Club History

My recollections of the early days of the Canadian Club in New Zealand by Sandy Schade

Back in 1982, I was a young Canadian living in New Zealand with a Kiwi husband and I realised that I was here to stay! I looked for other Canadians help share those uniquely “Canadian” events. I wanted to have someone to share turkey and cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie with!

Eventually I met several Canadians living in Auckland, and I put forward the suggestion to start a club like the one the Americans already had – and you know the thought, if it’s good enough for our American neighbours, it’s good for us too!

Jan Pedrotti and I worked together to get things started. We didn’t have internet – or even computers – so there was no Facebook or Meetup.com to help us out. We put free ads on the radio to ask Canadians to call if they were interested in getting together – and, believe it or not, put our home phone numbers over the airwaves – something we wouldn’t consider today!

Our first event was a Sunday lunch at The Keg Restaurant in Manukau Road (now called Chaska Punjab). Terry Buckley hosted us to lunch on a Sunday when the restaurant was generally closed – that probably had something to do with Sunday trading in those days! We had a large turnout and some of you may still remember the great time we had. We had support from a number of Canadian companies who did business in New Zealand.

Later that same year, we had a Halloween Party at a suburban school hall and we decorated and dressed up and catered for it all ourselves. It was a massive effort but lots of fun! Halloween wasn’t an occasion shared by our Kiwi friends at that time, as Guy Fawkes a few days later was the main occasion to let off fireworks.

Sandy Schade