal family
style. Everyone sits at long tables and they bring big bowls of
food to the tables. Everyone helps themselves and passes the
bowls on. When the bowls are empty the servers bring you
more full bowls. One of the characters in the show, Miss
Kitty, took a shine to Ken Baker and he became her 'Stud
Muffin' and the star of the show !! After the show it was a short
walk back to the hotel and another Hospitality Room hosted
by our club.
Friday was a busy day. Golfers were out on the links
bright and early. The weather was not as nice on this day as
there was some rain. John Hodgson, the coordinator of the
event reported: “Seventeen hardy Gyros and Gyrettes left
Canmore early that morning with the temperature barely
above freezing and a steady rain falling. Shortly after turning
onto Hwy. 1A towards the golf course, the group was unable
to proceed further because the road has been washed out by
the overnight rain. Undeterred, the group abandoned their
vehicles and proceeded by canoe up the Bow River. After
disembarking from the canoes , all that remained was a one
kilometer hike to the golf course. The trail led to a high piece
of land where knee deep freshly fallen snow slowed the
group's progress”.
John went on to say, “Buoyed by hot
coffee, muffins and slightly improving weather, the group was
ready to play. However, reports of a grizzly bear on hole #2
presented a concern. In perhaps his final act of authority,
President Larry Fenton directed Zig Doborznyski out to the 2nd
hole to chase the bear off the course. Zig was successful in
this endeavour. His multi layers of clothing proved to be a
godsend by limiting Zig's injuries to superficial flesh
Also on Friday morning the Car Rallye took place. This was a
really popular event with a team of four persons in each car.
Each team was given a list of directions to follow and
questions to answer. A total of 26 cars with over 100
participants left the hotel parking lot and only 25 cars
returned…….they are still looking for David Jenner !!! Just
kidding !! Everyone eventually returned !! The first car back
took 1 hour and 11 minutes while the longest time taken was 3
hours and 23 minutes. The winning teams were all from our
club. The Garry Davies Team placed first, the Ken Baker
Team placed second, and the Ron Carter Team placed third.
This was the first car rallye for many of the participants and
everyone seemed to really enjoy it and hoped to do another
rallye at some time in the future.
There was some free time for lunch following the golf
and car rallye events. Then, everyone was bussed to the
Canmore Senior Center for the Bocce Tournament. There
were only 6 bocce courts and over 100 participants so the
games had to be limited to 20 minutes each to ensure that the
tournament would be completed before dinner was served.
Teams were made up as the delegates arrived at the Senior
Centre. The sky was overcast and threatened rain, but we
started the games anyway. The games moved along quickly
until the rain actually started. Some teams, which were
already losing, conceded and left the courts, while other teams
kept on playing through the rain. The rain eventually stopped
and the games proceeded to the finish.
Once the bocce tournament was finished, the prizes
were awarded to the winners. The winning team of the 'A'
Event included Donna Gareau, Paul Stout (Stampede), Dale
Green (Stampede), and Dale Woodroffe (Stampede). This
team received the Bocce Trophy and each member of the team
received a bottle of wine. The team of Joe Pagurut
(Cranbrook), Alan Pentney (Stampede), Jacqui Bourne, and
Cecilia Doborzynski were the runners up in the 'A' Event and
each of those members received a bottle of wine. The
winning team of the 'B' Event consisted of Karin Green,
Mackenzie Green, and Danielle Green (all from the Stampede
Club), and Jim Copeland. The team of Fred Schulte
(Edmonton), Hazel Coates, Dick Nichols (Edmonton), and
Alida Martin were the runners up in the 'B' Event. These
winners and runners-up also each received a bottle of wine.
At this time, prizes were also handed out to the
various winners of the golf tournament and the Car Rallye.
Now, it was time to eat !!! While everyone was
enjoying themselves on the courts or at the bar Chef Jim Barr
was in the parking lot tending our supper on the BBQ. His
wife, Renate, was in the kitchen with her helpers. The end
result was a delicious meal of BBQ beef, potato salad, beans,
buns and a dessert of cake and coffee. Delicious !!!!!!!!
