Basic, Mainstream, & Rounds - Fridays 8:00-10:00 pm (Class 7:00-8:30 pm), Melvern Square Community Center
Melvern Square, Annapolis Co.
Callers: Nelson Labor & Laurie Illsley; Cuer: Pat Labor

In the summer of 1988, a group of square dancers from the Kingston-Greenwood area got together and decided to organize a new club to dance in the Tremont Hall. This brand new club hired a brand new caller - Nelson Labor - and West Kings Twirlers was born. Purple and white were chosen as club colors - an unusual choice from many points of view, but unusual and different became a trade mark of this club. Friday night was to be our dance night so that we did not conflict with any other clubs in the Valley. Our first Presidents were Barry and Carol Walker, who along with Bob and Laurene Baker were instrumental in getting this new club off to a great start.

The first class consisted of one dancer, Murray Hird, but from then on we grew rapidly. Some of us still fondly remember the old hall with the friendly wood stove in the kitchen where we all gathered around the table for our after-dance coffee and treats, and the not-so-friendly unheated hallway to the washrooms! Everyone brought a little bit of lunch - what feasts we had! Some of the highlights of those early years are the Frenchy Dress up parties (no Hallowe'en for us), the ice cream dances with "real" ice cream made during the dance, the Valentine party when 14 squares showed up to dance in a hall that could barely squeeze in three squares and the noisy regular dances when you could hardly hear the Caller for the racket! Great fun indeed, but we were outgrowing our hall and we had to move.

Our first move, early in l992, was to the gym at Dwight Ross School just a few miles away. This hall was too big, however, and we felt we were missing some of the old feeling, so in September, l992, we moved to the cafeteria at Kingston School, and this proved to be a happy move for quite a few years. During these years we graduated many new dancers - 21 in l991, 30 in l992 and 16 in l993 - we were now one of the largest clubs in the province as witnessed but the large number of Purple People at a fall MCCA convention in Halifax. The well-known restaurant Alfredo, Weinstein and Ho didn't know what to do with us when we all arrived there in our purple finery at 11 o'clock at night. Our colors certainly make us distinctive.

In the spring of l998 we had the opportunity to take a room just for us in the Melvern Square Community Hall, formerly the Melvern Square School. An energetic community organization was looking for responsible groups to move into this hall, help with the renovations, and get a "break" on the rent. Summer l998 saw our men move into this hall, rip out an existing wall, lay a new floor, and paint (and paint and paint). Come fall the hall was ready - decorated in our now familiar mauve and white - and just right for us. Our very own hall where we can decorate as we wish, leave our "stuff", and best of all, it has much the same feeling as our first hall - friendly, noisy and fun. Our caller is still Nelson Labor, and Nelson now has an assistant, Laurie Illsley, who teaches the class and takes over when Nelson is away. We like it here and we plan to stay!

Club Presidents since the beginning of West Kings Twirlers
1988-90 Barry and Carol Walker
1990-91 Laurie and Bonnie Ells
1991-92 Wayne and Joyce Winaut
1992-93 Murray and Linda Hird
1993-94 Lloyd and Carolyn Crawford
1994-95 Laurie and Wilma Illsley
1995-96 Len and Midge Gentiles
1996-98 David and Sharon Longley
1998-99 Jim and Joan Rex
1999-00 David and Bev Boates
2000-01 Gord and Collette Way
2001-02 Bill and Gertie Oldford
2002-03 Roger and Fran Archambault
2003-04 Jim and Shirley Robinson
2004-06 John and Jane McGrath
2006-07 Gord and Colette Way
2007-08 Keith and Thelma Brenson
2008-11 Robert & Kay Amos
2011- Bruce & Susan Johnson

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