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Archery Club finds home for nationals
Submitted on Fri, 11/04/2016 - 8:54pm
By Jacob Robinson, Simcoe Reformer
The Delhi Belgian Archery Club has gotten some good news after a string of unfortunate events.
A group that meets three times per week and goes back eight decades learned on Oct. 19 it would need to find a new home as of Jan. 1 after shareholders decided to close the Delhi Belgian Club in the coming weeks.
Individuals and organizations with events scheduled in 2017 were notified that the large banquet hall and/or bar and games room downstairs would not be available.
That left the archery club without a facility to host the National Indoor Archery Championship this spring.
Thankfully for the club, the Delhi Hungarian House fit the specifications to host the event - which is expected to bring over 20 teams and 250 individuals to town – and will do so April 7-8.
“We went to them and measured their hall because it has to be a certain length (65 feet/20 metres). It was the length that we needed,” said Mary Ann Pieters, a head instructor with the club along with her husband George.
Delhi won the right to host the tournament thanks to their championship victory last year, the eighth time the club has been crowned Canadian champs since 1975.
The weekend will include an open shoot on Friday before the official opening the following morning. Pieters said the Hungarian House was a perfect venue thanks to a large seating area and the weekly dinner put on by volunteers on Friday nights.
“They (Hungarian House staff) were quite pleased,” Pieters explained. “I said, 'we want to keep the tournament in Delhi to support (the town)'. It's going to work out well.”
While April's festivities are taken care of, those that shoot in Delhi on a weekly basis are no further ahead when it comes to finding a home.
“We've looked at different places but we have to have that length – we have to have 65 feet. We've got a few (places) we've got to go look at yet and see what we can do,” Pieters noted.
“We're hoping we can find something that is going to be permanent, especially for the kids – it's the kids that we're looking out for.”
Both George and Mary Ann are longtime members of the Belgian Hall. In fact, the two met and eventually wed there. Though sad to see the impending closure of the building, Mary Ann said she understands why the shareholders made the decision.
The facility's air-conditioner was broken and electrical updates were also required.
Monthly hydro bills crept as high as $5,700.
“It's the hydro, it's the taxes, it's your insurance – it's getting harder and harder to keep it up,” she said. “That's what it comes down to.”