Gyro is a men’s club, a friendship fraternity. The Victoria Gyro Club was part of the initial expansion of this new (in 1912) idea which spread across North America. On May 7, 1921 thirty-seven Victoria men became charter members of the Victoria club, the fifteenth club charterd by the organization and the forth club chartered in Canada. Many men of good character have passed through the membership roll of the club since its founding. There occupations and professions have been as diverse as can be imagined. Each member has made a unique contribution while embracing the organization’s key principles of power, poise and purpose. The club’s legacy and that of its members has been significant over the years.
For many years, the club met for lunch at the Empress Hotel but when the membership numbers began to limit the hotel’s ability to serve its other regular customers, the club was forced to find alternative venues. Then began a dine-around-town form of luncheon program with guest speakers coming to deliver their presentations in a format similar to the modern Rotary Club. There were other similarities too; Victoria Gyro had set limits on the number of men from any single profession who could belong at the same time. Members were ‘classified’ by their occupation and were expected to give a ‘classification talk’ to the membership once they had been admitted into the Club. Classification talks are still given by new members, but only for the sake of tradition.
After the second world war ended, the club reached a level of success in which it had outgrown its ability to manage effectively, with over 100 active members and a long waiting list of prospective Gyros. It was courageously decided to spin-off a second club, allowing members of similar interests and ambitions to continue their fellowship without being lost in the numbers. The Camosun Gyro Club was thus formed in 1949 and history demonstrates that it was a good decision; both clubs have continued to flourish and enjoy friendly rivalry. Both clubs have produced District Governors and International Club Presidents. A third Gyro club nearby in Sidney has recently been founded.
Every October, the Camosun and Victoria clubs join to celebrate “Founder’s Night’, a dinner where the organization’s founding members, Kagy, Schwan and Handerson, are celebrated. Responsiblity for organizing the dinner and choosing a theme alternated year over year between the two clubs. Members of both clubs routinely travel to events being hosted by Gyro clubs elsewhere and many, many long distance and long lasting friendships have their roots in Gyro. Click here for the Gyro Video.
The Gyro Club of Victoria supports the Alzheimer Society of BC.
For 2018/19, the Gyro Club of Victoria is being led by President Nigel Horspool.
This year’s 1st VP is Ed Moniz and in the 2nd VP spot is Steve Ingle. Our club Secretary is Murray Firth and Stuart Chalmers is our Treasurer. Together with a seven person Board of Directors they complete the leadership team of the club.
Our club membership continues to remain consistently in the 55-65 range. Our longest serving member joined as far back as 1966, with new members joining every month or so. Many of our members are now snowbirds who winter in southern climes, some in communities having local Gyro Clubs of their own.
Our joining requirements are simple: men of good character who are at least twenty-one years of age and residing in the Greater Victoria area. For more information about Gyro membership contact the club’s president Nigel Horspool 250-884-8254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org