Victoria Gyro Club members volunteer their time to develop Gyro Park on Cadboro Bay in Saanich in the early 1950s. (Courtesy Victoria Gyro Club)

Victoria Gyro Club members volunteer their time to develop Gyro Park on Cadboro Bay in Saanich in the early 1950s. (Courtesy Victoria Gyro Club)

Victoria Gyro Club celebrates 100 years of friendship, building community

Club planned to mark centennial with an online meeting April 5

The Victoria Gyro Club’s legacy lives on in the namesake park that is the gem of Cadboro Bay.

And as the club celebrates its centennial this year, it remains focused on socializing, learning and giving back to the community where they can.

“It’s really about fun and friendship,” said new president Stephen Ingle, an 18-year Gyro member who led an online celebration of the 100th anniversary on April 5.

When he and his wife moved here from Salt Spring Island 22 years ago, they had many business connections but few, social contacts.

“In this day and age, and we’re noticing it with COVID especially, people who are moving to this general area are finding it very difficult to find a group of people just for friendship,” Ingle said. “Gyro is a wonderful conduit for that.”

ALSO READ: Saanich playground slides into the Top 10 of unique playgrounds around the world

He recently asked several senior club members to list their favourite Gyro experiences. Without exception, he said, the fun, friendship and camaraderie were highlights, along with members’ support of each other and their families in times of need.

While Gyro was formed as a men’s club and continues as such, Ingle said members’ partners play an active role in creating the social fabric of the club, as well as enjoying their own gatherings.

Public health restrictions prevent the club’s bi-weekly dinner and guest speaker meetings, and coffee get-togethers, but members continue to meet online.

Through the decades, the club has fundraised for various projects, including providing equipment to the Children’s Foundation of Vancouver Island and the Island Prostate Centre. Ingle notes members are under no obligation to raise funds or volunteer.

The club’s biggest and longest-lasting initiative is Gyro Park.

Under president Wilf McGregor in 1953, the club acquired 4.4 acres from the estate of Mary Goward. In 1954, after members prepped the marshy waterfront property, the club donated it to Saanich for what would become known as Cadboro Bay Gyro Park. The seawall was completed that summer and Gyro volunteers helped finish the park. Two members with construction skills built the original bath house and caretaker’s quarters.

ALSO READ: Grassroots project lands artist legacy in Oak Bay park

The park remains popular with families, with its sea monster sculptures, upgraded playground and beach access.

The Victoria group has roughly 50 members and is one of three Gyro clubs in the region, spawning the Camosun club a number of years back, and more recently a Sidney contingent.

Seeing the Gyro International Convention it planned to host in 2020 cancelled due to COVID restrictions was disappointing, Ingle said. With meeting in person on hold for the foreseeable future, he still envisions brighter days ahead as members continue to support each other in the spirit of friendship and camaraderie.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email:don.descoteau@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.  
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Greater Victoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Victoria Gyro Club member George Barr stands beside the club’s Victoria Day parade float in the late 1950s. The trailer carried a sign advertising the Gyros’ popular hole in one fundraiser game, which raised money for the purchase of Gyro Park lands at Cadboro Bay. (Courtesy Victoria Gyro Club)

Victoria Gyro Club member George Barr stands beside the club’s Victoria Day parade float in the late 1950s. The trailer carried a sign advertising the Gyros’ popular hole in one fundraiser game, which raised money for the purchase of Gyro Park lands at Cadboro Bay. (Courtesy Victoria Gyro Club)

Just Posted

Adrienne Rogers (LPN) and Tracy McConnell (RN) on the Victoria Hospice Unit. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Hospice)
Victoria Hospice bereavement counsellors dealing with a tsunami of grief

Last year, Victoria Hospice provided end-of-life care to more than 1,000 people

Paddles sit stacked and ready at a rowing regatta on Elk Lake in 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Greater Victoria junior girls rowing team nabs first in national Row to Tokyo challenge

Young Victoria City Rowing Club members row more than 2,250 km

Habitat Acquisition Trust has received provincial funding to help restore Garry oak ecosystems on southern Vancouver Island. (Photo by Jeremy da Silva)
Funding boosts restoration efforts for Vancouver Island’s Garry oak ecosystems

Habitat Acquisition Trust will take on several Garry oak ecosystem restoration projects

A Nexii roof panel is lifted during construction of a Starbucks in Abbotsford. Alexzi Building Solutions will be building a manufacturing plant in Langford or North Cowichan to produce the sustainable construction panels. (Photo courtesy of Alexzi Building Solutions)
Langford eyed for facility to make green building alternative to concrete

Langford, North Cowichan possible sites for plant to create sustainable construction panels

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Island Health has confirmed COVID-19 exposures at Ecole des Deux Mondes in Campbell River on May 4 and 5, and at Mill Bay Nature School in Mill Bay on April 28, 29, 30 and May 3. (Metro Creative photo)
Two new COVID-19 school exposures confirmed by Island Health

Health authority contacting anyone exposed at Ecole des Deux Mondes, Mill Bay Nature School

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Most Read