John & Shirley started dancing with the club some 40+ years ago. Right from the get go this couple was going to be a force to be reckoned with. After graduating class that year which at those times yielded large graduating classes they started their dancing adventures. This couple has remained with the club that they graduated with and continue to be strong supporters each and every week.
John & Shirley have been like most every other couple who have been in a square dance club. They have held each position on the club at least once, some maybe even like president three times and have held the job of caller committee for close to 25 years now. As times have changed they have adapted to some of the calling talent out there always looking to give a newer caller a chance to call for the club.
Not only have they been the head of the caller committee for so many years they have housed many a caller in their home. Sometimes some of the best dances and maybe even a few after parties have happened at their house after an evening of dancing. The parties may have quieted down at their residence now but certainly if a bed was needed to house a visiting caller or dancer they would be the first to step up and offer.
This couple has been instrumental in several of the visits to nursing homes over the years. They have been the coordinators for several visits over the years to Nashwaak Villa in Stanley and now help out with the visits to York Manor which was started by Royal Stars some 32 years ago.
This couple doesn’t only stop there with their love for dancing. They travelled many of nights in earlier years to help with a club that once danced in Minto. Although not sure how long the club ever danced for but this couple was there most every week to help out. They also drove the caller Al Kingston to and from Minto on a lot of those weeks for dancing.
Like many others over the years square dancing was not the only form of dancing they learnt how to round dance with Capital City Rounders under the direction of Ken & Jean Coles. Now dancing some times upwards of 2-5 nights a week they also worked for a living. John was a travelling salesman and well no one really wants to confirm what Shirley worked at. Some say government some say it is a secret!
This couple despite health issues over the years have continued to dance each week. They currently are members of their home club Elm Tree Squares and recently became members of Washademoak Swingers in Cambridge Narrows in which they carpool with another couple each week to make the trek to Cambridge Narrows. This couple also was on the committee to help describe the duties and constitution of the Washademoak Swingers club recently.
Dancing and good music is in their bones. This couple when not square dancing can be seen around Minto on the occasional Friday night to the Seniors Dances, they can be seen attending live music in Fredericton at Where Rivers Meet or even the Pure Country Show. Even the weekly jam sessions around the area you might see one or both of them there tapping their toes and singing along.
Both are very busy outside of the dancing world they both volunteer their time. He has for the last few years since he retired volunteered countless hours with York Care Center either driving bus or the van running patients to and from appointments or even out to the occasional field trip. She as well volunteers at times to help out when the need arises.
One thing can be said whether it be a party at the house, a party at Lake George, an after party, helping to secure a nomination and awarding of a New Brunswick Country Music Association Award for Al Kingston or dancing, this couple is dedicated to the activity as a whole. John always during the Annual meeting of Elm Tree makes one motion to make sure they advertise for a new class in September and we feel we owe this couple a nomination for the Distinguished Service Award. John & Shirley are by far a very dedicated couple and would do anything for the betterment of the activity.