It was 1995. By then I lived in the dorms at the Université de Sherbrooke when I got word that there was an RPG forming through the grapevine. The founder used to be the President of his previous' school and he got the ball rolling. By pure chance I was selected as part of the committee (as Secretary IIRC). Thus began a long love affair with that place.
For the next 3 years, it would be a full-on part of my life as I would spend 5 or 6 nights a week there whenever I was on-campus (I was in a program where you spent a trimester in school and worked for one - a Coop program).
From that time until I became president in 1996 (a full year later), the club only grew and grew. Last I heard, it was still running strong.
I am happy to say that the club went from great to awesome when I became its president. It would be easy to toot my own horn and say that just because I was there everything was good. That would not give credit to the many GMs and organizers who worked tirelessly to put together games and events: Necromunda league, Blood Bowl league, campaigns of D&D, World of Darkness and the thing that bound it all together: Le Héraut, the weekly journal keeping everyone informed of what was happening. But the biggest draw was the week's Quotes, a collection of quotes heard in games or just while hanging out - the less context the better.
"Everything you say will be used against you" we used to say... It was true. The quotes were written on paper towel roll.
Sure a number of ideas and initiatives were mine: I took over the delivery of snacks to ensure a steady income for the club; I arranged for a group purchase at the local game store for members to get a special discount on everything (Shout-out to Christian of Le Griffon Féérique in Sherbrooke); I came up with the idea of the Friday-night demo where someone could take an RPG and run a one-night, introductory game of it; I helped with the coordination to get people playing the game(s) they liked.
In short, I was that guy who lives at the club, knew everyone and was involved in everything.
I would get there are around 4pm and stay well into the night. There were games and events all the time: CCGs, Board games, RPGs, Miniatures, name it, it happened and we'd play it. Many of the people I met at the club (or Klub as it was known then) I keep in regular contact with.
The harsh reality was: when I left, I found myself doing pretty much nothing. From full-time gamer to part-time was... Well it was tough.
As a gamer, I took away that all gamers love the game, whatever the edition, whatever the type of game, whatever time they engage. Though I would later engage heavily in the Edition War, I have tried to attack ideas and the game, not the people. (That did not prevent me from acting like a jerk) The Klub was such a diverse mix of gaming influences and play style that
PS: the embedded picture was taken during a Deadlands demo by Eric-G circa 1997. On the picture are JF-P, Gaetan-C "DJI", Stephane-H "Steve" and myself... When I had hair!
AND A BEARD!
Oh wait, I still have a beard... kinda.
But the hair is definitely gone.