Background: In 1931, the town of Dartmouth was snuggled down as close as it could get to the ferry in what was then called “the Old Town”. Austenville was a suburb complete with its own Bell Bus; it covered roughly the hillside above Sullivan’s Pond, from Victoria Road to the lower end of Lake Banook, and had long outlived its old names of Slab Town and (earlier) Nanny Goat Hill.
A lively breed of men, both young and old, lived around there, enjoying Lakes Banook and Micmac with their baseball and bowling; their swimming, canoeing, and sailing in the summer and their skating, hockey and ice harvesting in the winter. What could be more natural than their wanting to band together into a club that would give them a place for assorted indoor games when the weather was dirty and a headquarters for fishing and hunting trips. Today, I guess we’d say “they lived fully”. Remember it was in the middle of the Great Depression, and of course Prohibition was in full force.
On March 5th, 1931 the first meeting was held at the home of Harvey Williams. By September they had an agenda, bylaws committee, and in November opened a bank account, complete with auditors. The Club meetings followed the same pattern over the next six years. On Oct 25th 1937, the first meeting of our newly incorporated Club was held in the new Austenville Owl's Club clubhouse. Over ninety years the club membership has risen to ninety members and remains at that number today.
Of interest to many is the fact that during the Second World War the Owl’s Club members were committed to assist in any way they could during those years. Also any member who enlisted or was called up, his dues were paid and he was retained as a member.
The Annual Natal Day of Dartmouth is an event in which the Owls Club has been and continues to be involved in. Historically we have had a long standing association to Lake City Woodworkers, the Dartmouth General Hospital and New Years Day Levee activities in our community. We also maintained our support for both senior and Peewee baseball and Minor League hockey in Dartmouth when asked.
While the Austenville Owls Club is a private club with attendance based on paid membership, it is an important part of our community as a facility where its location is ideal for public rental. Our facilities are available for many private events from family re-unions, corporate events, weddings and many other group events requiring full services including parking, bar and kitchen facilities. We have a simple process to rent our facilities and this information can be found on our web site www.owlsclub.ca.
Those interested in renting the facility are welcome to view the premises by contacting the Club Custodian (902) 463-6457 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a tour.
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