COBA Scavenger Hunt rally winnersDiana Burke (driver) and Kamala-Jean Gopie (navigator) goof-off as they display ‘mock’ awards for winning the COBA-Canada picnic’s scavenger-hunt car rally on July 22.Who knows why the “Men of Rabalac” turned out in such paltry numbers at the COBA-Canada summer picnic on July 22? Speculation includes: the ‘mild’ threat of rain forecast on the 21st; an inability to find the picnic site (in spite of accurate instructions emailed by Pres. Eugene in good time); conflicting commitments to family or work; or, a simple lack of interest. And yet, for the few ‘gents’ and their friends who did show up – as well as a quartet of Queen’s School alumnae -- the event proved to be a refreshing break from the daily grind to which most of us have become too accustomed.

Some absentees might argue that their absence was the reason why a pair of the Queen’s alumnae was the winning team in the well-publicized Scavenger Hunt car rally. The fact is that only three teams participated in the event, with distinctly differing levels of success.

The first team to return, within a few minutes of starting the approximately hour-long rally, had been the second team to leave the starting point. Under the pretext of having been hopelessly lost after only a few kilometers, they returned shamelessly to the clearly more appealing activity of ‘knocking back a few suds’ with friends who had remained at the base. In retrospect, there had been some reluctance on the part of the navigator who was coerced into filling in when the original prospective navigator had opted out – to remain at the base and ‘knock back a few suds’.

The second team in (not long after the first returnees) had been the third team out. A wife/husband team (driver/navigator), they had managed to achieve minimal success before deciding to call it quits when they, like the earlier team, went astray. The driver was disappointed by their performance, but said she had a good time. Although she described the navigator as “inept” he, thankfully, seemed unruffled by the slander.

The third team back had been the first team out. In sharp contrast to the other teams, the Queens’ alumnae had completed three sections of the four-section event, with almost total scores in what they had accomplished! Their success was laudable for several reasons, including the fact that the driver was unsuccessful in returning the vehicle’s (a Tesla, no less!) trip odometer to zero, which was crucial to the rally route instructions. Also, their single disagreement in interpreting one of the instructions did little to unsettle their team spirit, or to diminish their achievement. They were thrilled!

Many thanks to Mike (Henville) and Tony (Jackson) for the time and suggestions they contributed, which helped to make the organizing of the rally an enjoyable exercise for me. Thanks also to Roadsport Honda of Scarborough for donating souvenir prizes.

 - Orville Green

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