While visiting Kenilworth one week end, I saw a notice requesting people of interest to show their support and join in a protest paddle down the Mary River to stop the future Traveston Dam construction.
I roped in Jim B, and Brian M. to join me, we were not really protesting but saw it as a golden opportunity to join in the carnival atmosphere and a introduction to paddling on the Mary River.
The day arrived and we entered the farmers property registered and set our kayaks on the river bank. There were all shapes and sizes – that’s including the home made rafts, canoes and kayaks as well.
After driving our cars to the finishing line, we were talking to an organiser to see if we could get a lift back to the starting point (about 5 klm.)  Close by we heard a voice say  “hop in I will take you.”
It was the local police officer, we were put into the paddy wagon and returned to the starting line.
Finally we were on the water after some very ceremonial tip outs by the many participants – the three of us could see the dangers ahead and automatically took up the roll of “Tail end Charlie”, showing some how to hold and use their paddles and rescuing  many by towing them to the river bank, as some obviously could not swim,   A great day was had by all, finishing with a B.B.Q. lunch.
Shortly after this experience we then programed our Club to paddle the Mary River from Kenilworth to Walker Rd bridge ( approx. 15 klm.) stopping at Moy Pocket Rd Bridge for morning tea, were we had back up cars parked there just in case.
We had 15 club paddlers on the water that day, many are still members and will definitely remember this paddle along with the very exciting grade 2 rapids which was new to most of us.
This “Paddle to Remember” is dedicated to the memory of our President at the time, the late – Bruce Gardiner – Bruce was my passenger in the car on the way back home, he couldn’t stop talking and reliving the experience of this fun days paddle.
Ron W.

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