June 1/22 – Spring Dinner & AGM (org. Ann Doyle)
This year, the 35th anniversary of the Club’s premier event our annual Spring Dinner and AGM, the weather cooperated as the rain blew through just before the start of the cocktail reception and the temperature was a pleasant 23C. Held at Chateau Le Parc’s beautiful Courtyard, 131 members and 2 guests enjoyed passed hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while catching up with colleagues not seen in person at this event for three years due to COVID. Two attempts were made in each of 2020 and 2021 but COVID regulations or concerns cancelled the event. COVID impacted attendance this year too as it was down 40% from the 2019 event.
Our 4 course dinner (salad, pasta/risotto, choice of beef tenderloin, salmon or vegan with lemon delizia for dessert) was served in Hall B at tables of 8 and was well received. Our Annual General Meeting followed with Club President Marc Gagnon highlighting the Club’s many (mostly virtual) offers/activities over the past two plus years; Marc also focused on the results of our recent membership survey and implications for the future outlook of the Club. He recognized new members and the many volunteers and their important contributions to providing on-going opportunities to socialize and have fun
together. And he acknowledged the work of the executive especially the members who have announced their intention to retire; Marc also introduced three new members who have joined the executive board. Finally, Marc outlined the Club’s financial position.
The evening ended with the organizer, Ann Doyle, reviewing our up-coming events and identifying some of the challenges of planning activities in a pandemic environment which has not yet stabilized into a state of “normalcy”. Her request was that members register early to avoid disappointment due to capacity limits.
In summary, it was a successful evening of great conversation and socializing…a fitting way to close out one year and start the next.
February 25, 2020 – Cultural Luncheon (org John Adams)
Each year Esso Annuitant Club Toronto North arranges a luncheon that allows its members to appreciate some of the finer points of the cuisine of our fellow Canadians. Toronto has a rich heritage. Its range of cultures and people provide a colourful quilt of neighbourhoods, often overlooked as we rush along. This event was “just lunch” and provided the opportunity to interact with our friends before and during the lunchron on Tuesday, February 25, 2020. Here’s the scene. . .
There was lots of food and some wine too. Edit and Lori worked their magic in the kitchen for the 29 party guests. The place was crowded but everyone had a great time as the platters were passed along the table.
The goulash soup warmed us up. Then came mixed platters of Wiener schnitzel, Parisian schnitzel, pork chops, Debreceni sausages, cabbage rolls, rice, dumplings and coleslaw. Dessert was palacinka (crépe) stuffed with walnuts. As well, we had a
choice of Hungarian red and white wine.
Did we finish happy? Darned right!
December 4, 2019 – Christmas dinner (org. Carole Freeman)
Once again we had our dinner and dance at the Crystal Fountain in Markham with 152 members and guests. The food, refreshments and service were excellent and plentiful. The dessert buffet as always was a hit with our group! Once the music started the dance floor was very quickly populated and remained that way most of the evening. Around 10:30 half the group was still going strong on the dance floor. Always a good sign that people were getting into the Christmas spirit of good cheer with friends and colleagues.
June 5, 2019 – Spring Dinner (org. Ann Doyle)
The 32nd Annual Spring Dinner, previously known as the Steak-Out, was held for the third time at Chateau Le Parc in Vaughan, ON. For the second year in a row, the weather did not cooperate, and the outdoor Courtyard Reception had to be moved to the Lobby due to the chilly heavy rain and potential thunderstorm activity. Regardless, the 230 members and guests enjoyed an hour of mingling for cocktails and sampling the delicious passed hors d’oeuvres.
Dinner was a four-course affair with salad, pasta/risotto, an entrée choice of beef tenderloin, salmon or vegan followed by a chocolate caramel cluster ice cream dessert. Since the event is also the Club’s Annual Meeting, Club President Robert Theberge reviewed the activities of the past year, thanked the Executive Committee members and the many volunteers for their strong support and leadership; he also provided an outlook for the future and welcomed the newest annuitants to the Club. As this was the last public event of Robert’s presidency, he introduced our incoming President, Rick Hotz.
