The Calgary Parrot Head Club Story
In the spring of 1995, there was a Jimmy Buffett Party at a bar named Green Street (Oh Canada) which was hosted by some university student(s). The club’s founders, Joyce and Tom Byrnes attended. The party was full of costumes of all kinds including a shark eating a person, cheeseburger hats, flowers in hula dancers’ hair, and an array of tropical flowered shirts. A musician named Chuck played and the crowd was entertained well. This setting was perfect, and the party was a blast!
It was a year later when they realized that there should soon be another party so Joyce called the bar from the previous year, but no party was scheduled. Joyce and Tom decided that they should maybe have a club there in Calgary so they spoke with Chuck and the three of them got the ball rolling. In June 1996, Joyce called Key West’s Margaritaville to find out how to form a club. They, in turn, directed her to Donna, in Virginia. She gave Joyce some suggestions and names of who to contact. Later on that month, Tom did the paperwork, paid the fee, and sent the materials to Pat in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. They, at that point, had formed the “Calgary Parrot Head Club”. Between Chuck, Tom and Joyce, they organized a party at the Hose & Hydrant Pub for May 19, 1996 (a long weekend) called First Flocking of '96.
A fantastic 155 people turned out at the first flocking and they raised $710.00 for Easter Seals Camp Horizon through the 24 hour Relay. This charity was chosen because of it being near and dear to an inaugural member’s heart. After the showing of significant interest in Calgary, they chartered with the PHIP (Parrot Heads in Paradise) in July, 1996. You Had To Be There!
Officially, they were Parrot Head Club # 90. At that time, the “First Canadian Parrot Head club” was in Parksville, BC. It ceased to exist a couple years later.
The Calgary Parrot Head Club has seven major events each year. In the beginning years, it was only the Spring Phling and Christmas Toy Drive, but through time they have expanded to joining in with the City of Calgary’s River and Pathway Clean Up, have a summer Golf Tournament, and a Bocce Ball Tournament. They also have a Labour Day Weekend Show and a Parrot Head’s Annual House Bar-B-Q each year as well as monthly Happy Hours.
Each of these events raises money for different charities through 50/50 draws, Silent Auctions, ticket sales, and raffles. The larger events have live music from the pH Unbalanced Band, which is a home grown, five piece Jimmy Buffett tribute band, and the smaller events sometimes have Chuck playing for them, and occasionally Joyce and Dustan joining him. The result of all of these parties with purposes is overwhelming when it comes to funds raised for different charities. It’s always a Party At The End Of The World!
Since there is such a various mix of club members, each with their own passion for what is near and dear to them, the charities are chosen from their suggestions. The club has donated towards many charities including, Easter Seals Camp Horizon, toys for the Salvation Army Children’s Village, Calgary Fire Fighters’ Burn Unit, Silvera for Seniors, The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (CWRS), Drop In Centre Volunteering, Calgary Bridge Foundation for Youths, Feed the Need, The Veteran’s Food Bank, Pacific Assistance Dogs Society, Children’s School Soup Program, Brown Bagging for Kids, Meals on Wheels, and many, many more! Each fundraising event means it is the Year Of Still Here!
What makes the Calgary Parrot Head club amazing? The members! Each of the members has qualities that are shared with each other. Some may give their time, some their efforts. Every time they Party With a Purpose, these virtues show through which makes all of the events totally awesome! We all have a License To Chill!
To learn more about (or join) the Calgary Parrot Head Club, check out their website: