We have had a very busy couple of months since the New Year.  The snow has certainly been a challenge for us, and I hope this is a freak year and not an indicator of future weather patterns.
We have passed a number of initiatives at the Board level; two of the most important concern our membership in the BCWF and the renovations to our Clubhouse.
Regarding the Clubhouse: we have met a significant challenge in funding.  When we restarted this project the Board had in mind a renovation costing around $450,000 and we received a ‘kerbside’ estimate that supported that. It quickly became apparent  that this figure was short of the mark when we received preliminary quotes of $650,000.  We then received quotes from the contractors that would have put us over a million dollars to complete the renovation plan that we had inherited.  This was obviously not affordable and the Board put a halt to the project so that we could re examine the project.
The Board realizes the importance of the Clubhouse to our club and is planning to complete the renovation within a reasonable budget while still giving the members a hall that meets their needs and is something that our Club can be proud of.
 The significant points are :

  1. The hall will be renovated, the central dividing wall will be taken down , the asbestos removed and the hall brought up to code. The Hall capacity will remain at 200.
  2. The bathrooms will be renovated and enlarged and they will be brought up to code.
  3. The kitchen and prep room will be moved to the site of the present meeting room and brought up to code.
  4. The bar will be retained and combined to do double duty as secure office space.
  5. The fireplace and chimney in the hall will be retained and converted to a gas fireplace to save repair costs and for convenience.
  6. The indoor range will be retained, air flow will be improved, and access will be changed so that the range can be entered from outside without entering the hall
  7. The stairwell will be floored over to give more space on the main floor to enlarge the bathrooms
  8. Wheelchair access to the hall and facilities will be improved.
  9. We will also be making changes to make the clubhouse and the bathrooms more accessible to the membership
  10. All renovations will be within the present ‘footprint’ of the existing building.

 These renovations will of course be a significant expense but our goal is to keep them affordable and close to the original estimate.
We have also decided that we will not renew our club membership with the BCWF.  There are a number of reasons for this, but the primary one is cost.
To renew our membership would cost us over $20,000. That is a significant amount of money and a good percentage of our income.
This decision will not affect our insurance, we are insured by HUB International. It will not affect our charitable status, we will still sponsor conservation projects.
We do not disagree with the goals of the BCWF;  we simply do not believe we are getting value for our money and can put this money to better use. We encourage members who are hunters and anglers to sign up for personal BCWF Memberships if they wish.
In the near future you will see signs and parked vehicles at the south end of our parking lot. This is the result of an agreement with Ford Mountain Correctional Centre allowing them to rent parking space from us and ‘ferry’ their staff to their work site.  I do not expect any issues from this arrangement, but if there are please bring them to myself or Shannon so we may resolve them with Ford Mountain management.
How many of you came out to the Black Powder Section’s rendezvous?  Very enjoyable, some good shooting, colourful costuming and interesting items for sale on the tables. Their next big shoot is in July – keep your eye on the calendar.
Don’t forget the big HACS gun show at the Chilliwack Heritage Park on March 18th and 19th; probably the best gun show in Western Canada.  Say hello to familiar faces and take some of your hard earned money and buy something you have always wanted.
Now that the snow has gone I hope you are all getting plenty of shooting time at the range; don’t forget the work party on March 11th – contact Shannon and let her know you are coming as we will have a lunch provided. The Cadet Corps that use our range will be clearing brass and litter from the pistol bays; the rest of us will be working on the archery shed and a new cover for the guest sign in.  We will also be sifting sand and sorting brass and clearing up around the clubhouse – bring your own shovel!
We are holding a General Members Meeting at 1930 on March 8th.  This will be an information meeting and we look forward to hearing your views.
Nick Bolton