The club’s history dates back to 1937, when a group of sportsmen began meeting in Eagle Place, with activities including: shooting sports, fishing, tree-planting and story telling.
In the 1940’s the meetings were moved to Holmedale and the idea of an annual Sportsman Show was launched. These annual shows took place first at the Armouries, then the Civic Center and now they are presently being held at our clubhouse.
Our club’s ‘home’, situated on 54 acres, was purchased in the mid-1950’s, with the very first club-house being located in a renovated barn. It was then that the members became actively involved in fighting pollution in the Grand River Watershed.
Mr Clare Savage was club president in 1958, and by then the club was in full swing planting trees on the property. The trout pond located on Landon Creek had already been dug.
The club was also very interested in safe gun handling and this time honoured interest still holds true today. With activities such as steak fries, corn roasts, and turkey suppers, a Ladies Auxillary was formed by wives of the members. With the Ladies Auxillary sponsoring the many social events, financial benefits to the club came by way of;
a kitchen, bathrooms, and many other smaller projects. In the summer of 1962 the mortgage to the club was paid-off and burned in a ceremonial gathering with a steak fry to commemorate it by. The Ladies Auxillary had donated $600 towards the payment of the mortgage discharge.
Besides stream improvement and tree planting, the club had been a supplier of full grown pheasants for the Township. Mr. Joe Waller & Frank Tomlin had accumulated a great variety of geese, ducks and pheasants. Their efforts, with the help of others, while at times was discouraging, it had been ultimately rewarding. The club’s trap and skeet had been an active project ever since the park was purchased. Mr. William Bonney, was one of the instigators, in having flood lights installed on the skeet range, making it to the club’s understanding, the second such range in Ontario. A fire destroyed the club-house on March 7, 1970 and a new facility was built. September 12, 2000 heralds the 25th anniversary of the grand opening of the new club house. The lower club room contains a pool-table, dart boards a dance floor and a bar. The upper floor contains a hall that can seat 200 people for: meetings, seminars, wedding receptions, dinners and other such events. The upper inside and outside balconies provides a fine view of the trout pond and campgrounds.
In 1950 a Committee “Clean up the Grand River” was formed. 1960 was the official opening of the Modern Day Sewage Disposal plant which was without a doubt instigated by this committee.
The club was also interested in safe gun handling and continues on today with several volunteers. The trap range is open two days a week and also used by the Brant County Youth Shooting Sports Association mentored by the BRGC and the Boss Gobblers chapter of NWTF of Brant/Oxford.
Gun courses are still being offered today and registration is always to capacity.
A fire destroyed the club-house on March 7, 1970 and a new facility was built. This was all done with volunteer help. On September 12th, 1975 the club held a grand opening of the new beautiful club house you see today. We have continued to work with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, the National Wild Turkey Federation, Earth Week Events Committee and the MNR which works with our hatchery.
November 2012 we celebrated 75 years in conservation with a
dinner , a picture of today’s members, planted a time capsule and
held an open house. We showed the fish hatchery, campgrounds
trap range and beautiful clubhouse.
Paul Helm Fish Hatchery
The first fish hatchery was started by Paul Helm, Clayton Wright and Allen Chambers.
The hatchery was started in a small building behind the rental house going down the hill towards the campsites. Brown trout were hatched and released in Landon and Whiteman Creeks.
It was decided we needed a real up-to-date hatchery with more room, Paul Helm made things happen. In 1984 began the building of a new hatchery with volunteer help.
At this time Paul was Vice President. Paul became ill and in 1984 passed away.
The official opening of the PAUL HELM MEMORIAL HATCHERY was held on May 9,1986.
Over the years thousands of young fingerlings have been released into the Whitemans Creek when we getting our eggs from the creek by electro-shocking. After 1999 when our eggs came from MNR locations they were released into the Conestoga River and upper Grand River tailwater fisheries area. Today a dedicated member and volunteer Jim Brown diligently takes care of the hatchery along with his brother Gord. Last year the fish were released at the Shand Dam in the Grand River near Fergus..
We received another 20,000 eggs on January 9, 2013 to be raised and released later this year.