Excerpts from the 1955 Minute Book
documented by Al Howlett
March 15/55 Special Meeting held at Welcome Inn
Much discussion was held regarding rules of conduct for club members. The purpose of this meeting was to discus a charter member problem ? The members then proceeded to the clubhouse for further discussion. All members were required to sign the rules of conduct.
A following discussion was held regarding trophies for "custom cars, rods and special interest. It was decided to hold a special draw for a men's or ladies suit $75.00 value to help pay for the trophies.
March 22/55 Dundas St. Club House. The garage situation was discussed and afterwards a free-for-all argument followed.
March 29/55 Meeting at Jim Whites place; This meeting was composed by all the members of the Galt Dragons who wanted to form a new club. Names considered, Rod Benders or Strokers.
New rules were drawn up for the new club. A clubhouse was rented on East Street for $15.00 per month. Bill Hornsey 80 years young was the owner and was made an honorary member.
April 5/55 Moved by Doc (Bob) Slater that dues would be 50cents per week and any member speaking out of turn would be fined 10 cents. Tom Yates was appointed to be the manager of garage operations and schedule its use. A vote was held and the Strokers name was approved as the club name. A reliability run was planned to be held on or near the Loblaw parking lot on Dundas St. Letters of invitation would be sent out to all other clubs. Trophies and awards would be available for the event.
April 12/55 A parking problem was discussed regarding non members parking on the street to drop in for a visit. Frank Trevor was placed in charge of garbage disposal. It was decided that we should form working parties to clean and repair the building and take over the pigeon loft as a meeting room. Strokers members were requested to have as many as possible participate in the upcoming Car Rodeo.
April 17/55 Two new members were admitted to the Club. Jim Watson and Jim Dando. Harry Hollie was advised that he would have to pay dues of $2.00 in his absence from the club.
April 26/55 Topic of discussion was the drags at Edenvale. Club members were invited to a meeting of the Toronto Rod & Custom Club May 1st. to help organize the drags at Edenvale.
Report of May 1st meeting in Toronto; Grey Yanocko chaired meeting. Members were requested to pay dues of 50c per month to cover expenses at Edenvale. The requirements for Edenvale were discussed at some length regarding the need of weigh scales, signs advertising and safety equipment. Safety belts are available at a surplus store for $1.00 ea. Helmets can be had at the CNE for $6.00. Al Howlett volunteered to put up a sign at Edenvale advertising the drags.
May 3/55 The June 5th Rodeo Run details were discussed and the committee formed.
Police Sgt. Fraser and reporter Earl Werstine would be invited to attend.
The pigeon loft was donated by Bill Hornsey for the clubs use and improvements and alterations were started .
May 10 & 17 /55 Reservation list for garage use was revised. Promotion of the June 5th "Reliability Run" was delt with. (see the article from the Reporter for this event)
Reliability Run June 5th 1955
by Earl Werstine
The first big project to be sponsored by the Galt Strokers Club, with outside entries, was the Reliability Run held on Sunday with no less than 31 competing, with entries from Toronto, Kitchener, Brantford, Simcoe, Port Perry and Oshawa clubs.
The run starting on Coronation boulevard, was over a 41mile route to Paris, Princeton and Drumbo returning via Highway 97 to Dickson Park, were there were about 150 spectators gathered. Five checks on time and signals, with one speed trap set up at Roseville in the 30 mile zone were operated and on these were based the awards in points.
At the Park Sgt. Jack Fraser, in charge of the local police department presented the awards. B Davis of Toronto taking the trophy. Al Trindell of Galt took second, third was G. Smith of Toronto. The prize for the best Hot Rod competing went to D Boon of Toronto and that for best custom car to Al Rook of Paris, a member of the Brantford club.
Sgt. Fraser in addressing the competitors spoke in favor of objectives set by the organization in obeying traffic regulations and in assisting motorists who run into difficulties.
The representatives of the visiting clubs were greatly impressed by the attitude of Sgt. Fraser, since some of them are not receiving the support of their police.
The oldest fan in attendance was Bill Hornsey, East street, who is 80 years old.
One of the checks set up was at the entrance to Dickson Park and the checker reported that of the 31 competitors only four failed to signal the turn into the park.
June 7/55 As usual the money situation was discussed. It was decided to send out letters to the winners of the run and a thank you to the Brantford club for their splendid turnout. Al Howlett wanted to know who was going to Edenvale. It was noted that some fire extinguishers were needed and Jim White said he could provide these. It was noted that each member should bring his own chair to the meeting room and that a table was also needed. Three new members started their probationary. Donald A Hewitt, Edward Logan and Ron Silk.
June 14/55 The problems at Edenvale were discussed and we came to the conclusion that a better stand was needed at the starting line. Also a good PA system. Classification of competing cars needed to be improved. It was agreed that we should get in touch with the Brantford club to try and get their support at Edenvale.
June 21/55 The distribution of advertising signs for the drags was a topic. A list of members going to Edenvalle was compiled.
June 28/55 Courtesy cards were discussed and it was noted that the Police department OK'd the use of their name on the back. The Road Angels card was passed around to members.
Al Howlett resigned as president and Frank Trevor was nominated by Bob Young to take his place. Jim Dando seconded. Bob Young was nominated by Tom Yates to be treasurer seconded by Jim White. Probationary member Tom Williams was admitted.
