The Western Sunsetters held their 2018 summer Rally at Manitou Regional Park just a little north of Watrous Saskatchewan from June 19th to 22nd. This was our 18th consecutive year at this location.
The rally started in mid afternoon on Tuesday with a meet and greet, an update on activities, distribution of name tags and a few personnel items for each coach provided by Triple E. Once everyone arrived we met for a pot luck supper in the camp kitchen adjacent to our RV sites. The evening ended with a bonfire and a few stories.
Wednesday morning began with a pancake and sausage breakfast prepared by Bill Harder and Norm Lavoy. Once everyone had their fill, we cleaned up and said our goodbyes to Bill and Helen Harder who had to return that day to Winkler MB for a family funeral. Five of the other guys headed to the golf course which was about 1/4 mile away for 9 holes of golf while others went into the Village of Manitou Beach for some shopping, sight seeing or a visit to the spa to take in the healing waters of the famous 90 year old spa. Again we ended evening with everyone around the campfire until it was time for bed.
Thursday was a casual day for everyone. Because some of our attendees were planning on leaving sometime that day we held our draw for the camp chair donated by Village RV in Regina. The winners were Jim and Patricia Cadman of Calgary AB.
Again some of the guys went golfing late Thursday morning. In the afternoon Norm Lavoy took two groups of people for about a 30 minute tour of Manitou Beach and Camp Easter Seal, then left them for about an hour to shop and explore on their own.
Thursday night there was a fire ban put in place due to the tremendous amount of poplar tree fluff on the ground. This fluff is very combustible. In fact the night before a fire started in the fluff by someone outside our area raced along in front of four of our vans, then got into some dead leaves under a tree row and the fire grew in size. Due to the quick action of some of our attendees with many pails of water we got the fire under control until a water truck arrived and really doused the area down.
Thursday night we were also treated to a display of a 1957 BMW Isetta. A camper who was about 500 yards west of our area had one with him. Sigfreid Kunzler from our group was familiar with the car from his earlier life in Germany and invited him to drop by Thursday night. The owner ordered it new in 1957 and it was shipped to him in a crate from Germany with some assembly required. He has maintained it ever since and for a 61 year old car it is in excellent condition. A few of us even got to ride in the car.
Thursday evening ended with what I call Bill’s Bingo, a bingo game played with playing cards. Each Bingo winner received a small prize provided by either Triple E or our Travel Club.
Again as the sun went down we gathered in a big circle outside, this time without a fire, and just enjoyed the evening and the company.
Friday morning we casually met in the camp kitchen for coffee and breakfast before cleaning up the kitchen and readying our units to hit the road as our rally had come to an end.
This year for the entire rally we had wonderful warm, sunny weather with very little wind. Poplar fluff was the only negative over the 4 days.
We had 12 coaches and 25 people in attendance. This years participants were: Bill & Kris Stone of Vancouver; Mark Spencer, Bev Sitter, Jim & Patricia Cadman, Brian & Pearl Cooke all of Calgary; Bill & Sharon Ferby of Lethdridge AB; John & Rose Travers of Rocky View AB; Joe Toes of Regina; Norm & Hazel Lavoy of Shaunavon SK; Bill & Helen Harder of Winkler MB; Sigfried & Madeline Kunzler and Barry & Lorraine Abbott all from Winnipeg, as well as Paul & Kim Andre of Steinbach MB.