1983-2008

1983–2008

Following the 25th anniversary of Capilano Community League, new members and executive were solicited.Bob Breakenridge and Al Park had been keeping the league alive for the past couple of years and needed new energy.At the annual general meeting, Gord Smarsh and Gregg Meropoulis were elected president and vice-president, respectively.Bob and Al continued as active members of the Capilano executive.At the time, the league had a half bingo slot with KC Bingo in downtown Edmonton. Bingo was one of the main sources of revenue for the league.

In 1984, Gord Smarsh became the past president.Gregg Meropoulis took over as president, a position he would hold for 20 years.Casino revenue was now part of the league’s financial equation which, along with bingo and grant revenue, provided the foundation for many capital projects.

 

The first was a major renovation of the community hall, funded by casino and grants.The entry was changed, and an upstairs bathroom was added, as well as a revamped kitchen and deck.Picture windows were added later to unveil a spectacular view of Edmonton’s river valley.

In 1992, the Capilano playground was upgraded at a cost of $160,000.Patti Meropoulis led this initiative, and her brother Jeff Riddle was key in obtaining grants and forming committees to oversee surveys, planning and the volunteer force needed to install the equipment.At the time, the park was one of the best in Edmonton.Today the park remains a central meeting place for the community and the location of the summer green shack program.Shortly afterward, the tennis courts were resurfaced using a Calgary company owned by John Konihowski, an ex-Edmonton Eskimo.

The 40th anniversary of the community league was celebrated in 1998 with a big party and activities for the kids.Throughout this time, movie nights, dances and Halloween parties were organized by various community league program coordinators and committees.Many of these are now annual community events, including the snowflake shaker in January. Hardisty Gymnastics was also born, providing a low cost and fun introduction to gymnastics for many area athletes.

Attention turned to the ice rink and winter facilities.The aging wooden boards were at the end of their life, despite best efforts to maintain them.Arla Horn led the rink renovation committee, culminating in 2002 with a new steel rink structure with state of the art puck boards.The existing concrete surface was pulverized and graded to form the base for a new asphalt surface.The cost was $105,000, and the project was completed on time and under budget.O’Hanlan Paving donated a $4,000 sweeper for the rink.Residents dreamed of an upgraded rink/tennis building to view the respective seasonal activities.

Bob Breakenridge (bingo, hall manager) and Al Park (treasurer) remained in key positions.Once again, new blood was needed to revive the league and assist with operations.A facilities and league forum was held in 2003 to generate interest and find new blood.Many changes were ahead, and the league found new executive members for nearly all positions.Cathie Morton stepped in as hall manager, and the transition was underway.Lynn Frost took over as treasurer and, with Carolyn Graham, converted the financial records from paper to electronic.Penny Sauers became bingo coordinator.In 2004, Bill Burtnik became the new president of Capilano Community League, taking over from Gregg Meropoulis.In the five years since the forum was held, most of the executive has turned over once again, demonstrating the interest and commitment of area volunteers.

Capital projects continued, with the league relying on casino revenue and grant funding.The hall was upgraded again in 2005, highlighted by new flooring, bathrooms and kitchen.The long-awaited rink/tennis shack was converted to a clubhouse in 2007, in time for the winter season.The tennis club also resurfaced the four outdoor tennis courts in 2007.

Capilano Community League celebrated its 50th year anniversary in style on September 6th, 2008, at an event planned by Paula Horn, Jeff Wilson, Lori Balch, Tammy Tchir, Deb Rayment and Lynn Gregory.After a wet morning, the skies cleared in time for the afternoon.A day of fun for kids and families included a petting zoo, balloons, face painting, jumpy tent, movies, games and food.Everyone had an opportunity to contribute to a time capsule for future generations to find.A tree planting ceremony with saplings to take home capped a beautiful afternoon.The attention turned to adults at an evening pub night with live music, dancing and a BBQ supper.

The guest speaker and special guest was Terry Cavanaugh.Terry is a former city councillor, who served 27 years in city politics.Also present during the festivities were current councillor Amarjeet Sohi and Edmonton-Gold Bar MLA Hugh MacDonald.

Capilano Community League was very proud to reach its 50-year milestone.Operating the league has taken a lot of work from many different people, sometimes without thanks.Seeing so many children attend its 50-year party and the fun they had made the league realize that its efforts have been worthwhile.The league is vital to the spirit and well-being of the community.