- 28 -
District VIII Convention, cont.
At the conclusion of the installation, the Calgary
Following supper a White Hatter Presentation was
made to International President Larry Duba and his wife, Gyrettes were delighted to receive a wonderful surprise from
Alice. This presentation was made by Kevin Hendrickson, a the Gyros …… beautiful sparkling gyroscope pins. These
were given out by Alice Duba with the assistance of Larry
volunteer with the Calgary Exhibition & Stampede Board.
Fenton. Andrea Sherwood commented on how very
appreciative she and the other Gyrettes felt for the Gyros'
generosity and thoughtfulness.
Following the Saturday luncheon, the delegates
resumed their activities in the Hospitality Room and made
their final bids on the Silent Auction.
Entertainment for the evening was provided by the
“Keister Family Fiddlers”. The group consisted of four sisters
whose ages ranged from 17 years, 15 years, and 12 years
(twins). All of the young girls played the fiddle and sang.
They were accompanied by their mother playing the guitar.
After the entertainment, everyone was bussed back to
the Radisson for another go at our Hospitality Room and a
chance to check out the bidding on the Silent Auction.
Saturday morning started off with the Past Governors'
breakfast followed by a Gyro business meeting. In the
afternoon following the business meeting, a luncheon buffet
was held. Ron Carter was our marvelous and very funny
emcee. The new executive was installed by Governor Ken
Baker, aka 'Stud Muffin'.
L to R: Past President Larry Fenton looking on as President
Chet Mills receives the gavel from Governor Ken Baker
Front: PP Larry Fenton, VP Jim Barr, Rod MacCleod
Back: David Jenner, Bryan Sherwood, Ken Baker & Chet Mills
Saturday evening was the gala Governor's
Celebration and Banquet.
The evening began with cocktails and a chance for
more visiting. Once everyone was seated, those sitting at the
head table were led to their seats by the music of a bagpiper.
At the conclusion of dinner, the new executive of
District VIII was installed by International President Larry
Duba. Ken Baker was installed as the Past District Governor,
Dale Woodroffe as the District VIII Governor, Jim Mallot as
the 1st Lt. Governor, and Alan Pentney as Secretary-Treasurer.
Dave Deroose, from the Wallace Club, will be installed as the
2nd Lt. Governor at a later date. In keeping with the theme of
the convention, “Fun in the Mountains”, speeches were kept
very short so that we could proceed with having more fun and
enjoying the entertainment.
Our entertainment for the evening was provided by
Trixtan of “Trixtan Entertainment”. He is a very talented
young man and he performed acts of magic, juggling,
hypnosis, and illusion to a most appreciative audience.
Everybody loved it !!!!!
At the conclusion of the entertainment most of the
delegates headed to, yet, another Hospitality Room to talk
over the day's events and say goodbye to some of their good
Sunday morning was the 'fly-away' breakfast where
more good-byes were said and then everyone headed home.
- 29 -
2012 District VI
Convention Report
- submitted by Harold Bernard, PIP -
The District VI Convention was hosted by the Gyro Club
of New Glasgow at the Pictou Lodge, Pictou, Nova
Scotia on September 14 - 16, 2012.
- submitted by Lynn Klinck -
The Lodge's staff was very accommodating, pleasant and
helpful in meeting the needs of those in attendance. The
site of the Convention was in the picturesque coastal
community of Pictou on the shores of the
Northumberland Strait.
This is a lovely story of kindness when Wilma Moir, a
member of the Vancouver Gyro Club, suggested that
we could knit hats and scarves for the children of a
school where the children need warm clothing for this
winter season. The kids also got home-made boxes
with chocolate. Those of us who don’t knit donated
money for the wool, and the Gyro Clubs contributed
money to help with this very worthwhile effort. The
pictures show how successful this Gyro project was!