July 5/55 Voting on three new members took place. Ron Silk was voted in Don Hewitt was not accepted and Ed Logan was put on another months probation. A letter was sent to Grey Yonocko about the possible use of the airstrip at Cayuga for drags.
July 19/55 Meeting came to order ¾ hour late with 8 members present. Al Howlett took the chair in the absence of Frank Trevor. Bob Young was asked to call Grey Yonocko and find out about the drag races and also about the club crests. Jacket prices are also needed. It was noted that the club rules had gone missing and a new set should be drawn up ASP. A count of 11 members and one other would be going to the races in Watkins Glen NY. Bill Scarland a new prospective member was present.
July 26/55 The weekly meeting came to order at 7:45 with nine members present. Jackets and plaques were the main topic and it was decided that Frank Trevor would get a price for jackets from Waltons. Andy Marsh volunteered to paint the plaques. Crests are to be red letters on white.
A project to repair the St. Johns ambulance was put forth. St. Johns were to be contacted to see if we could help. Bob Young reported on his call to Grey Yonocko who wished that we could support the drags financially. And possibly supply trophies like those we gave out at the road run.
It was decided to decline the offer to assist at this time. Tom Williams was voted in as a member.
August 2/55 The Cayuga air strip was discussed and it was decided to get members from other clubs and have a meeting with the Hamilton club. It was suggested that we could probably get support from clubs in Buffalo as well.
August 9/55 After roll call the St. Johns ambulance project was discussed. Then the trip to Watkins Glen races was mulled over. 16 people have said they want to go. Acomodations would be in tents at the Glen and we have an offer of several on hand. It was decided to order 50 plaques.
August 23/55 The Championship Drags at Edenvale on the Holiday weekend were discussed and Jim Dando volunteered to use his car as a tow car. We were informed that the ambulance we were going to repair has been sold. A winter project was suggested to build a dragster rail job.
We could use a V12 Cadillac mill which in stock condition is 360 cu. in. 150 HP and 6-1 compression. We could have this ready for next seasons drags. A new set of club rules was presented by Al Howlett.
Aug 30/55 A poll was taken of the members going to the drags and those going to Watkins Glen. Wheeler & Adams dropped in and said they would see how many Piston Pushers were going to Edenvale.
Sept 13/55 The trip to Watkins Glen was on the agenda. Three cars would be going. Youngs, Trevors and Logans. There was to be a Reliabilty run at Simcoe on the 25th and some would be going. Two visitors were on hand from the NAL club on their plan that is open to everyone.
Sept 27/55 Discussion took place on the conduct of one of the clubs that participated in the Simcoe road run. They would not be invited again. Heat and the club room floor were on the agenda. The Road Monarchs dropped in to discuss set ups and other matters pertaining to Cayuga.
Oct 4/55 Discussion on the upcoming Oct.10 drags at Cayuga. Some Piston Pushers came by and then everyone went to a meeting with the Road Monarchs in Kitchener to further discussion about the drags.
Oct. 11/55 Main topic was the club sponsored drags on Monday at Cayuga. Word was received on the Sunday night that only the Brantford and Simcoe clubs would be allowed to race. A trip to Brantford by Frank Trevor, Bob Young, Al Howlett and Bill Lund of the road Monarchs sorted the matter out so all clubs could race on Monday. The drags ran very smoothly and a five way split of the revenue was made. The Strokers received $6.35.
Oct. 18/55 The possibility of the club building a dragster as a club project was suggested. Eight members said they would assist with this project. Dykeman, Silk, Trevor, Watson, Williams, Marsh, Young and Howlett. A timing Association to operate the drags next year was mentioned. As it was getting very cold in the club house Andy Marsh said he would try to get a stove. Tom Williams was appointed Secretary due to Bob Collins resignation. The meeting then adjourned to the Welcome Inn where it was warmer.
Oct. 25/55 Invite received from the Oshawa Car Crafters to a Hare and Hound Run. Ten members and friends said they would go. Due to Frost bite the meeting was adjourned to the Welcome Inn.
Dec. 6/55 Club meeting went to Kitchener to hear a safety talk by Sgt. Heinrich of Kitchener police.
Dec. 13/55 Meeting at the Club house on Water Street. Plaques were on the agenda once again. Ron Silk and Al Howlett would be going to the pattern shop to look into this. The usual discussion on absentee members plus dues and new members was held. It was noted that Fred Beemer is still a member. Doug Watson and Murphy will be up for vote next week.
Dec. 27/55 A short meeting was held due to lack of firewood. Frank Trevor had plaques for sale at $1.25 ea. Doc Slater collected 10c from everyone for a new axe handle. Jan 7 will be clean up day.
The forgoing was compiled from the meeting minutes of the first year of operation of the Galt Strokers. It is not to be considered completely accurate as some minutes are missing. It does give an insight into the club at that period. It triggered my old memory to a number of things and generated many questions about others. Every meeting was punctuated with the matter of dues and attendance. Rules of conduct were of great concern throughout and these were constantly being revised. The membership fees may seem rather minuscule when compared with prices 50 years later.
Some matters that I hoped would be cleared up were dates of the drags at Edenvale. The locations of clubhouses and dates of moving from one to another. The names and spelling were taken from the minutes, but there were mistakes in this area also.