Getting to know Charles Macnamara at the 2017 banquet

Back when the first Macnamara Club banquet was held in the fall of 1997, the most popular song was Elton John’s Candle in the Wind, with its wistful refrain, “I would have liked to have known you.”

While the songwriter was speaking about Marilyn Monroe, his words apply equally well to what Macnamara members then and now would say about our club’s namesake, field naturalist extraordinaire Charles Macnamara.

But those who buy tickets to our 2017 banquet will in effect get to know this incredible naturalist, scientist and photographer and his life, work and legacy more intimately as the evening presentation will be “The nature of Charles Macnamara,” a joint presentation by Arnprior & McNab/Braeside archivist Laurie Dougherty (on the historical side) and club president, acclaimed photographer, author and naturalist Michael Runtz (on the natural history side). As it happens, Michael was also the presenter 20 years ago with photos and anecdotes in a slide show called “Paradise at your doorstep.” Wonder if he was thinking about Meat Loaf and Paradise by the dashboard light!

We thought the history connection would be a great fit with Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations. Here’s another word for you: the club’s 20th anniversary of our banquet is our vigintennial or vicennial!

Will it be on our evening quiz? Who knows! But you can count on the usual good fun with like-minded souls, well-prepared food, door prizes and one or more auction items. Note that we are changing things up a bit with a new venue this year — the Sand Point Golf Club, 38 Golf Club Road, Braeside, Ontario.

The date is November 4 and doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will be served at 6:00 p.m.

Members of the public are welcome to attend and as we’ll be promoting the event more widely this year we encourage club members to buy their tickets now.

Keep in mind that tickets will not be available at the door. The ticket price of $35 per person applies up to midnight, October 27 and payment MUST be RECEIVED by the Club by that date. Tickets for children 11 and under are available at a special price of $20.

Come prepared to buy your tickets at the October 3 meeting or buy them in person at the Arnprior Library and the Arnprior McNab-Braeside Archives, or purchase them online.