GOERT turned 10 this year! We held a celebration the evening of September 30th, 2009 at the Pacific Forestry Centre. Almost 100 people attended, including many who were present at GOERT’s founding meeting in June 1999 and many who were recovery team members during GOERT’s first year. Marilyn Fuchs spoke about the early years and succeeded in getting people up to the front of the room to be recognized. Joel Ussery said a few words, and then Richard Hebda gave a rousing impromptu talk from crib notes written on a grocery receipt!
Two of GOERT’s working groups gave short presentations about what they have been up to: Trudy Chatwin showed us the Vertebrates at Risk RIG’s projects on western bluebirds and coastal vesper sparrows, and Brenda Costanzo updated us on the Plants at Risk RIG’s recovery planning. Habitat Acquisition Trust’s Garry Oakley made a surprise appearance to present Acorn Awards to Dave Polster and Pat Boyle. When invited by the organizers to make an appearance, Garry replied: “I wood be honoured to bestow acorns. But I might have to leaf early — knot that I’d be board by your speakers.” Briony Penn and Guy Dauncey gave us inspirational stories and hope for grassroots and worldwide solutions to climate change.
Local artists Mayumi Nogami, Jeffrey Boron and Ron Wilson were present to speak about their artwork that graced the room. Mayumi created some Garry oak pieces especially for the event. Says Mayumi, “I create paintings, greeting cards and illustrations using gouache and ink. My artistic aim is to create work that conveys a sense of this diverse world and also work that can be shared and understood by all people”.
There were four new volunteers for the board of directors: Jan Kirkby, Pat Boyle, Adriane Pollard and Carolyn MacDonald (Adriane and Carolyn will be sharing one position); Dave Polster returned for a second term.
At last the prize draw came at the end of the evening. Appropriately, Pat Boyle won the gardening tools and Ted Lea and Brenda Costanzo won the wine. A mystery man won the collapsible gardening basket (you’ll know who you are), and is now easily carrying heavy loads in his fall garden.
Thanks to all who participated and made it such a great event!