The members of the New Glasgow Club provided a wellstocked hospitality bar with liquid refreshments and
munchies available to the Convention attendees;
unfortunately very few of the 89 convention attendees
took advantage of the opportunity to socialize at the
hospitality cabin.
The planning, organizing and managing of the
Convention was by a committee under the leadership of
the Club President, who has less than three years of Gyro
membership, so some of the traditional formalities of
previous District VI conventions were not present.
The number of Gyros registered for the Convention was
42: 18 from New Glasgow, 4 from Kentville, 9 from
Windsor, 4 from Dartmouth, 3 from Truro, 4 from
Charlottetown. The Riverview Club was not represented .
The District's total membership is presently 207
including 10 fifty-year members. Three of the seven clubs
are struggling to keep their clubs healthy.
The District Executive presented a deficit budget for
approval at the general meeting. As there was great
reluctance to increase the district dues by $5.00 per
member to generate the funds required to eliminate the
deficit, the following motion was m/s/a: “Each club is to
raise $5.00 per member to generate the $1000.00 required
to offset the deficit.”
It was my pleasure and honor to install the following
District Officers:
Governor –
Keith AuCoin (Windsor)
Immediate Past District Governor Bill MacKinnon (Dartmouth)
Secretary-Treasurer –
Raymond Harvey (Windsor)
It was also my pleasure to thank the out-going officers for
their dedication and hard work on the District Executive:
Immediate Past District Governor Jim White (Windsor)
Secretary-Treasurer Allan MacDonald (Dartmouth)
- 30 -
District IX Convention
- submitted by Larry Duba -
The District IX Convention was hosted by the Blacklake Gyro Club
and held in Pismo Beach, California during October 19-21, 2012.
Pismo Beach was a great venue, as one could play golf, visit wineries,
walk on the beach and pier, shop and enjoy clam chowder and fish and
Members arrived on Friday on a warm, clear and sunny day. People
did not need to leave the well stocked hospitality room, because many
delicious appetizers were provided by the Blacklake Club members. In
addition, there was a homemade sausage cookoff, so there was a steady
flow of barbequed sausage to taste and judge. The winner of the cookoff
was John DeYulia, and the second runner up was George Protsman both
from the Blacklake Gyro Club.
On Saturday morning the business meeting was held and officiated by
Governor Lowell Gist. A decision was made to change the consitution,
in order to make the reimbursement for district officers attending
conventions more flexible. All the clubs were represented except for the
Long Beach Club. The proposed officers for the coming year were
approved, and the business meeting was completed after I spoke about
what is going on at the International level.
Some members headed to the golf course and others met with their
wives and departed for shopping and sightseeing.
The banquet dinner was held next to the hotel at Marie Calendar’s
Restaurant. Bob McGill, PDG, and member of the Blacklake Gyro
Club was the Master of Ceremonies. He introduced Past International
President Jim Roberts and his wife Jean who were warmly welcomed to
the convention. I had the honor of installing the new District IX Officers
as follows: Lowell Gist as Immediate Past District Governor, Dick
Field as Governor, Roger Lindley as 1st Lt. Governor, Ed Henderson as
2nd Lt. Governor, Pete Cirivilleri as Treasurer, and Lou Tersini as
After the installation, we were entertained by the Olympic
Synchronized Swim Team consisting of the following Blacklake Gyro
members: Roger Lindley, Bill Morrow, Mark Westfall, Darrell Dunbar,
Tom Nugent, and Ed Henderson. It was misty on Saturday evening, but
we didn't let the weather dampen our spirits. Nor did the inclimate
weather seem to bother the synchronized swim team. The team
performance was produced and directed by President Mike Eisner, and
they did an Olympic medal rated performance. Bonnie Eisner and
Barbara Westfall had the critical job of holding the ocean waves in
check, and they performed their role in an award winning manner. I
awarded all the participants a gold medal, and they were seen later
proudly wearing their medals. Of course, people then returned to the
hospitality room for more socializing.
