On Sunday, January 8, 42 members of the Edmonds Petanque Club and their guests met at the Innis Arden Clubhouse to enjoy a fabulous potluck dinner, conduct Board elections, and review the past year. The highlight of the evening was, without question, the surprise appearance of international folk singer (and club treasurer) Ro Verdeja.

To begin the meeting, club president Jack McHenry welcomed everyone and then reviewed what has been an exceptional year of resilience in the face of uncertainty and a wonderful ability by the club to adapt to new circumstances. While construction on the new Petanque Grove of the Edmonds Playfield has been underway, club members have shifted to a variety of locales to throw boules and have fun together.

We have played at Edmonds’ Sierra Park and Seattle’s Hubbard Homestead Park; and we have played low tide petanque on the beaches of Edmonds. Everything has been different, but everything has worked; and rather than lose members during this hiatus from our normal home courts, club membership has thrived. We now count 86 members on the roster.

Some of the year’s petanque highlights include:

–Philippe Geraud and Bill Laprade’s first place in League, gaining them the Chris Guitton trophy

–David Rockwell and Jaque Maussenet’s win in the one-day League team tournament

–Philippe’s subsequent third place finish in Florida in a national triples competition

–Ro Verdeja and Cris Dreher’s shared first place finish in the August Food Bank Tournament

Beyond the game itself, we celebrated the club’s $10,000 gift to the Edmonds Food Bank, the launch of the new EPC website, the continuation of our Ask the Umpire series authored by Greg Conyers, and even rival Bekah Howe of the Port Townsend Petanque Alliance for winning the first medal ever won by a United States woman. Bekah is not a member of our club, but she is a friend and terrific opponent.

Following the summary of the year, Vice President David Rockwell acknowledged and thanked Board members Jim Klein, MIchelle Martin, MIke Martin, Jack McHenry, Jeanna Holtz, and Ro Verdeja. Jim Klein has moved to Arizona and so leaves the Board. Bill Laprade was nominated to fill the vacancy. David presented a slate of Board members to the club for their approval. This slate was voted on by the members and adopted. The club wishes Jim Klein well in his new Arizona home and welcomes Bill Laprade to the Board. Thank you, Bill, for your willingness to serve in this new role.

THEN… before dinner Ro Verdeja rose from the audience and performed a medley of folk songs, including an Edmonds Petanque Club version of Guantanamera that can be viewed in a YouTube video available here: https://youtu.be/PT6klj-jxnQ Ro prefaced his remarks by speaking about his own life in which one year of busking on the streets of Dusseldorf marked a watershed. During that year, Ro became a new and more mature person. At year end, Ro recognized he had passed a milestone. In the same way, we expect that 2023 will be seen as a milestone in the life of the Edmonds Petanque Club. Sometime in April, we will move into our new Petanque Grove; and then our petanque lives will be different in new and, we hope, exciting ways. For more about the petanque version of Guantanamera, explore the partner news article that follows in the News section of the club website.

A good showing at the 2023 Annual Meeting Potluck
Jeri Rask meets new members Cherie and Tony Russo
La Singkeo and Mike Martin served as our happy bartenders
Bev Klein (Jim Klein’s sister) and Larry Thomas admire the EPC’s Eiffel Tower