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Edmonton Balloon Club Awards
as of 1998

Updated: June 18, 2002

As in any organization the volunteers are what make it work. Over the years a number of people have made significant contributions to the Edmonton Balloon Club.   They have been recognized in two categories.

A) Life memberships have been awarded to:

  • 1983 - Sandy Mactaggart, Brian Hval, Charlie Littlewood
  • 1994 - Alex Nagorski

B) Club members who have made significant contribution:





Brian Hval Mary Lou Marino Ed Cooke John Cornelius
Charlie Littlewood Murray Scholtz John & Pat Kerr Marion Kaiser
Gwen Littlewood John Kerr Sharon Jensen Charlie Littlewood (25 yrs)
Pat Shields Pat Kerr Orlean Moran Joy Nagorski
Doug Lemkey Ron Yandeau Jim Moran Alex Nagorski
Bill Baronsfeather Heather Fox Marion Kaiser Kathy Pongar
Marshal Wynnychuk Alex Nagorski John Phillips Cassie Strumecki
Alex Nagorski   Cassie Strumecki Dianne Tomm-Lunty
Sandy Mactaggart     Stan Wereschuk
Frank Chiovelli      
Doug Rygalo      
John Schlosser      
Sam Phillips      

1998 Awards and comments

Over the years a number of people have made significant contributions to the Edmonton Balloon Club and it is now time to recognize a few more for their time, energy, ideas and work in keeping the balloon club alive.

John Cornelius - A quiet member who is always there when the club needs help, on the executive, committees, crewing, attending events, taking pictures and any other things that he is asked to do.  A hard worker, enthusiastic balloonist, wonderful with people and great to have on board.

Marion Kaiser - An enthusiastic balloonist who has been crew, pilot, competitor and President of the balloon club. What ever she takes on, it is 100% effort and full steam ahead. Marion has contributed greatly to the club with her ideas, energy and flying.

Charlie and Gwen Littlewood - As original members of the club the Littlewood’s have maintained a continued interest in the club long after Charlie’s retirement from flying. Over the 25 years they have both been a solid foundation for the club. As past President Gwen has contributed on a number of different committees, as crew member and as a general ethusiasit.  Charlie, a lifetime member of the club, has maintained a solid reputation with his knowledge of electronics in keeping the club balloon’s avionics working.

Joy Nagorski - The lady with the formidable task of being married to Alex. A past member of the club, Joy is no stranger to crewing, event participation, and in organising and host(ess)ing many social events. From Midieval Days, to lost balloon numbers to Christmas parties, Joy has unfailingly provided her support. For your continued assistance we pass along our sincere thanks and appreciation.

Alex Nagorski - I am pleased to give this award to a person who has been there for the Edmonton Balloon Club for being our Chief Pilot, flying, training, knowledge, good advice, humor, patience, stories, pictures, their house at Christmas, for maintenance on the balloons and just all around general assistance. That was just for last week, never mind the last 18 years. Thank you, Alex Nagorski. We couldn’t have done it without you.

Kathy Pongar - A member for 15 years Kathy has continued to be active in crewing, club committees and the executive while promoting the club at any event she hears of. Kathy’s past involvement inclules unfailing suppat as crew, officating at events, social organiser and now club President. For her many years of continued involvement and support, we give you our sincere thanks and appreciation and our best wishes to you as President.

Cassie Strumecki - Full of enthusiasm from when she first joined the club and her roles as Poptalk Editor, Vice- President and President of the club Cassie has continued to be active in club activities, Poptalk and events. Although she seems to disappear once in a while, she quickly jumps in when asked or an interesting activity comes along.

Dianne Tomm-Lunty - As club member for many years she has served on many committees, planning session and as club treasurer. An excellent source of advise and one to always make sure that financially and policy wise the club was following all the rules.

Edmonton Balloon Club
Life Member
Alex Nagorski

On November 28, 1994 the executive of the Edmonton Balloon CLub (Marion Kaiser, Pauline McLeod, John Cornelius, Charlie Littlewood and Kathy Pongar) unanimously voted to present a life membership to Alex Nagorski.

