Mahone Islands Conservation Association
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MICA Annual Gala
Atlantica Oak Island Resort
Friday, November 10, 2017

This year's event generously supported by the following corporate supporters
. . . click here for more details

December 10, 2017
Gala Dinner & Auction Update:

The 15th Gala Dinner and Auction proved to be another very successful fundraiser.
It raised slightly over $50,000 to support MICA's island and property initiatives which
are conservation and traditional public use. The GDA committee has had its follow up meeting.
They are full of excitement, energy and ideas to make 2018 even better.

There are a couple of lovely items donated to MICA still looking for a home.
* UPDATE: These items have been SOLD. Thank you! *

MICA will accept offers on a gorgeous Fat Bike donated by Courtney Blackman.
Fat Bike
It is a 2015 (Never Used) Salsa Blackborow DS Fat Bike, 15.5" frame.
It features Salsa Fat Conversion hubs laced to 100mm wide Surly Clown Shoe rims,
4.8-inch wide Surly Lou tires matched up to SRAM X9 2 x 10 drivetrain using a
36/22T Surly OD crankset with Crank Brothers Candy 11 Titanium Pedals.
$1500 OBO. (value $2000.00) Located in Lunenburg.
Please contact Patti at 902-529-0500 or for more info if required.

The second item is a Lazy Boy Power Recliner with Lumbar Support that has been donated to MICA.
It was recently purchased on sale for $2,000.00 and is like new with Beige cloth fabric.
Asking price of $500.00 OBO and comes with
the original purchase and warranty documents that should be transferable.
Please contact Martin Balcome Phone 902-543-2446 or

If you did not get a chance to renew your membership for the year, please contact Scott Robertson at 902-634-3247 or
Perhaps you would like to give the gift of a MICA membership to a friend this holiday season.

We appreciate your support,
"To protect and conserve the natural environment of the islands and shoreline of Mahone Bay, and the traditional, social and recreational opportunities valued by its various communities."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
November 20, 2017
Gala Dinner & Auction Review:

What started 15 years ago in 2002 with a few concerned citizens has caught the attention of many. Two hundred and eighty people with a love of Mahone Bay and its islands and shores gathered together at the annual Mahone Island and Conservation Association's Gala Dinner and Auction at Atlantica Oak Island Resort Friday November 10th at 6:30 for the 15th year in a row. Imagine, Canada has only been a country 10 times as long as MICA has existed! And MICA has more islands than there are provinces and territories! There were lots of reason to celebrate!

MICA Chair, John Meisner and Director, Bryan Palfreyman greeted the many supporters on arrival.

The display of silent and live auction items was impressive and indicative of the support and interest the community has for MICA and its projects. As is tradition, bagpiper Jim Parker leads the guests away from the silent auction items to the dining room, but the crowd had a difficult time pulling themselves away from the many treasures available to bid on.

Once in the dining room, Michael Ernst, MC and founding MICA Chair, started the evening off by welcoming everyone and introducing local MLA Suzanne Lohnes-Croft to lead us in the national anthem, Oh Canada. The evening was then officially started by town crier, John McGee.

Town Crier
Town Crier John McGee

Michael praised the GDA organizing committee for their immense effort in putting the evening together. There are many members who have committed themselves to this effort for years. Nicole Ernst has been on the GDA organizing committee since its inception and indeed, may be the first person to sign up as a MICA member! Longstanding committee members include Georg Ernst, Sherrill Harrison, Sharron Isnor, Sidney Lang, Jeannie McLean, Patti Robertson and Patti Smith, with Lynn Hennigar and Marla Benton coming on board this year. This does not include the long list of volunteers, auction donors and artists and corporate sponsors who help make the evening possible.

Ticket Ladies
Checking in with our ticket ladies

Since it is Canada's 150th birthday, a special prize was drawn with the winner receiving a pair of tickets for the 100th MICA Gala Dinner and Auction in the year 2102! We all hope to see the winner George McLaren or his heirs attend this monumentus occasion.

