The Huntingdon Recreational Association was founded in May 1963 by the owners of Cleyn and Tinker, as a way to encourage recreational activities among employees at the Huntingdon textile plant. In 1966, François Cleyn financed the purchase of a piece of waterfront property in Sainte-Barbe for the association that was converted into a campground.
Cleyn and Tinker closed almost 17 years ago, but the association continued, and former employees still make good use of the campground. On December 10, however, association members, who were all employed at one point by Cleyn and Tinker, were summoned to a general meeting by the board of directors who wished to determine whether to maintain or dissolve the organization.
“It was time to decide on the best direction for the association,” says Serge Darsigny, who has served as president for many years. Around 80 eligible members participated in the meeting, which took place at École Arthur-Pigeon.
“It ended on a positive note,” Darsigny says. “A new committee has been voted in and they decided to keep the association and the campground,” he reports, noting he is pleased with the outcome.
“It is like a legacy to the employees of Cleyn and Tinker,” Darsigny says of the campground, which, for now, will continue to be managed by the association. “It is a beautiful site,” he adds, noting it would have been too bad to see it go.
For the families of some Cleyn and Tinker employees, the campground is like a second home. “There are so many generations of families who grew up there,” says Kim Wilson, who was present for the meeting on Saturday. She and her husband have a permanent location at the campground, and she says her daughters and their children continue to enjoy the site.
Wilson says she was pleased to see a new board of directors with seven members elected that will now be looking to the future in terms of managing the association and maintaining the campground.