Monthly meetings have kept us connected and sharing plans for exciting times to come as the weather allows. In March, members from NS and NB met in Moncton at Rossano's Restaurant.
Our meeting in April saw two members ride their bikes, while most members came by car since many bikes were still in storage. Our hostesses, Catherine and Sandra, put on an exceptional lunch of seafood chowder and a selection of pies to die for. We lived up to our reputation as a district of pie connoisseurs.
A sure sign of impending motorcycle season in Atlantic Canada is a motorcycle show. ACMM members from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia joined forces at Motorcycle and Powersport Atlantic in Halifax, welcoming and informing visitors about women riders and the Motor Maid organization. Almost 10,000 people attended the show, with many stopping by the ACMM booth for information and a chance to win our fabulous gift basket.
Lise and Pearl organized a meeting Sunday, January 14 at JJs Diner in Sussex, NB. Members brought donations for a women's shelter. Everything collected was delivered to one of the shelters in Saint John, Fredericton or Moncton. As is the nature of Motor Maids, we are committed to assisting women in need this year through support to women's shelters in our district.
Chris hosted a pot luck and gift exchange meeting at her house in Dartmouth, NS on Sunday, January 21. Thirteen members and a guest joined in to savour the many culinary delights, and later took their chances on scoring a great surprise gift. Some were lucky to end up with their gift of choice, while others lost theirs to someone with gift envy, after seeing other people's picks. In the end, everyone went home satisfied.
The annual Year End Meeting was held at the Amherst Wandlyn Inn, in Amherst, NS., November 25-26. An information filled meeting highlighted the events of the past riding season. Plans for the upcoming one were discussed and it appears there will be an exciting year ahead. Details of each event will be posted to members through email, Facebook and the website as they are finalized.
Motor Maid of the Year was awarded to Crystal Cadeau. Crystal has been a Motor Maid since 2010 and has served as ACMM treasurer for a number of years. She designed the 10th anniversary ACMM logo for our district and the 75th anniversary Motor Maid logo for the 2015 convention. She designed and created the decorations and signboards for the 2015 convention, as well. Her contributions and dedication to Motor Maids are highly valued. Congratulations, Crystal.
Following the meeting, there was a Turkey dinner buffet, and a social time. We had a Jeopardy type game hosted by Elizabeth with a variety of motorcycle and Motor Maid topics with edible prizes. Lise presented photo contest entries and awarded prizes, and winners of the BINGO games were presented awards. The Fun Awards were presented by Dawn and Janet and led to a lot of laughs as our adventures and misadventures from the past year were displayed on the big screen. A Tribute to Gail Neilson was presented through a slideshow of pictures and tales from members. We finished the evening with music provided by Jo and Betty whose voices blended in fabulous harmony.
This month's Nova Scotia meeting was held at Paddy's Pub/Rosie's Restaurant in Kentville. A large crowd roared into town for a hearty lunch and a ride through Kentville to experience the Pumpkin People Festival. You never know what you’ll see among 300 gourd-headed guys! This year, Pumpkin People are celebrating all things Canadian. With time left in the day and weather accommodating more exploring, the group headed for The Lookoff, a favourite spot for ACMMs in the past. It, as usual, did not disappoint.
Another year, another lobster picnic. But not the same old lobster picnic. This year an additional event was on the lineup and those who spent the night in Prospect, NS, or lived close enough to spend the evening after enjoying a lobster roll or chicken roll, walked the roads in the evening and darkness as part of the Prospect Village Ghost Walk. After visiting 9 locations, walking off food and desserts from lunch and hearing some history and haunted happenings, the walkers arrived at the last location for a ghost story around a blazing campfire. BOO!
A grand time was had in Grand Falls, NB, as Atlantic Canada met Eastern Canada for another annual weekend of socializing, riding, trivia, eating and laughing. Imagine a trivia battle with 3 teams tying for top place, revival of the cup song from the 75th anniversary convention, a member motorcycle mechanic performing maintenance right outside your motel door, a picturesque ride to the lake for lunch, a pop down to the states for a bargain and zip lining across the gorge and falls. It was all part of the fun. Thanks to Lise LeBlanc and her assistants for planning this.
