M.L.C.A. History – 1944-45
In 1944 Walt Horstman was elected President and together with his very active board, started a campaign to obtain a plot of land. Within three months from the time the land we wanted was located, Horstman had raised the $6,000.00 to pay for it.
The Board membership was increased to nine members.
Outgoing President automatically became a member of the Board for three succeeding years. A nine point program was drawn up for the next year.
1. Continue Carp seining on Walled and Middle Straits Lakes.
2. Pheasant rearing and stocking. Raising of pheasants from eggs furnished by the State trapping and releasing birds, with approval of the State.
3. Rabbit rearing and stocking.
4. Establish suitable range for small bore and big bore rifles, skeet and trap, and pistol.
5. Establish school for training sportsmen in – fly tying, fly casting, bait casting, rod making, marksmanship, photography, skiing, handicraft, dog training.
6. Locate and secure building site.
7. Acquiring a meeting place for committees and storage spot for equipment.
8. Establish for all time a feeling of brotherhood between sportsmen and farmers.
9. To have every member know every other member.
Eighteen members received diplomas from N.R.A.
Membership limit set at 800 plus members in U.S. Armed Forces.
Decision to purchase Club site on north end of Reed Lake. 60 acres at a cost of $6,000.00. On first meeting night, $1,510.00 was raised in donations.
First complimentary membership cards were issued to Jack Van Covering, Sports editor of Detroit Free Press; Don Gillies, Sports editor of Detroit Times; Albert Stoll, Sports editor of Detroit News; Guy Moats, Sports editor of Pontiac Press.
With the purchase of the new Club Property, work-bees were organized to clean up the grounds and beautify the lake front. The rifle range was set up in the north-west corner and tree planting projects were started.
Club received its first National Rifle Association Charter. First Club picnic.
First meeting on Club property (open-air)
First Hunters Ball, held at the Homestead.
On An architect was employed to draw up plans for a Club House.
Paid up mortgage on property was burned on the grounds.
Dues were raised to two dollars ($2.00) a year and along with the dues, new members were solicited to make a Building-Fund donation of at least twenty dollars.
A cement block field house was constructed for committee meetings and storage of equipment.
Acceptance of “Retriever” as Club magazine and to support same with ten cents a copy per member.
Board action to put 75% of profits from committee functions into the building fund and 25% in the general fund.
MLCA joined MUCC in a project to raise enough monies to place a state magazine in the hands of each member of associate clubs. Project to be known as “MUCC Award’.
Board decision to purchase a bar and back bar from the Detroit Yacht Club for $400.00 and place it in storage, pending completion of a clubhouse.
Board gave the go-ahead on the first of three units in club house design submitted by W. Merle Hogan.
The following year Horstman was re-elected President and the membership grew so large that we outgrew Twin Beach. Summer meetings were held at the “Homestead” and winter meetings were alternated between Jays and Batchelors East Shore Tavern.
During this period the first fish fry was brought into its own, and is now one of the Association’s popular money raising affairs. A constitution and bylaws was formally adopted.
Because of the increasing gun pressure M.L.C.A. set up a farmer relations committee which did a wonderful job under the chairmanship of Joe Long. At the same time Major Bert Kain, together with three other men, set up a rifle committee and youth training program. Our today’s active rifle committee is the result of this early effort.
Our first Coon Dog Trial was held in July, 1945, and run very efficiently by Carol Robson, Bill King and Albert Richardson. About this time the “Retriever” our club magazine was born and was edited for years by Walt Horstman. A magazine was dropped for a long while until Weldon Payne revived the paper and the name was changed to the “Multi-Laker”. Weldon retired and it was now being edited by Arnold Rahn.
In July of 1945 M.L.C.A. selected four boys to go to the Michigan Boys Conservation Camp at Higgins Lake. In August active work by the Board toward a Clubhouse was started.
In January 1946 a pleasant interlude was arranged by Horstman, Parsons and Shives for a wildcat hunt at Atlanta. Thirty couples attended (and what a time)