COVID-19: Weekly Update 05.07

Dear Union Club Members,

Mother’s Day is mere days away. Please join me in wishing a Happy Mother’s Day to our mothers, grandmothers and women who helped shape and define us in large and small ways. This year is unusual to say the least, and I know many of us are missing the tradition of Mother’s Day Brunch at the Club.

We can still celebrate these important women with a phone call, online, or gifts through local shops. Special moments and memories can also be shared on our Club’s Facebook page.

Earlier this week, the Union Club launched the Take-Out Meal Kits. Enjoy the Club’s cuisine and pairings at home with ready for re-heating meals and extras. Simply order and pick up as below. Given our limited staff at this time and the need for planning, please remember to order by Friday, May 8, 5 p.m. for meals on offer May 12-16.

Yesterday afternoon, the provincial government announced plans to gradually loosen some current restrictions on daily life. Management is working on various opening scenarios and member offerings in line with the direction of public health authorities. We need to ensure our Club has health and safety protocols in place, and that members and staff are well informed of these protocols. We will share information as it becomes available. Stay tuned!

The priorities of the Finance Committee and General Committee continue to be the health and safety of members and staff, and the sustainability and financial viability of our Club. We are strategizing next steps, both for the short term and looking to the future. To this end, we continue to meet remotely on weekly and bi-weekly bases. I would like to thank Lyle Soetaert, Vice President for ensuring we can meet remotely, and his patience as I continue to learn about this technology!

I look forward to welcoming you back to the Club. Until then, stay healthy and stay safe.

Grace Van den Brink,President


Share a special memory you have with your mother!

Before Saturday, May 9 at 10:00pm, send a photo of you and your mother to and you could be featured on the Union Club`s Facebook and Instagram pages on Sunday, May 10!


On Monday, May 4, the Club launched the `UC Take Out Meal Kits`program. In the first 72 hours, demand has been amazing! It appears Club members are missing the amazing food coming out of the Club`s kitchen.

All meals come fully cooked and packaged, ready for re-heating.

Please email to let us know which days you would like to sign up for. Please note: all menus listed below are for next week (starting May 12).

This week’s deadline for sign up will be Friday, May 8 at 5:00pm. Meal Pick Up Time will be between 12:00pm – 5:00pm, each day. If for some reason you are unable to pick up directly from the Club, please let us know and for $15.00 we will deliver it.

To view the take out menu options for May 12 to May 16, 2020 please visit the Club’s Dining page on our website by clicking here.

Should you have any questions about the UC Take Out Meal Kits, please contact Danielle Scott, Sales & Engagement Manager, at


As of Friday, May 1, The Butchart Gardens has re-opened to the public, welcoming you to take solace from this beautiful garden.

They do need you to follow specific rules to guarantee you and your families (and their staff and their families) stay safe. Following these rules will allow The Butchart Gardens to remain open to offer comfort to all those who wish to visit there during these difficult times.

For full details, please click the link below:

Our friends at The Ranchmen’s Club in Calgary, AB recently introduced us to 

If you are missing your regular social Bridge game, fear not – Bridge is still alive and well, albeit not in the Renaissance Lounge yet, but in the rooms online at

There are a few different ways to play on the Bridge Base Online site (BBO) both for free and organized games with a small cost.

For full details, please click on the link below:

The Union Club of British Columbia is home to a unique Management Team. Long-term success depends, above all, on the quality of the Team providing the leadership, direction and vision. The Union Club is in good hands with the current Management Team’s wealth of experience and knowledge of the hospitality industry. 

To introduce (or re-introduce in some cases) your Management Team to you, your weekly email will now feature “Meet the Management Team”, where a different Manager will be profiled each week. This week we begin with David Hammonds, General Manager:


As I update my bio during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the first week of May 2020; and we are experiencing a time that we never would have imagined a mere 6 months ago. As I am sure you would all agree, we are all in the middle of one of the biggest challenges we will face in our lifetime; but I remain confident that together we will get through this pandemic, and life will start to ‘open up again’ as we move successfully towards our new normal.

In terms of my biography and ‘who I am’ professionally, I wanted to share with you some of my experience and leadership philosophies, so you can perhaps have a better sense of what motivates me as the General Manager of the Union Club of BC. First and foremost, I feel that my management style is one that empowers people to make their own decisions and supports them to grow within their positions and careers. I am not a ‘shouter’, which for an ex-Chef is rare; especially given my early training and the era in which I came through the culinary field. (Ok – perhaps there were times as a Chef with 165 cooks that I might have raised my voice ‘a little’, as you do sometimes have to make sure the team knows who is in charge!). That being said, I hope my teams – present and in the past – have always viewed me as an approachable and caring leader.

I have always made decisions in the kitchen as if I was making decisions for my own business, and the decisions I make for the Union Club of BC are no exception; always asking myself, ‘if it was my money, what would I do?’. I think this philosophy has worked well for myself and the Club for the past 10 years – as well as in all my leadership roles as an Executive Chef; working in 5 countries and being a part of 9 hotel openings during my career.

I came to The Union Club of British Columbia in March 2010 with over 25 years of experience working with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts; including 17 years as the Executive Chef of the Fairmont Empress . Prior to the Empress, I started my career at the famous Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, and then moved to the Birmingham Metropole Hotel at the National Exhibition Centre. In the late 1970s’, I arrived in Canada and had a short stop with Holiday Inns, and then moved to open the King Edward Hotel on King Street in Toronto. The west coast of Canada was calling, and I accepted the job to open the Delta Mountain Inn in Whistler. After 18 months in Whistler (I even learned how to ski), The Empress Hotel hired me as their Executive Chef, and so my career with Fairmont (formerly CP) Hotels began.

After my departure from the Fairmont Empress, my family and I spent seven years in Dubai, UAE, where I was the Executive Chef responsible for the culinary operations as well as the opening of the Fairmont Dubai (with a culinary staff of 165 and 9 restaurants to oversee). During my time in Dubai I also traveled to Cairo to take over a Sheraton Hotel and brand it to a Fairmont. Our years in the Middle East were exciting and very challenging, with many very early starts to the day and late ends. I left Dubai in 2008, and Fairmont then asked me to assist with the opening of two hotels in China. To that end, I accepted the position as Integration Chef with the Fairmont Beijing (Beijing, China) as well as with the Fairmont Yang Cheng Lake (Kunshan, China). I feel this global experience has brought me a valuable international perspective, that I have in turn been able to bring to the Union Club.

My international experience, depth and breadth of food and beverage knowledge, has provided the Union Club with a strong commitment to member services and a wealth of knowledge in the hospitality/service industry. Again, my leadership style is best demonstrated through the support of, and interest in, employee relations, engagement and communication.

My goal remains to make The Union Club of British Columbia a Club that is not only successful financially, but also a Club that members feel comfortable in – a place they can call a ‘second home’; and, equally important, as an employer that our employees love coming to work with. Basically, to sum it up, a place of friendship and loyalty.

Loading ...

Scroll to Top