Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • February-March 2023 • Circulation 5000

Lieutenant Governor Visits McCauley

Les Amies Dance Club’s 90th Anniversary also featured local book launch

Lieutenant Governor, His Honour, Col. (Ret’d) The Honourable Donald S. Ethell came to McCauley to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Les Amies Dance Club. Ruth West

It’s not often that the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta visits our neighbourhood. His Honour, Col. (Ret’d) The Honourable Donald S. Ethell and Her Honour Linda Ethell came to the Santa Maria Goretti Centre on May 11 as Honourary Patrons of the Les Amies Dance Club to celebrate the club’s 90th anniversary.

Les Amies is reported to be the oldest social dance club in Canada. Maude and Percy Page founded Les Amies in 1922 and were active in the club for over 50 years, including Percy Page’s term as Lieutenant Governor (1959-66).

234 people attended the 90th Anniversary Rose Ball, toasted Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in honour of her Diamond Jubilee, dined, danced, and witnessed demonstration dances by the DoDel Kid’s Club, the University of Alberta Dance Club, and two groups under the directorship of Lee Hewitt and Blair Peregrym of Grant MacEwan University.

They also witnessed the launch of Dancing through the Decades: The History of Les Amies Dance Club, 1922-2012. This book tells the story of Les Amies living through Prohibition, the Depression, World War II, and all the cultural, technological, and social changes that have shaped Edmonton and Alberta for most of the last century. The club’s membership list was, for most of its 90 years, a veritable who’s who of Edmonton. The book includes many anecdotes, like the story of Douglas Howell, whose mother insisted on teaching him to waltz before he was shipped off to Europe at the age of 18 to fight in World War II.

The book embodies a second connection to our neighbourhood: it was co-authored by McCauley residents Gary Garrison and Sara Coumantarakis, who read several excerpts and signed copies of the book for everybody who purchased them.

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