To the uninitiated, it’s an ugly old thing, covered in strange symbols and stickers. Any true AIESECer, however, knows the importance and glory of the award. To AIESECers in the West, it symbolizes victory, bragging rights, and a sign of good things to come. The Spirit Keg is awarded at each year’s Western Regional Conference (WRC) to the loudest and proudest Local Committee (LC) in the West. And this year, for the first time since 2005, SFU took it home.
But what is the Spirit Keg and where does it come from?
Legend has it that on the way to WRC 1998 in Saskatoon, the AIESEC delegation from Victoria ‘borrowed’ a very large keg from UVic’s Faculty Club. They hauled it onto their rented bus and headed to Saskatoon, picking up LC’s from Vancouver and Alberta on the way. By the time they made it to WRC the keg was empty – but the spirit lived on – as they awarded the empty keg to the LC that showed the most spirit at that conference. Since then, the tradition is for the previous year’s winning LC to award the keg to the LC that shows the most spirit at the conference. The winning LC also gets to enjoy Howie…a secret concoction of alcohol served in a pumpkin!
Manitoba was the proud winner of the Spirit Keg at WRC 2008, so they had the honor this year of presenting it SFU, as we were (undeniably) the most spirited LC. This was easily the most memorable moment of the entire conference. Unfortunately, the ‘real’ Spirit Keg wasn’t able to make it to Victoria in time due to a shipping snafu. But the real keg will be sent to us eventually so that we can bask in its warming presence until next year’s WRC.
Video of us winning the keg: