Part 2 of my Campbell Clan Open Canada Day weekend blog series features the ‘after party’ – held as it has been for the past 35 years at my cousins Bill’s and Hardie’s cottages – on the shores of Lake Huron (more specifically, my family’s ‘compound at Inverhuron Beach).
This is much more than a family gathering after a round of golf. This is a TRADITION that brings together members of the Campbell clan from all over North America (and sometimes from across the ‘pond’) to the tune of 100+!! There are more than likely other families who have gatherings similar to ours BUT I doubt they have the good fortune to span 7 generations and do so annually in such an idyllic setting.
In attendance, we always have a few newborns to age 3 – my cousins always say “they sleep better,
eat better and interact better in the Inverhuron air” – it’s a PROVEN fact! The next wave of family covers ages 4 to 14 – these are the ones who start to GET what Inverhuron represents, what the Campbell Clan connection really means and why they make the trek from distances far and wide. The experience simply transforms the kids in a positive way.
Of course, this being Canada’s 150th birthday, we had the full-on Campbell Clan t-shirt in Canada’s colours. As you can see from the photos, this made for an impressive visual! Beyond that, our official event coordinator and tournament director, my first cousin, Bill dons his Master’s Green jacket and officially welcomes ALL of the clan to the evening’s celebration.
You will notice he is holding the homemade Campbell Clan Open’tournament trophy’ engraved with all the previous winning team members. It’s almost as famous as the Ryder Cup!!! He also gets presented with a pictorial commemorative book put together by my second cousin twice removed – Alison – a top flight amateur photographer. She does one of these every year – it serves as a physical reminder of a fantastic family gathering and another example of the importance of our family relations.Cousin Bill then opened the awards ceremony part of the evening by leading a rousing rendition of ‘Oh, Canada’ (with NO giggling!) followed by a performance by ‘The Hose’ (my cousins Bill, Hardie & Jimmy) – our family’s version of the Acapella group The Nylons. The 3 of them have been doing theme-specific songs at our family events for decades. This is always a ‘show-stopper’!
Before the awards are handed out (we have a massive prize table containing contributions by all family members that ensures EVERYONE gets a prize!), the family mingle, eat, drink and, basically, get caught up with the goings-on of ALL family members. As I always say to ‘newcomers’, there is NOWHERE to hide in our family – just the way we like it! This is NOT for everyone – if you like privacy, peace and quiet, you will NOT survive in our clan! We simply don’t role like that.
We always start with the trophy presentation to the ‘winning’ team. This year, my barefoot-playing brother, Arn, led his team to ‘victory’. I thus commented that ALL of my cousins better play barefoot next year if they want THEIR names on the trophy!!The other groups were introduced to rousing ovations in order of finish before proceeding to the prize table. Of course, the catcalls from the family ‘peanut gallery’ are always hilarious yet well-intended.
Even young Aaron decided to make a stage appearance as his mom, Caley’s, team was introduced (see below).
Then comes the individual award winners that include the standard longest drive, closest to the hole and most honest golfer (heck, NOBODY seems to win THAT!!!). There always seems to be new winners which is a good thing. It keeps TSN & Sportsnet coming back to film the event and conduct live interviews annually!!
No evening is complete at Inverhuron without a viewing of the 3rd BEST sunset on Planet Earth. You simply cannot believe how spectacularly breathtaking it is until you witness it. Everyone who visits us goes away spellbound, vowing to find SOME way to return.The only thing missing was a bagpiper outfitted in our Campbell Clan tartan. Maybe next year…! There were also at least 50 cousins who could NOT attend for various reasons. Can you imagine if ALL of us COULD gather at the same time for the event?! Hell, we’d have to take over the WHOLE beach instead of just half.
It simply gives us motivation to gather again next July 1. To our gracious, caring and loving main hosts (Bill and Judy), I send gratitude, love and deep-seated respect from the WHOLE clan for stepping to the organizational plate EVERY year!
Here’s to the positive power of family…especially OURS!! Don’t miss the 3rd blog next week on the Campbell Clan weekend (the little ones rule!).