Following Robert’s presentation, Rick thanked Robert for his leadership over the past three years recognizing his many strengths and contributions to the Club and also those of his wife, Odette.
The evening ended with one person per table winning the floral centre piece followed by draws for six gift certificates.
In summary, it was a successful evening and we look forward to seeing everyone next year at the biggest event of the year.
June 6, 2018 – Spring steak-out dinner (org. Murray West)
For the second year, the Club’s Spring “Steak-Out” dinner was held at Chateau Le Parc in Vaughn on Wednesday, June 6. It was a chilly 65F but the weather didn’t hamper the 223 members and 7 guests as they enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres under the heaters on the outside covered patio during the pre-dinner reception. After an hour of socializing, the group moved indoors to the banquet hall for dinner – a delicious spread of salad, portobellini pasta and risotto followed by a choice of 6 oz beef tenderloin or pan-seared Atlantic salmon with seasonal vegetables.
As the event is also the Club Annual Meeting, President Robert Theberge highlighted the Club activities and thanked the many volunteers who make it all happen. Robert took the opportunity to especially honour Norm Perrett (in absentia) for his outstanding contributions as a founding member of the Continued Connections group. A framed plaque was presented by Robert to Ginny Cowan, current Continued Connections chair, for later presentation to Norm who recently retired from the group.
Robert also welcomed new annuitants to the Club. Dessert followed while the table centre pieces were won by one person at each table and six gift certificates were drawn. Many guests then retired to the lobby for an excellent after-dinner cappuccino to top off a very successful evening.
February 12, 2018 – Cultural luncheon – Poland (org. John Adam)
Polish cuisine has evolved over the centuries to become very eclectic due to Poland’s history. It shares many similarities with other Slavic ethnicities, especially Czech, Slovak and Ukrainian. It is rich in meat, especially pork, chicken and beef, winter vegetables, cabbage, spices, and herbs. Generally speaking, Polish cuisine is hearty.
During our half hour reception, we enjoyed a variety of deep-fried vegetables.
Our meal started with the popular beet borscht. The main course was a serving of breaded veal cutlet, aka Wiener Schnitzel, also cheese & potato pierogy along with cabbage rolls. Vegetables include sauerkraut and roast potatoes. Our luncheon concluded with a classic dessert crêpe, Polish naleśniki. The Polish like their beer and so lunch was accompanied by Zywiec, a pale lager light beer in 500 ml bottles. For those who preferred, a red wine was also served.
We can assure you that no one left hungry!
January 18, 2018 – Thornhill Club luncheon (org. Murray West)
Seventy-three members plus 2 guests and one complimentary meal for our presenter were served a four-course lunch consisting of: Soup, a choice of Atlantic salmon or Chicken Supreme with a glass of wine followed by an apple Crumble dessert, with coffee and tea.
Our Guest Speaker, Scott Walker a singer, actor, writer and CBC broadcaster took us on a musical audio- visual journey, highlighting the evolution of popular music and several famous performers. Scott’s excellent presentation, providing humorous anecdotes to his sound and video examples, brought life to many of our musical memories received. Many favourable comments and notes were received.
This event marked the return to hosting a function at the Thornhill Club, previously the venue for the annual Spring ‘Steak Out’. The Club was very easy to deal with regarding food allergies. Their up-to-date A/V equipment was greatly appreciated by our speaker and resulted in a flawless technical presentation.
December 6, 2017 – Christmas dinner (org. Carole Freeman)
We once again held our dinner at the Crystal Fountain in Markham. As usual the appetizers served in the lobby were excellent and we definitely are a group who like to socialize !!! Four course dinner was very good. It seems we have a large group of people who love to dance. Our DJ David Beale kept the music flowing and the dancers dancing until after 11pm !
