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Firstly, thank you one and all for your calls, e-mails and social media messages in support of both the Bruce Grey Music Hall of Fame and the Bognor Jam Production, Promotion and Consulting events and shows previously held in the auditorium at the Hepworth Shallow Lake Legion.

We also extend a heartfelt thanks to the many financial donations that have come the HOF way since that tragic fire one year ago that destroyed the Legion, its records, furnishing, memorabilia and our own HOF historical collection, artifacts and inductee honorariums.

Thank you also to the many who responded in writing, all in favour of the HOF inclusion in the new Legion rebuild project. Folks like Bill Walker (retired MPP), Alex Ruff, MP, Larry Miller, MP (retired), Rick Byers, MPP, Steve Nickels, President, Chatsworth Legion and Joe Ferris, past President, Hepworth Shallow Lake Legion.

We would be remiss in not extending our appreciation to the team, which over our time at Branch 586, proved to be invaluable. Together, with the HOF directors and Bognor Jam, it was Branch members and friends like the late Bill Ferris, Bill Vanstone, George Coffin, the late Lenny Thiebeault, Pat Thiebeault, Joyce Vanstone, Bill Robertson, Joe Ferris, Judy Jones, Barbara Houston, Sandy McDougall, Marie Mole, Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Bill Cutting, Lorette Woods, Penny Walpole, Terrie Clark and
Joanne Comeau, to name a few, who helped us along the HOF – Bognor Jam way. Also, many thanks to the wider Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound audience and beyond, that attended so many of our events at Branch 586.

musichalloffameOur HOF was officially announced in March 2015 following the Legion’s decision to accept our proposal to establish a shrine recognizing local entertainment legends and its past musical history. It was a fitting decision and location, given the auditorium’s historical aspect and vision of the late John Kocher who, on Saturday, June 29, 1968, officially opened the facility as the Hepworth Country Music Auditorium.

Nashville’s late Hank Locklin was the feature act for the opener. Ted Ormsby and the Toe Tappers was the opening act. Following the March 2015 announcement, five HOF induction events followed until Covid struck.

Prior to our HOF start, Bognor Jam had presented many amazing shows in the auditorium featuring the The True Country Show Band, our annual Grand Ole Hepworth North Show, the HOF Country Legends show and Bognor Jam’s very own Jailhouse Rock show starring Peter Irwin. We had multi-Juno Award winner Crystal Shawanda, the Waylon Jennings-Willie Nelson- Johnny Cash tribute show, Bognor Jam’s Ridge River Ramblers and the Tribute to Stompin’ Tom Connors.

All great events for the Legion and quality entertainment for thousands of music lovers. On the top of this success story, all of these endeavours yielded significant financial rewards to the Legion, which was one of our main objectives.

The January 5, 2023 Legion membership vote to maintain or seal the fate of the Music HOF was actually a decision by a fraction of the total Legion membership. Hardly a legionhepworthfair representation of Branch 586! A large percentage of the general membership were reportedly not even aware the HOF “yes” or “no” vote would be held at the January 12th membership meeting. A Legion December Newsletter gave no such indication of this vote. It simply said, “Next General Meeting, January 12, 2023, at the Church Hall beside the UPI gas bar.” Had the entire membership been alerted in advance of such a crucial vote, support suggests the Music HOF and Bognor Jam would have had a future at the new Legion auditorium.

Continuing with the HOF at Hepworth was Bill Murdoch’s wish, expressed by him almost daily during the final year of his life. To deny him that one wish, is heartbreaking for his family, countless friends and the many musicians he worked with. He also requested his wife Sue, to continue on with me as HOF Director and Associate Producer of Bognor Jam. Sue has agreed. We have some future entertainment plans in the works which will proudly carry the HOF - Jam banner, always in memory of Bill Murdoch.

In closing, we recognize that a Legion’s focus, first and foremost, is its community role as a special institution, a place where we can all recognize, remember and honour those who served. The Bruce Grey Music Hall of Fame and Bognor Jam events were simply a successful secondary partner at the Hepworth Shallow Lake Legion. At Branch 586, we proudly accomplished so much. As Alex Ruff said, “I believe our Legions need more such partnerships.”


Again, thank you one and all for your expression of thanks, your appreciative words, for all that the Bruce Grey Music Hall of Fame and Bognor Jam achieved at the Br. 586 Legion auditorium. We hope to have your support in the future.

Arnie Clark
Co-Founder, Bruce Grey Music Hall of Fame
Associate Producer, Bognor Jam Production, Promotion & Consulting.

photos from Bruce Grey Music Hall of Fame Facebook page



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