Keeping memberships up to date

Michael then introduced John Meisner, current MICA chair, who began his comments noting the significance of the event in its 15th year with a welcome to everyone including the following special guests,
Senator Wilfred Moore
MP Bernadette Jordan
Lunenburg MLA Suzanne Lohnes-Croft
Mahone Bay Mayor Dave Devenne
Chester MLA Hugh Mackay
MODC Counsellor Danielle Barkhouse
MODC Sharon Church
MODL Trudy Payne
MODL Counsellor Michael Ernst
MODL Mayor Carolyn Boliver-Getson
DNR Leslie Hickman

John also welcomed Cindy Baker and noted she has attended nearly all 15 GDAs and whose late husband The Honourable Michael Baker provided such great guidance in the formative years of MICA.

He then thanked and commended the organizing committee on behalf of the Board of Directors and everyone in attendance, beginning with Chair Georg Ernst. He then recognized the long standing core group and also the new members, the volunteers and indeed, the GDA audience, whose attendance and commitment each year motivate and encourage the committee to continue. He also recognized the generosity of the numerous artists and donors, many of whom have been long time supporters of the event. Everyone was encouraged to dig deep in their pockets!

John also thanked the more than 30 corporate sponsors, and noted that some were new but many were long time supporters. He encouraged everyone to patronize these MICA Corporate Sponsors whose names were displayed on the projection screen and table centrepieces as they support MICA. John announced that nearly $1.5 million has been raised in the last 15 years with the GDA being MICA's major fundraiser. The number of Islands and parts of islands now protected and available for traditional public use has risen to 18 plus the three recently donated island properties, the three Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) islands and for the first time a mainland shoreline property.

He confirmed that all announcements made in the preceding year had been finalized. These include two lots with lovely shoreline on Zwicker Island donated by the Cluett and Court Families and essentially 1/2 of Ernst island donated by the Reynolds family. As it is not MICA's goal to hold title to these properties, they are in the process of being transferred to the province with MICA sharing a stewardship role.

John also confirmed that MICA's partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to conserve and protect for public use, the three Chester area islands, Quaker, Snake and Lynch has been completed with a stewardship agreement in place. MICA contributed $100,000 to secure these islands with title being with NCC.

John then introduced Syd Dumaresq, MICA Director and Secretary who announced an exciting first for MICA. Syd's long time friend, the late Rudy Haase who spent his life protecting the environment and encouraging people to do the same, generously donated a 4-acre parcel of land in East Chester on Molands Point with 400 feet of south facing shoreline. This is the first piece of property on the mainland for MICA. It's an undeveloped piece of land available to the public with direct access to the ocean to launch a canoe or kayak. The Municipality of the District of Chester will own this property with MICA sharing stewardship. Syd announced an invitation to a celebration of life for Rudy Haas on November 24th at St Andrew's United Church, 1390 Robie Street Halifax at 1:45.

John revealed that, as usual, there were several potential projects in the works and to stay tuned!

Presentations were then made to three very significant supporters of MICA. The first was to Margaret MacDonald Trites. Margaret had been an integral member of the GDA Committee and most recently was the event ticket convener which is a huge job.

Margaret MacDonald Trites
Thank you and presentation to Margaret MacDonald Trites

The next presentation was to Brom Hart. Brom served on the Board of Directors and then Chair of the GDA committee for many years.

Brom Hart
Thank you and presentation to Brom Hart

The final presentation was to Sherry Swinamer who was an original Director and served as Treasurer for many years.

Sherry Swinamer
Thank you and presentation to Sherry Swinamer

John and Michael thanked Margaret, Brom and Sherry for their tremendous work and countless hours of energy and dedication to MICA.

John concluded his comments thanking everyone for their overwhelming support of MICA.

A delicious three course meal was served by the very efficient Oak Island Staff.

At this point in the evening, the auctioneer Doug Bamford was introduced and the bidding got underway with support from Michael, the spotters and auction item transporters.

auction winners
Some of our winning bidders!

There were twenty-five items including paintings, jewelry, sculpture, glass works, golf memberships, whale watching tours, art classes, musical performances, sailing excursions, wood carvings with the grand finale being Gary Longard's funky fish, "Harry Hilton" and "Sunny Sacrifice". The bidding closed at $675.00 and ended the evening on a high note!

Fishing for bids!

Although final figures are not in, the preliminary numbers look like 2016 results will be exceeded. As a reminder, these funds will be used to support island and property acquisitions for conservation and traditional public use.

Taking care of finances!

We hope everyone enjoyed the meal, friends and a treasure or two!

Thank you for your support and we hope to see you next year!

Mahone Island Conservation Association
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Updated September 28, 2022
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