June 6, 2017 – Spring steak-out dinner (org. Murray West)
This year’s Spring ‘Steak Out’ dinner was held at a new venue for the Club and a relatively new facility, Chateau Le Parc in Vaughn, Ontario on Wednesday, June 7th. A record turnout of 242 members and 8 guests and associates enjoyed a welcoming reception on the covered patio, socializing over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on a very pleasant Spring evening. We then moved inside to enjoy a full four course Italian dinner starting with organic arugula salad, followed by a casarecce pasta and risotto. The entrée offered a choice of an 8 oz. N.Y striploin steak or pan-seared Atlantic salmon served with seasonal vegetables. Following a brief year-end update by President Robert Theberge, highlighting Club activities, we were treated to a lovely Lemon Delizia dessert with raspberry and fresh blueberries. The evening concluded with one person per table winning the flower centre piece, followed by door prize draws for sets of folding canvas chairs, compliments of Esso Retail and several LCBO gift certificates. We look forward to seeing everyone again next and welcoming new retirees to our Club’s biggest event of the year.
February 28, 2017 – Kwan Chinese lunch (org. John Adams)
Thirty-nine Club members joined us for a dim sum lunch with a wonderful menu specially selected by Debbie Lui Wong, owner of Kwan, just north of St. Clair on the west side of Yonge. Reception and dinner wine was KWV Cathedral Cellar Chardonnay from South Africa. After two hours of ”wine and dine”, it was time to head out into a fine February day and be grateful for our good fortune.
January 19, 2017 – Donalda Club luncheon (org. Barbara Hejduk)
On January 19, 2017, 69 members and guests enjoyed our annual comfort food luncheon of chicken pot pie at the Donalda Club. EACTN members, Kathryn and Bruce Murray, presented an entertaining and informative slide show of photographs from their expedition last year to the Antarctic and the world of penguins. An excellent afternoon was enjoyed by all.
December 7, 2016 – Christmas dinner (org. Carole Freeman)
Dinner was held once again at the Crystal Fountain in Markham. There were 177 participants. The appetizers served during the reception were really good ! Dinner consisted of four courses – soup, salad, entree and a dessert buffet. We did a draw for each centrepiece but also had several other draws including for 10 Tim Hortons coffee makers that were donated by the Esso Retail Sales Group. Our DJ, David Beale assisted with all the draws and, at one point, had a dozen or so people in a “dance off” to find a winner. We normally lose more than half our group once dinner has ended but this year more people stayed around, and there were still 92 people present (with the majority on the dance floor) at 10:15pm!
January 21, 2016 – Donalda Club luncheon (org. Barbara Hejduk)
On January 21, 2016, 70 members and guests enjoyed our annual comfort food luncheon of chicken pot pie at the Donalda Club. EACTN member, Ray Burton, presented an entertaining and informative slide show of photographs from his recent river boat cruise in France. An excellent afternoon was enjoyed by all.
November 4, 2015 – All Clubs luncheon (org. Alison Tang)
The lunch was held at Parkview Manor (formerly Spirale Banquet & Conference Centre) and this year was hosted by Toronto Central. A total of 138 attended – 75 from Toronto North, 35 from Scarborough/Oshawa and 28 from Toronto Central. The guest speaker was Andrew MacKay, Retail Fuels Manager, Imperial Oil, and his presentation provided an overview of the company’s performance. The United Way draw for 3 gift cards raised $470.
June 3, 2015 – Spring Steak-Out Dinner (org, Murray West)
This year’s Spring ‘Steak-Out’ dinner was again held at the Riviera Parque Banquet Centre in Vaughan. 207 members, 2 associate members from Calgary plus 6 guests, also including 2 from Calgary, enjoyed an evening of dining and socializing on Wednesday, June 3rd. During the reception, attendees enjoyed hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages, The piano background of jazz and show tunes rendered by Paul Moody, set a convivial atmosphere for chatting with one another. A four course meal with complementing wines, started with red pepper soup followed by pasta pouches stuffed with cheese and spinach. This year we offered a choice of three different entrees: Beef Chateaubriand, Veal Scaloppini or roasted salmon. Following a brief year-end Club update by our President, a dessert trilogy of Crème brulee; Sicilian canoli and chocolate dipped strawberries was served with coffee and tea. The evening concluded with one person per table winning the centre piece followed by door prize draws for restaurant and LCBO gift cards as well as some bottles of wine donated by the Riviera Parque.
