The History of Chapter H
On January 29, 1985 Chapter PA-“H” of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association was formed. It started at a gathering held at the Whistle Stop Restaurant in Catawissa, PA. At this gathering we had 21 local members in attendance. These friends became our Charter members.
We also had in attendance Leroy Hake who at that time was the GWRRA State Director. Barry Ness and several members of Chapter PA-B attended and spoke about what the organization was and some of the advantages of belonging to a chapter. I guess we must have been impressed, as we all bought into it and Chapter PA-H was started. Dennis Creasy offered to be our Area “Rep” (now called Chapter Director). Mick Kurtz was the Assistant Area Rep, Jim Williams was Treasurer, and Florence Clossen volunteered as our Secretary.
It was difficult in the beginning because we really didn’t know how to raise money for the Chapter, but we improvised. For our Chapter Patch we obtained some red Keystone patches from the National Guard, and Donna Kurtz embroidered a white ‘H’ in the middle of the Keystone. Betty Williams made some Antenna Flags which were white with a red keystone and the white H in the middle. We used these for Parades and other GWRRA events. Donna Kurtz also embroidered our vests with GWRRA on the top, a big “H” in the middle, and Catawissa, PA across the bottom. In our first year, several of us visited a Rally in Michigan and were asked all kinds of questions like “Where is Catawissa?” and “How do you pronounce it?”
In the early years we didn’t have Chapter Couples. Instead, a “Queen” was chosen from each Chapter. Our first Queen was Florence Clossen. Donna Kurtz was Queen in 1986, and Betty Williams in 1987. In 1986 Donna Kurtz competed for State Queen and won. From there she competed in District and won that title. Then she went on to compete at Wing Ding in California and made it to Princess in the National Queen’s Court. In 1988 the Chapters started choosing a Chapter Couple.
Chapter “H” may have been the first to adopt colors. When we attended different events in our Red Shirts, Black Vest, and Black Pants we did look pretty sharp! Now, when we go to Rallies or other GWRRA events, almost every Chapter has their own colors, but there sure are a lot of Red and Black outfits out there!
On May 8th, 9th, and 10th of 1987 we hosted the All Chapters Rally at the Jersey Shore Campground. We had one Chrome vender, and a rather well-known Pin-Striper named Charlie Buzzard. We booked the entire Campground for the event, and it sure seemed like everyone had a great time! Ron Larson designed a Commemorative Pin for the Rally, and we later adopted that design for our chapter Patch. Everyone in our Chapter also bought White Satin Jackets with the All Chapters Rally information on the back.
As Chapter “H” grew, it was necessary to move and try other Gathering places. These are a few of the places we’ve gathered through the years:
Whistle Stop Restaurant - Catawissa, PA
Wrangler Steak House - Bloomsburg/Danville Highway
Tuggy’s Restaurant - Mifflinville, PA
Country Cupboard - Lewisburg, PA
Holiday Inn - Danville, PA
Captain Jack’s - Lime Ridge
Bonanza Steak House - Berwick, PA
Heritage House Restaurant - Orangeville, PA
Berwick Diner - Berwick, PA
Portabella Catering - Lightstreet, PA
Mifflinville Fire Hall - Mifflinville, PA
Ton's Kitchen- Conyingham, PA
Through the years, Chapter “H” has helped out, and contributed to several Charitable Organizations including:
Geisinger Motorcycle Miracle Tour
Boy Scouts of America
Bloomsburg Tree Fest (hosted by Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble)
Our own Adopt-A-Family each Christmas
These funds were raised by Chapter participation in:
Raffles, Bake Sales, and our own Dice Runs.
It is amazing when you think about it, that we have been together for 25 years! It has not always been a bed of roses. Things change. Some changes are good, and some are not so good. You have to take the good with the not-so-good.
We’d like to express our deepest appreciation to Jim & Betty Williams and Bill & Esther Cleaver For their input into the History of the Chapter.