Brooks Pistol & Smallbore Rifle Club

 

Brief History of Brooks Pistol & Small Bore Club:

The Club was established in 1942 on 60 acres of landed rented from the EID (Eastern Irrigation District). Originally the club had three pull lever traps, there was wood trap houses along with backstops for pistols and big bore rifles. The backstops were simple dirt mounds pointing Northwest. The pistol range was twenty five yards, and the big bore rifle range was one hundred and three hundred yard dirt mounds,  located directly in line with what is now Lakeside Packers. The club house was an old granary approximately twelve foot by sixteen foot in size. During the sixties the facility was not used much. In 1968 the Brooks Fish & Game took over the facility so that each member would have insurance under the Fish & Game Association. For many years, Jack Orr was the major guardian of the facility.

 Around 1972 the trap club became very active with new electric traps. The pistol and smallbore section operated as a division of the trap club. Each club had its own executive to promote their sport. Since there was a division of interest between the two sections of the club, the Brooks Pistol & Smallbore club applied for its own charter under the Societies Act. The original signers to the Charter were: Ernie Zander, Ben McGillvaray, Cliff Healy, Doug Jacobson, and  Ken Zorn. With the charter signed and in hand, the group managed to undersign for a loan from the local Credit Union for four thousand dollars to build up the dirt works which formed the backstop in front of the white shooting buildings. Not willing to stop at this point, fund raising was done for the construction of the first shooting shack, by means of raffles and extraction of monies from members. Club members meet on Sundays for friendly competitive shooting. The club members would find lumber in their way that needed to go on the building. Usually the lumber went up and then came out the hat for donations for next week's shooting. A considerable amount of funds were obtained by this method.

The Trap club decided to replace their primitive club house, around 1980 with the former Duchess Garage. The Pistol club contributed to this cost with the understanding that the facility could be shared.

In 1989, the big construction and legacy occurred along with the Alberta Summer Games. The club obtained grants for the construction of major earth works in the form of 100 yard winged birms for a smallbore and silhouette range. Funds were also obtained for the second shooting station. This permitted the club to host NRA bullseye matches, hunter pistol and smallbore silhouette matches as well as ISU turning target matches. Club members worked very hard, the success of these events  left the club with an excellent facility and put the facility on firm standing.

In the 1990s the EID reduced the size of the leased area. They expressed concern about lead shots going into Cann Lake, the source of water for Lakeside Packers. The cost to the Trap club to rectify this problem was a prohibitive price. As a result of this, the Trap club moved to what is now the Brooks Clays and Feathers. The Pistol club took over the lease, with the understanding that the club would be responsible for addressing the remaining lead that was located in the front of the shooting birms.

In 2004 long time president Doug Jacobson stepped down as president and Scott Briggs took over the duties of club president! The next year, 2005, Scott started a major expansion of the Brooks Club by having four new pistol bays constructed with the help of a local pipeline company that donated its services and equipment! The new bays went into service right away, and the Brooks Pistol Club hosted its first IPSC Alberta qualifier competitions In August of 2006!

IPSC Alberta qualifiers have become a mainstay of the club, and a major source of revenue generation. After two years of qualifiers, the club was asked to host the 2008 IPSC Alberta Provincial Championships.

The club now puts on two weekend quailifers a year, typically the first outdoor match of the year in May and The now infamous 32 special that is held in August, and is also known as the Ralph Turner Memorial, named for a great friend and shooter who passed away in 2006.

The pistol club has developed a relationship with the Brooks Food Bank, and has used its IPSC events as an opportunity for fund raising and food collection.

In 2010 Brooks was the host city for the Alberta Summer Games. The pistol club contributed to the success of the games by hosting the silhouette pistol shooting competition, an event which is sometimes excluded when the games are held in locations without a shooting venue. 

The club continues to make improvements to the facility.  In 2011, semi-permanent shelters were added to four of the six shooting bays! With a generous grant from the County of Newell, the club also upgraded the backstop berm in shooting bay #5. This improvement allowed the club to once again host the IPSC Alberta Provincials Competition, in July of 2011, drawing competitors from across Western Canada to Brooks. 

The club remains very active in hosting local and province-wide events in a variety of shooting styles. Members strive to do their part to support and promote the shooting sports while making the club an active and positive contributor to our community!  

For their long years of service to the club as presidents, the following members must be recognized:

Ernie Zander, Ben McGillvary, Cliff Healy, Doug Jacobson, Scott Briggs & Albert Stahl