History of Chapter AB-A

How it all Started in Alberta

by Bruce Buckley

GWRRA #004844

In July 1981 my brother rode a 1978 GL1000 from London Ontario to Calgary for a holiday. He, as usual, stayed with us at that time. My wife and I were renting a House in the community of Acadia SE Calgary.

When he arrived, of course, the first point of conversation was the Goldwing as I was riding a Honda 750-4 at that time. A good bike but all I saw was that 78 GL1000. I queried him on the bike, the first question, being how do you like it. He told me without hesitation he didn't.

My eyes got bigger, the pulse rate went up and I looked at my wife and we sent him home on a plane. It was a no brainer because my brother is a very talented mechanic so I had no doubt about the running condition of the bike. The bonus to this purchase was, in the bike, an old addition of the Gold Book from the newly formed four year old GWRRA. This Gold book was a mere pamphlet to what it is now but had all the current information as far as codes and contact numbers and how members help members.

I was so impressed with this little book and the idea it projected I contacted the GWRRA in Phoenix to ask about starting a chapter in Calgary. I was told that a person in Calgary had applied to start a chapter approximately two months earlier but had not moved on it so they asked me if I would mind contacting him because he had first right to be what we call CD now (Chapter Director). I did what they asked.

Enter Bob Denton a man you had to love right off the bat or you were not human. Funny, great big heart, goofy personality, (a Calgary Police Officer) but not too ambitious thus the two month lag time. I contacted Bob to ask if he intended to follow through with starting this chapter and he was, but he just needed to have a little push so he became the first CD and I took ACD for approximately two years. We organized the first recruitment BBQ September 1981 at Bob’s house in Queensland SE Calgary and if my old memory serves me right we both had five new members sign on under our names.IMG 1560

As you can see by the historical pictures we all had a full head of hair and wore slim jeans (speaking for the men of course and I will leave the women out of my comments on this topic for fear of great bodily harm).

During my time as ACD we had our first visitors who came through the Gold Book, Red and Terry, Charlie and Bev from Florida. In keeping with western hospitality we treated them to a night of partying at the Olive Grove restaurant (remember we were a lot younger then) in Queensland and a trip to Banff the next day. By the time they left Calgary to visit BC we all had invitations to come to Florida, evidence of the power of the Gold Book.

The first joint group ride was with the Medicine Hat Road Riders, not members of the GWRRA, a local group of the time out of Medicine Hat of which a close friend of mine, Brian Mutchler, was a member. He is the one in the picture with his arm in the air and a riding belt on his rather robust middle. We joined them on their annual expedition to Moose’s Saloon (and various, many other beverage houses on the way) (remember what I said we were a lot younger then) in Kalispell MT over the Road to the Sun (Logan’s Pass).

As they had been doing this for many years they had an arrangement with the owner of the motel in the pictures to book the whole motel for that weekend. Thanks to them we had a great time and made friends I still have 30 years plus later.

Some of the best memories I have of this time were the meeting/partying at Wayne and Cindy Boffie’s farm just outside of Beiseker AB. BBQs, slow ride competitions through a barn, highest time wins, fire pit and good jokes with great conversation.

This leads me to the trailer pictures and the story behind why they are there. We were all young and mostly broke so Wayne offered to build trailers for anyone who wanted to have one and work off the cost by driving a grain truck during harvest season. That guy could build a trailer. Remember, this was not very common in that day to see a bike pulling a trailer; it tracked like a dream and also remember it was only a 1000 CC motorcycle pulling it at that time but the GL1000 came through with flying colours. Compared to camping today it is laughable but we had fun, and a little more comfort, at that time of our lives.

That brings us to the current pictures of the 30th anniversary on this note I would like to thank the members who have worked so hard to make our Chapter one of the most successful in Canada. It is the dedication of all the people who took the time out of their lives to volunteer and take leading positions to giving back to our chapter who deserve the credit for building this chapter since its inception in 1981.

Some names of the first members:

Bob Denton (CD 1981) he is missed and would be proud to see how this chapter turned out

Lance Anderson

Wayne and Cindy Boffie

Chris Galambos

Rod Rodway (aka Wrong way Rodway)

Garth Mercer

My apologies for forgetting a lot of names but it was 30 + years ago. If any of the original members look at this article please come forward with your name for Historical purposes.

I am very proud to (with permission of my Chapter) wear the patch of Chapter Founder