On Sunday morning, after our famous Moose Milk, we returned to
Marie Calendar's Restaurant and were treated to a wonderful breakfast
buffet that we ate in the “Ship” (careful to pronounce and spell this
correctly) room. Members gradually finished breakfast, loaded their
cars and departed for their homes or other destinations.
- 31 -
, cont.
District IX Convention
- 32 -
Oryg Celebrates Thanksgiving
- submitted by John Fischbach -
The Oryg Gyros of St. Paul celebrated at their annual day-before-Thanksgiving luncheon. 78
members and guests enjoyed a nice meal at the revered Lexington Café hosted by the club. In
addition, they were celebrating the nine new members recruited in 2012; a nearly 15% increase
in membership.
- 33 -
Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year
From the Officers:
Larry, Mike, Lonnie, Chris, Jim and Emil
and the Staff:
Sheila, Gloria & Pat
- 34 -
Report of the Gyro
International Finance
- submitted by Chairman Harold Bernard, PIP -
In the July, August, September 2012
GyroScope we reported that the committee
made a number of recommendations to the
Executive Council which were approved as
acceptable operational practice.
Clinton Gyro Club
- submitted by Dave Langfitt -
On Sunday, December 2nd, the Clinton Gyro Club held their annual
Christmas Party. It was held at the Country Club at the Oaks in Clinton.
We had a total 81 Gyros and Gyrettes attending.
Dennis Carlsen (Czar) led the Clinton Club from 1993 to 2007. After that
Mike Schult (Kaiser) became the president from 2008 – 2012. Now we
have elected a new president for 2013. His name is Joe Carstensen. We
will be led by “the Wizard” (a picture with has hat is included).
This report will highlight the actions taken
to implement two of the recommendations:
Finance Committee Member PDG Ken
Baker agreed to explore the possibility
of using the QuickBooks accounting
system as the system Gyro Headquarters
utilize to maintain and administer the
organization's finances.
The goal is to revise the system in a
way that will provide the Executive
Council and the office staff with
financial information that is detailed,
timely, and compares actual revenues
and expenses with budgeted figures on a
monthly basis.
Actions taken by Ken to accomplish
the goal:
1) Purchased current version of
2) Set up new chart of accounts
3) Set up item lists both US and
4) Set up foreign currency in
5) Posted opening balances at
April 30th 2012
6) Set up new “Class” system to
track expenditures
7) Entered all transactions from
May to October 2012
8) Communicated regularly with
the office staff
2. All Executive Council Members Expense
Reports are to be sent to the President for
approval, before the individual is
President Larry Duba has scrutinized and
reviewed all Executive Council member
Famous quotes: A good friend is one who will come and bail me out of jail ... a great friend is one who is in the next cell.
- 35 -
New Membership Directory
Revision 1, December 5, 2012
- from Larry Duba, President
Revision 1 Changes:
1) change in ordering deadline is now February 10,
2013; and
2) checks for payment can now be in either currency.
Additional Information provided before is below. Note
additional comments are in bold print to cut down on your
reading time.
Picture 1) shows the front cover of the Directory published in
2008; and picture 2) shows inside center pages that display a
map of our two countries indicating the various District
Boundaries as well as the names of the clubs in each district.
This is a very handy aid determining what clubs are in each
district and perhaps where in the countries the club
members reside. Of course pertinent contact information is
provided for each member. It is imperative that the contact information be accurate, so if your club does not have
a Database Administrator (DA), please select one ASAP. He should contact Peter Pollhammer (Kelowna Gyro
Club: E-Mail Address: [email protected]) for a password to log in and be approved as the DA.
The cost is $20 (either currency) each. This includes the printing and mailing costs for members in either country. The
schedule for this producing the new directory is as follows:
 JAN 20, 2013. All club data base administrators need to get the information on the Gyro Database current and
 FEB 10, 2013. All pre-paid orders are to be received by Headquarters: PO Box 489, Painesville, Ohio, 440770489.
 APRIL 1, 2013. New Directory will be mailed out by this date.