A weekend celebration at the 74th Crusaders Campground just outside Annapolis Royal, NS, was filled with motorcycle games to thrill and challenge, and BBQ treats including s'mores around the biggest bonfire in the Annapolis Valley. While some members camped, others glamped and still others cabined. Ukulele strummin, banjo pickin and member croonin are always an additional treat at our events, and this was no exception.
Rain wasn't a deterrent to fun as ACMM members joined a multitude of other women riders at the 2nd annual Backroad Ball in Penobsquis, New Brunswick. Organizers of the Ball, Kristin and Heather, say it was inspired by events such as California's "Babes Ride Out" and Washington's "The Dream Roll" and they are striving to create a sense of community among female motorcyclists in Eastern Canada as well as surrounding states & areas. They invite women to sit around a bonfire and swap stories, enjoy local musicians, take in the beautiful New Brunswick scenery, make new friends, get tattooed & rock out to your heart's content! That is just what many Atlantic Canada Motor Maids did! Thank you to Melly G Photography for the group picture and various Atlantic Canada Motor Maids for the candid shots.
Gail was a member of Atlantic Canada Motor Maids since its creation and a member of Eastern Canada Motor Maids before that. She received her Silver Life Membership (25 years) award at the 75th Motor Maid Anniversary Convention hosted by the ACMM district in Moncton, NB, 2015. She has been our inspiration, mentor, sister, storyteller, voice of reason and dear friend since meeting her through our love of motorcycling and the Motor Maids organization. Her stories and shared experiences will keep her in our hearts for an eternity. Happy Trails, Gail!
Thank you to Gail's family members who have been part of ACMM events on many occasions and kept us informed during her valiant battle with her illnesses. Following is a message from her daughter-in-law, Marjorie (also a Motor Maid), and a copy of her obituary.
Rest in Peace Gail.
Thursday morning my mother-in-law headed out on her final journey. One that will last an eternity.
Last summer when Gail returned home from the Motor Maid convention in Santa Fe NM she was tired. She stayed close to home and spent time on the deck and around town with Ian. In November she was diagnosed with diabetes by her family doctor and was immediately subject to insulin twice a day. As it turned out this was a symptom of something else. On March 30th a CAT scan revealed a mass which was confirmed to be stage 4 pancreatic cancer. That was on April 18th. After that she slipped away from us a little more each day. On Thursday May 18th she passed away quietly.
Her wishes were to have an outdoor CELEBRATION OF LIFE later this summer, and she did not want it to interfere with riding season. We will work out those details later.
Also at her request, Randy will take her ashes for a short ride through the Village of Gagetown. Starting from St. John’s Anglican Church, no bumpy roads just a short ride with a few bikes lined up on either side on main street. We have this planned for Tuesday.
She was my Mother-in-law, my friend and one of my two best riding partners I’ve ever had, Randy being the other.
Words can’t express our loss.
I know we’ll have the support we need from her extended family and friends. I’m grateful for that, because we will need you all.
Motor Maid SL
Obituary from The Frederiction Daily Gleaner
In Loving Memory of Gail Margaret Neilson "Dragon Lady / Silver Fox"
Surrounded by her family after a brief, but courageous battle with Cancer, Gail Neilson entered into rest at the Fredericton Hospice on Thursday May 18th, 2017 at the age of 76 years. Beloved wife of Ian Neilson. Loving mother of Randy Neilson and his wife Marjorie as well as Shelley Laviolette and her husband Shayne. Cherished grandmother of Alysha and Jessica Laviolette. Sister of Ronald Keirstead and his wife Ruth.
She was predeceased by her parents, Wesley and Greta Kierstead of Atholville, NB.
Gail raised her family in Campbellton, NB where they were active skiers at Sugarloaf Park. She was employed at the Soldiers Memorial hospital and later moved to Saint John. She enjoyed her later years in the Village of Gagetown.
At the age of 50, Gail starting riding a motorcycle and travelled around North America on her Harley Davidson. In 2015 she received her Silver life award signifying her 25 year membership of Motor Maids Inc. Motorcycle Club.
A Memorial Service will be held for close family and friends at St. John’s Anglican Church, Gagetown, NB on Tuesday, May 23 at 2:00 PM. A Celebration of Life will be held in the summer. Details will be announced at a later date.
For those who wish, memorial contributions may be made to the Children’s Wish Foundation or Fredericton Hospice.