Beachers’ Association celebrates 100 years with Parkette opening

The weather was ideal for the celebration of the Port Elgin Beachers’ Association Annual General Meeting (AGM) and 100th anniversary, and the official opening of the  John Kyles Parkette at Gobles Grove Beach on Saturday, July 9th (2022). The Association’s AGM is held each year in July at the lakefront in Gobles Grove.

Many Gobles Grove residents attend the AGM annually

John Kyles (deceased) was past-President of the Beachers’ Association, past-President of the Port Elgin Men’s Probus Club and, with his love of music, was instrumental in organizing the annual Canadian Big Band weekend celebration that brought thousands of people into the community.


The Parkette that now bears his name came to fruition as a result of fundraising efforts headed up by Association President Greg Schmalz with residents of Gobles Grove and support of the Town of Saugeen Shores.

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held with John Kyles’ wife, Marilyn, officially opening the Parkette accompanied by Saugeen Shores Mayor Luke Charbonneau, Vice-deputy Mayor Mike Myatt, Town staff and Beachers’ Association members.

   Marilyn Kyles centre with Mayor Charbonneau (L) and Vice-deputy Mayor Mike Myatt (R) …

The area that was once scrub grass now consists of a pergola, picnic tables, engraved memory paver stones donated by various families, a viewing deck with lawn chairs overlooking Lake Huron and an Interpretive sign explaining the history of Groves in Saugeen Township.

(L) Mayor Luke Charbonneau, Councilor Dave Myette and Gobles Grove resident Fred Kuntz tried                                                out the lawn chairs on the new viewing deck

Greg Schmalz and family donated the pergola in memory of Schmalz’s parents who met decades ago at the Port Elgin Casino dance hall on the main beach and who had a residence in Gobles Grove.

The Schmalz pergola

The Interpretive sign history was researched by local historian G. William (Bill) Streeter with assistance by Town staff Tracey Edwards and was unveiled following the Parkette ribbon cutting.

    Interpretive sign is unveiled – (L) Bill Streeter (Heritage Committee Chair), Dave Reynolds,                         Alan Broussard, Mayor Luke Charbonneau and Vice-deputy Mayor Mike Myatt

The celebrations continued the next day (Sunday) with horse-drawn wagon rides, ice-cream by TomBoi of Paisley and music by the Mike Grace Trio.

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