For Club members, in order to save on administrative and mailing costs, we are requesting that each club survey their
members as to their desire to purchase a directory, collect payment and order forms. Each club Treasurer will then send a
single check for “X” number of Directories to the Painesville office address. Jim France will mail the number of copies
to each club President for distribution to the club's members.
For the International Associate members who wish to receive a copy, please mail a check in the amount of $20 (either
currency), and mail it to Headquarters.
Mailing address: Gyro International, P.O. Box 489, Painesville, Ohio 44077
If we don't receive enough orders, we will notify you of the situation and shred the checks. We hope this will not be the
end result. In my household, we are ordering two, since Alice like to have her own address books.
“Peace, Health & Prosperity to all!”
Joan & Emil
“Wishing all a Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year!” ... Sheila
“Best wishes for a very Merry Christmas
and Happy New Year” ,,, Gloria
- 36 -
Eileen & I wish to extend the
warmest wishes
for a Blessed & Merry Christmas
and our hopes for a Happy,
Healthy, & Prosperous New Year.
Jim Hyland, IPIP
Your Gyro Facebook page ...
…. Is a window into your club or District and says a lot about you!
- submitted by Randy Tarrier,
Gyro Social Media Committee
If you read the title and first line and are intrigued by this statement, you may want to check out our Seminar:
“Facebook Pages for Gyro: Show us your club!” at the International Interim in Las Vegas on Thursday, January 31,
If you're already using the Internet to further your business, you understand the implications of harnessing the most
popular social media to further your Gyro club or District!
A lot of people have created their own personal Facebook accounts to stay connected with family and friends, but are
unsure how to create a page to advertise their own club.
Is it as simple as just opening another Facebook account just like your own personal Facebook “page”?
Well, it is just as painless, but there are some differences:
 A person can have their own Facebook account, and control who has access to see and post information on their
timeline or personal “page”;
 An organization like Gyro does not have a Facebook account; but instead has a Facebook Page, which is
controlled by Facebook user administrator(s) who are Facebook users;
 A person controls their own Facebook account settings, such as privacy of information, but may allow their
friends limited access to view it and add content to it;
 One or more Page Administrator(s) controls a Page's account settings, and may allow their friends limited
access to view it and add content to it;
 A person may have friends on Facebook, and subscribe to pages or other people;
 A Page does not have friends on Facebook, but people may follow or subscribe to it;
 A Page can be “liked” by Facebook users & other Pages;
 A person may upload photos, caption them, and tag their friends in the photos on their own timeline or Photo
 A person may upload photos to a Facebook Page, but the Page Administrator(s) have the ability to create photo
albums or tag those photos with their friends' names;
 What is the difference between a Timeline and a Newsfeed? Do accounts & pages have both?
If you've read this far and one of the following applies to you?
 It sounds familiar, but I'd like to learn more;
 It reads like ancient Greek, but I've been tasked with creating a Facebook Page for my Club or District;
 I enjoy using social media, and I'd like to learn more about Facebook;
You may benefit from our practical discussion & demonstration of how to use Facebook to promote your club and/or
Check your convention schedule for time and location;
If you can't make the convention, the presentation document will be accessible from the Gyro International website &
Facebook pages.
Hope to see you there!
- 37 -
Bellingham Christmas Party
Although not at full strength because of assorted colds and some early SnowBirders, those remaining enjoyed a
hearty soup and hors d'oeuvres meal, exchanged presents, and enjoyed a spirited ornament auction for charity.
Fresno Blind Veterans
- see photos on previous page -
Larry Duba, Gyro International President, is also the President of the Central California Classic Thunderbird Club
(CCCTC) #83. Members of his club gave rides to the Fresno Blind Veteran's Group which was founded in 1997 by Juan
Trevino. The current leader is John Trevino who served in the U.S. Army as a Sergeant in the Light Field Artillery and
Infantry. He served a tour in Vietnam in 1970-71, and he later spent seven years in the Active Army Reserves with the 729th
Transportation Unit in Fresno.