February 13, 2015 – Portuguese Cultural Dinner (org. John Q. Adam)
Each year Esso Annuitant Club Toronto North arranges a luncheon that allows its members to appreciate some of the finer points of the cuisine of our fellow Canadians. Toronto has a rich heritage. Its range of cultures and people provide a colourful quilt of neighbourhoods, often overlooked as we rush along. In February, we enjoyed a Portuguese lunch at Lisbon By Night that featured multiple courses of fish.
Terms we learned:
- Rodízio is an all-you-can-eat style of Portuguese restaurant service. One pays a fixed price and the waiters bring samples of seafood to each customer at times throughout the meal. After the wine reception with appetizers, we started with a seasonal soup followed by seafood rodizio accompanied by potatoes, rice and vegetables and more wine.
- Vinho Verde is a Portuguese wine that originated in the Minho province in the far north of the country. Vinho Verde is not a grape varietal. The name literally means “green wine,” but translates as “young wine”, as opposed to mature wine. It is meant to be consumed within a year of bottling. The slight effervesce of the wine came from malolactic fermentation taking place in the bottle. Consumers like the slightly sparkling nature with the slight sparkle now being added by artificial carbonation.
January 22, 2015 – Donalda Club Luncheon (org. Barbara Hejduk)
Seventy-five members and guests enjoyed a Scottish themed luncheon at the Donalda Club on January 22, 2015, to celebrate Robbie Burns Day. The haggis was piped in and the bagpiper gave an enthusiastic Address to the Haggis. Following a comfort luncheon of chicken pot pie and haggis, Neil Murray read Burns poetry, sang songs and led the group in a sing along, closing with Auld Lang Syne. An excellent afternoon was enjoyed by all.
December 3, 2014 – Christmas dinner (org. Carole Freeman)
168 members and guests gathered at the Crystal Fountain for our annual Christmas get together. We were treated to an enjoyable evening of food, music and dance. DJ David Beale returned and helped with our draw for the beautiful centrepieces.
November 5, 2014 – All Clubs luncheon (org. Alison Tang)
The lunch was again held at the Spirale Banquet & Conference Centre and this year was hosted by Toronto North. A total of 151 attended – 87 from Toronto North, 40 from Scarborough/Oshawa and 24 from Toronto Central. The guest speaker was George Bezaire, Director, Corporate Planning, Imperial Oil, and his speech, which covered his recent interaction with new hires of the company at the Corporate Orientation Seminar, was very interesting and well received. The United Way draw for 3 gift cards raised $405.
June 4, 2014 – Spring Steak Out Dinner (org. Murray West)
210 members, 2 associates and 1 guest enjoyed an evening of food, fellowship and good cheer at our annual Steak Out Dinner. This year’s event was again held at the Riviera Parque Banquet Centre in Vaughn. During the reception, attendees enjoyed hot and cold hors d’oeuves, cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages along with popular piano renditions to set a relaxed setting for meeting one another. A four course meal of soup, pasta and choice of filet or salmon and tartuffo dessert was served in the spacious banquet hall. Following a brief year-end business meeting, door prizes were drawn for restaurant gift cards and bottles of wine.
February 19, 2014 – Cultural Luncheon (org. John Adam and Alison Tang)
Toronto has a rich heritage. Its range of cultures and people provide a colourful quilt of neighbourhoods, often overlooked as we rush along. On an occasional basis, Esso Annuitant Club Toronto North has initiated a luncheon that will allow us to appreciate some of the finer points of the cuisine of our fellow Canadians. This will also provide the opportunity to interact with our friends before and during lunch. Shangri-la hosted us on February 19. The venue and menu were arranged with the help of Theresa Tang. Noted for its splendid décor, the resrtaurant is well known in the Chinese community. Preceding lunch, we offersd a social period. Tables were set for 10 persons and there was a limit of 40 registrants.