Motion to extend a life membership to Alex Nagorski for his long service in the club effective the 1995 term. Marion Kaiser, seconded John Cornelius. Vote: all in favor.

The award was presented on December 10, 1994 by Marion Kaiser, Charlie Littlewood and Pauline McLeod.

Alex Nagorski, Aeronaut Extraordinaire

Alex joined the Edmonton Balloon Club on September 15, 1980 after seeing a few balloons in the sky and further investigating the possibilities of becoming involved. Involved certainly is just one term to describe Alex’s commitment to our club; enthusiastic, dynamic, professional, centered on fun and social adventures, and dedicated were just a few more of the characterizations which many of Alex’s ballooning cohorts have suggested for this short history.

Alex’s leadership skills and organizational abilities directed him to the position of President in 1982, by which time he had already undertaken pilot training with Doug Lemkey and Charlie. Thereafter Alex moved on to positions with the AFBS and directorships with the CBA. Alex supported the purchase of Voyageur, provided the name for the balloon and flew commercially for the club. He consistently encourages fun flying and events participation Medieval Days, Drumheller, Vernon, Raven, Saskatoon Balloon Chase, Mundare Sausage Run, Barrie, Saga:Japan as a few examples. In 1985 Indianola, Iowa was his destination to learn how to organize and officiate at balloon events.

In 1986, Alex was President of the AFBS, won an AFBS leadership award and also became Chief Pilot for the club. In 1987 Alex was a key organizer at the Alberta Summer Games in Sherwood Park and a CBA Director. By 1988 he was the Club President again and initiated the model balloon project, flew the Olympic Festival in Calgary and was safety officer at the Canadian Championships in Red Deer and in 1989 in Grande Prairie.

Alex supported ‘Launch 89’ for our 15th Anniversary when Peter

Shostak was commissioned to present an original painting of our balloons on the prairies.  Alex also tabled the Great Canadian Goose Chase, an event still in its infancy (is he still chasing it?).  Alex researched World Championship planning and preparation in Saga, Japan on behalf of the Canadian organizers in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

By 1990 Alex was instrumental in the sponsorship negotiations with Ed Tel for the Yellow Pages Balloon. Grande Prairie hosted the Alberta Champs and Alex was safety officer and CBA President. He was pivotal in the Goldrush Hot Air Balloon Festival for Klondike Days and safety officer for K-days and the Canadian Hot Air Balloon Championship in St. Jean sur Richeleu, which was the dress rehearsal for his grand finale as CBA President in 1991 of the World Hot Air Balloon Championships in Quebec.

World’s was a great accomplishment for our ballooning community and Alex (he even managed to fool the locals into thinking he could speak french during some of those speeches). As honorary president of the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival, Alex made numerous presentations and also rendered his excellent skills as safety officer once again. Meanwhile he continued as chief pilot and commercial pilot for the club and carried the torch of President of the CBA for a third term while enroute to France with a personal invitation from Malcolm Forbes’ family to fly at Chateau de Balleroy. There he piloted a celebrity passenger named Walter Cronkite.

His schedule was solid by this point and the invitation to Chateau D’oex in Switzerland had to be turned down. By this time Alex had also gained status as an international jury member and officiated for the Pacific Championship in Grande Prairie, North American Champs in Baton Rouge, both in 1992 and the North American Champs in Brockville in 1994. Also in 1992 Alex was awarded the Joan Martin award from the CBA for outstanding contributions to the sport of hot air ballooning in Canada.

As the Chief Pilot and Vice President for 1993 and 1994, still maintaining his active flying status, flight instructor rating and authorized persons classification, night rating, and fog certification, Alex truly exemplifies an aeronaut extraordinaire. He has trained several other successful pilots and is particular about safety matters and maintenance schedules. There is no ballooning concern or question that Alex will not address or resolve. After 15 year of dedication and 500 hours of flying time on club balloons, we honor Alex Nagorski as a Life Member of the Edmonton Balloon Club, 1995.

Congratulations to Alex and Joy Nagorski.

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