Brothers Ray and Roger Hanson have worked side by side for decades sharing in the struggles and successes of keeping a local institution vital and growing – the Cedaredge Rod and Gun Club.
The brothers shared a notable moment of success during the club's annual meeting at the Stolte Shed on Jan. 18.
Ray, who has been the organization's administrative mainspring through 27 years serving as secretary-treasurer and who is a lifetime member of the club, presented that same honor to Roger after his years of dedicated work since becoming a dues-paying member in 1969. The lifetime membership is the highest honor the club confers on its members.
Other current lifetime members are Jene Young, Doug Hamilton, Pat Marah, Chuck Dalpiaz, Todd Fairchild and Bob Brewer.
The Cedaredge Rod and Gun Club personifies the Surface Creek Valley's commitment to its rich social and historical heritage, a heritage that is based on the land and its resources that support human enterprise and communities. Ray and Roger's dad was a founding member of the club that dates back to the 1920s.
Ray and Roger have seen the club's membership and organization "rebuilt three times in my lifetime," Ray noted. Today, the club's members number 303, making it probably the largest private organization of any kind in the Surface Creek Valley, a remarkable record of success.
The club was founded in a day that was very different from today. The Cedaredge Rod and Gun Club dates from a time when local men provided for their wives and children in a raw and rugged frontier country by their outdoor skills of fishing and hunting. The Club provided a chance for members to hone the skills their loved ones depended on for survival by matching those skills against the skills of others in friendly competition that built friendships, built community, and channelled the animal spirits of outdoors men into productive use. The Club provided a venue for developing pride, self respect, and recognition from peers for their of sporting skills developed over a lifetime of practice and necessary use.
It was a time when taking from the community or the government was considered an embarrassment, or even a crime. In those days, contributing to the community was considered a duty, and the club members did their duty on multiple counts, even to stocking fish on the Grand Mesa's reservoirs at their own expense to enhance enjoyment for the public.
The Cedaredge Rod and Gun Cub has created a record of longevity, community involvement, social support, private enterprise, patriotic service, and friendship building that is unmatched anywhere in Surface Creek Valley.
Other organizations or institutions may claim to be older or to have a lot of members. But on multiple counts, none of them can overshadow the rightful recognition that Cedaredge Rod and Gun Club has earned.
Some of the club's members today were probably born 150 years too late and would have been fully at home making tails across a virgin continent with men like Antonine Robidoux and Kit Carson. That is the spark of spirit in free enterprise and individual initiative that the club keeps alive in its members through the activities held at the shooting sports range west of Cedaredge.
But it takes a lot more than two brothers to keep an organization like the Cedaredge Rod and Gun Club functioning as a vital part of the community and as a living part of local heritage. During the annual meeting event last Saturday, there were a number of businesses and individuals who were singled out for their contributions to the club during 2013. They include the following:
Leisure Time Sports of Cedaredge has been one of the most faithful and reliable supporters of the club, and a consistent contributor to its activities and mission over the years. Other business sponsors and individuals volunteers noted were Cabelas, Jerry's Outdoor Sports, and Sportsman's Warehouse; Todd Fairchild; Bob Brewer; Chuck Church; Jan Quick; and Pat Scarlett. They contributed significant special effort on various projects during the year.
There was an election of board members who will guide the club through its 2014 activities. They are Fairchild, Quick, Roger Hanson, Chuck Dalpiaz, and Dennis Palmer. They join continuing board members Scarlett, Ray Hanson, Jason Purvis, Ken Miller, Church, and Jeff Houghton.
One other order of business was Ray Hanson's announcement that he is working on a project to put all of the club's records dating from 1928 onto CD format providing a viewable historical record of the organization and of the Surface Creek community.blog comments powered by Disqus