Larry, also, is Secretary of the Fresno Veterans Parade Board of Directors, and after 27 years service he retired as a Lt. Col.
in the Air Force Reserves. Many of the Thunderbird Car Club members are Veterans of the several wars our country has
fought to protect our liberty and freedom. He is wearing a colonial military uniform, since he is the Commander of the
“Heroes of '76” (a group of the National Sojourners which require membership as a Mason as well as being a military officer
or enlisted serviceman).
Larry has been coordinating with Valley Veterans and giving them rides in the parade for many years. Most of the blind
Veterans were blinded as a consequence of being exposed to the defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. There are
approximately 240 legally blind veterans in the Central Valley who seek treatment from the Veterans Administration for their
eye condition
- 38 -
Prince George Installation - 2012
and Grey Cup Party
In what has become a Prince George tradition, our new President was installed with great fanfare. The Outgoing President
Roy Stewart was installed last year as “El Presidente” complete with bodyguards and a 'take-over' theme. This year is was
another take-over, this time with machine guns, pin-striped suits and 'Flapper' girls as a new 'Godfather' took over. Phil
Gobbi used his 'muscle' to take over the club. A great time was had by all as guests were dressed in 'gangster' outfits and the
ladies wore “flapper' outfits complete with flowing beads, wraps and cigarette holders. Outgoing First Lady Marie – Louise
organized the decorations and skit befitting the new 'Don'. District 4 Governor Andy McDougall and his lovely wife Dona
even got into the act. A great meal and dancing followed to cap the evening's festivities.
Another big party followed a few weeks later as another great Canadian tradition was held - The annual Grey Cup party at
David Godfrey and Sandra Sandy's home. David even bought a new 70 inch TV to watch the big game. It was pot-luck with
Sandra offering up her famous pulled pork sandwiches – corny Hughes supplied awesome chili and there was no shortage of
other goodies on the table. Dirk Loedel was the big winner of the football pool on a last minute field goal – winning $300.
Needless to say, we all know where next year's party will be held!
We all left anticipating when we will be getting together again to
enjoy the friendship that is Gyro.
- submitted by Dan Du Gas -
D-IV Governor Andy McDougall and wife
Dona enjoying the fun
Claire & Colleen Bonner show off
their fancy new duds
Dirk Loedel flashes his
Grey Cup winnings
Outgooing First Lady Marie Lousie and
Ken Kilcullen doing the “skit”
Out going President kisses the
ring of incoming President (Don)
New “Godfather” Phil Gobbi and his
#1 moll - Charlene
Long-time Gyros - Al & Gladys
Thorpe enjoy stepping out
Lenore Du Gas & Sue Loedel chat it up while guys
enjoy the Grey Cup game
- 39 -
Lu Verticchio and his “Flapper girl”
Holly celebrate the new Godfather
Gerry Kole fills his plate at
the Grey Cup buffet
Governor Andy with one of the
Prince George dummies
So Mr. Cratchit, how are we doing on membership?
Expansion Report
Gyro membership held steady for the month of November Mr. Scrooge! Yes sir, a few in, a few out and we
broke even.
We did what?! Humbug! We're not here to break even Mr. Cratchit! We're here to grow membership! Show
me the numbers!
Here are the numbers for the last four years Mr. Scrooge, the “big picture”.
11/30/ 2012: 3,232
11/30/ 2011: 3,357
11/30/2010: 3,436
11/30/ 2009: 3,561
For all you Bob Cratchit's out there, do the math and that is a 9.23% decline in overall membership since
2009. That is the insidious 2.3% average annual decline in Gyro International membership that has been
going on for years. This could have been a table going back 10 or 15 years and it would look the same and
show the same trend. This is what we have to turn around to keep this organization alive.
