Annual Banquet Celebrates 10 Years Of Dedication and Growth

By Roger Austin. From the April - June 2013 newsletter.

The 11th Annual Banquet (the first was held the month of incorporation) of the St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum celebrated the 10th anniversary of the organization. It was held May 17 at the Madrid Community Center with nearly 120 members and friends attending. After a welcome by President Al Garrand everyone enjoyed the traditional meal of baked ham, scalloped potatoes, corn and slaw prepared by the United Church of Madrid. Anniversary cakes were donated by Jim and Julie McGraw and served with a dollop of ice cream. During the meal a scrolling slide show prepared by Secretary Roger Austin reviewed the history of the Museum. Following the meal, Austin asked all prior recipients of the Museum’s Distinguished Service Awards to rise. He then asked all those who had made financial contributions or made gifts in kind and those who had been volunteers or exhibitors to join them. Almost all present were standing to the applause of everyone. Al Garrand, Vice President Reg Chester, and Treasurer Chuck Goolden then called several members and friends forward to receive special awards. Hats off to Banquet chairs Mary Jean and Reg Chester as well as Barbara Fisher, Amy Moulton, Paige Moulton, Nathan Moulton, and Adam Finnegan for a fine evening. Nancy Garrand, Linda Goolden, Bob Moulton, Marcia Oney, and Jean Tupper took care of reservations, collected dues, and sold 50:50 tickets. About two dozen attendees took home plants for door prizes. Roger Austin won the 50:50 but returned it to the Museum for good luck.

Members Honored for Service

Several Museum members received the Distinguished Service Award during the recent Annual Banquet. Recipients received an engraved plaque with the notation stating “Distinguished Service Award presented to (the recipient) for their outstanding dedication and support by the St. Lawrence Power and Equipment Museum, May 17, 2014.” The following received awards:


Al Garrand comments on Dave Gibson’s Distinguished Service Award at ceremonies during the Banquet.

Dave Gibson joined the Museum in 2006. As the Museum grew, so did the size of its campus and lawns. For the past several years, Dave has brought his Farmall Super C farm tractor and trailing mower almost every week to groom the lawn. It takes about 8 hours to cover the ground. It is his close work with Barbara Alford and others that has created the lawn that visitors so enjoy. Last winter, Dave added another mower on the side of his tractor. We assume (hope) this means he intends to keep up his excellent work.


Reg Chester (left) presents the Outstanding Business Award to Burns Construction, LLC. Receiving the award is Roddy Burns next to his wife Darlene, son Robby, and friend Darcy Wilson.

Since acquiring the Goolden-Mann farm in 2006, the Museum has been fortunate to receive support from many businesses. Two were honored during the recent Annual Banquet. Burns Construction, LLC has helped construct many of the buildings at the Museum’s campus. However, many of its efforts have gone beyond what was required of them. Their help with planning and design and the loan of heavy equipment have made a difference, making the grounds attractive and helping with construction. Owner Roddy Burns and son Robby are enthusiastic tractor pullers.


Charles and Helen Alton receive their Distinguished Service Award from Reg Chester at the Banquet.

Charles and Helen Alton were members of the former St. Lawrence Gas & Steam Engine Association when its membership was transferred to the new Museum. Charlie just completed a 3 year term as a Trustee, serving from 2011 - 2013. He is a recognized expert in the restoration of antique engines. Among those he has restored are many found in the Museum’s collection. Charlie and Helen did extensive residing and repair of the old barn, providing not only their labor but materials as well. Charlie worked on the Schoolhouse relocation, again donating much of the fine lumber for the exterior trim. Both volunteer at exhibitions, arriving days early to help get things started. Helen’s reorganization of the Attic Treasures sales resulted in greatly improved revenues. Charlie and Helen also organized the popular hotdog lunch for volunteers held each Friday before exhibitions.


Chuck Goolden reads the Distinguished Award text to Bert and Betty Beswick at the Annual Banquet.

Bert and Betty Beswick joined the Museum in 2006 when the Museum found a home in Madrid. Since the first exhibitions in Madrid, Bert has been a host to countless visitors, especially in the Collection Building. Betty has been a hostess in the Farm House and could also be found working in the kitchen. Both enjoy driving the Golf Cars, touring visitors around the Museum campus. During construction projects, Bert is often present to offer welcome words of support. The Beswicks have been ambassadors for the Museum, spreading the word of the Museum’s growth and promise.


Roger Austin received a surprise when Al Garrand called him to the front. Over the years, the Trustees had made a practice of not making awards to sitting members of the Board. Al presented him with a Meritorious Achievement Award “for years of dedicated service to the St. Lawrence Power & Equipment Museum.” Roger called on his wife, Carol, to join him and noted that her taking care of many of his chores at home had made it possible for him to spend more time at the Museum.


Al Garrand makes comments as the LeBerge & Curtis team look on. Pictured are (l to r) Jim and Karen Curtis, Helen Curtis, and Lloyd and Kris Barrigar.

LeBerge & Curtis Incorporated’s association with the Museum goes back to our predecessor organization. It used to loan a big John Deere tractor to handle the tractor pull sled. Loan of heavy equipment has continued to support construction efforts. Loans from their Mid State Golf Cars has been a blessing to our visitors, especially those with disabilities, and tired volunteers alike. They played a vital role in the relocation of the Curtis windmill to the campus. Many children continue to enjoy pulling and racing the John Deere pedal tractors they so generously donated. President, Garrand called several members of the Curtis family forward and presented them the Outstanding Business Award memorializing their role in the Museum's sucess.


OH yes!! A god time was had by all.