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:
B) Club members who have made
- 1983 - Sandy Mactaggart, Brian Hval, Charlie Littlewood
- 1994 - Alex Nagorski
||Mary Lou Marino
||John & Pat Kerr
||Charlie Littlewood (25
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 Littlewoods have maintained a continued interest in the club
long after Charlies 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 balloons 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
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 couldnt 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. Kathys 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
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
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
Alexs 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 Alexs ballooning cohorts have suggested for this short history.
Alexs 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.
Worlds 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 Doex 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
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.