Geez, thanks for the up-lifting membership message Mr. Scrooge! It's Christmas for crying out loud…
Well gents, this IS the ghost of Gyro past, present and future. Scrooge got the message after he had the crap
scared out of him. If the Board of Governors thought it would be as easy as scaring the crap out of you we
would send Duba, McNally and Tuner to your bedrooms! Snyder is still an apprentice and he's not allowed
in any bedrooms yet…In all seriousness, this is the Gyro picture and it's up to each one of us to help turn
this around.
There is some great news to share about external expansion and two new clubs in Gyro. So we'll let Bob
Cratchit throw another lump of coal in the stove!
The Caloosa Club in Florida and the Central Coast Club in California have been chartered. These new
clubs are being established through the hard work of existing Gyros. Steve Anderson is the President of the
Caloosa Club which is located in the Cape Coral/Ft. Myers area. Roger Lindley is the President of the
Central Coast Club which is located in the Pismo Beach area. The concept is to establish a club in a new
area that snow-birds and existing members can reach. With the club there new members can be recruited
out of our snow-birds, locals and other visitors. The Central Coast Club added 5 new members and has 9
existing Gyros on the roster. The Caloosa Club has 14 members on their roster this printing. If you travel to
these areas please look them up for a meeting or a party. If you have friends in these areas who you think
might make good Gyros send Steve or Roger a note and they'll reach out and invite them to a function.
This may sound like an echo or a broken record but each and every one of us is responsible for keeping this
great organization alive and well. We need members period. The one universal tenant, the one overriding
and common thread to adding new members no matter which club you belong to is to invite men to join
Gyro. Make it a resolution this year, one new member apiece! Can you imagine!?
What a great holiday gift you could share by introducing someone to Gyro. Share Gyro with a Friend!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah & Happy New Year!
Friends are a blessing! We are truly blessed and most thankful to be able to call you our friends.
As you welcome the holidays, may your home be filled with happiness and peace.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year! .... Mike & Cynthia McNally
- 40 -
Conventions & Interim Meetings
Accepted GyroScope
JULY 15, 1997
to learn more, go to
Future Deadlines for the GyroScope
March 10 / June 15 / September 15
Deadlines are set four times each year.
Material arriving to the Editor by that date is
accepted as being on time.
Late material may be accepted as needed to fill
Final decision whether to accept material is the
responsibility of the Editor.
Personality profiles are accepted but limited to
one per club per issue.
Each International Convention committee is
allowed to furnish material for two covers, the fall
and winter issues during the year prior to its
Promotional material is allowed for conventions,
but only within the year before the convention.
Obituaries are only allowed for deceased Past
International Presidents and Honor Key
recipients. No others allowed.
Inside front cover is reserved for a message
from the President.
One issue each year will memorialize people
who have been honored by contributions to the
Memorial Fund.
Each issue will carry a list of Gyros and friends
who have died.
Each issue will carry a list of new Gyros.
One issue each year will carry a list of
contributors to the Betterment Fund.
Each issue will carry a list of up-coming
International and District Conventions.
It is the policy to publish pictures, more or less,
with each article.
The correspondent or editor is allowed to
indicate his choice of pictures. However, the final
decision will be made by the Editor – based in
part as to the reproduction quality of the pictures.
February 22-24, 2013 ............................................................................................ District VI Interim
Holiday Inn, Halifax, NS (Dartmouth)
August 2013..................................................................................................... District VII Convention
May 23-26, 2013 .......................................................................................... District VIII Convention
Fairmont, BC
September 13-15, 2013 .................................................................................. District I Convention
Sheraton Suites, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (Akron)
September 13-15, 2013 ................................................................................ District III Convention
Waterloo Inn Conference Hotel, Waterloo, ON
September 20-22, 2013 .................................................. ........................... District IV Convention
Victoria, BC
October 17-20 , 2013.................................................................................... District IX Convention
Clovis, CA
November 2013............................................................................District X Convention
January 27-31, 2013 ................................................International Interim
Palace Station Hotel & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada
May 11-18, 2013.............................................. International Convention
Caribbean Cruise on the “Oasis of the Seas”
Royal Caribbean “Oasis of the Seas’
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
- 41-