I would like to thank Connie for sharing her interesting and humorous teaching and early educational experiences with us.
Special thanks also to Beverley Gargett for the transcript and the final revision of the taped interview.
Thanks also to Ernie Kaesmodel of the Prince George Oral History Group
for his help in producing this transcript. He has provided many instructional
courses and samples of the requirements for producing an oral history.
I am Jeanne Anderson, a member of the Prince George branch of the Retired Teacher's Educational Heritage Committee and of the Prince George Oral History Group.
This is the second in a series of interviews I am calling Pioneer Teachers" in the Prince George area.
This evening, September 30,1998, am interviewing Connie Buchanan, who obtained her teaching certificate in British Columbia and started her teaching career in the province in 1943.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your childhood, your early education and the educational requirement necessary to obtain a teaching certificate?
I graduated from the Vancouver Normal School in 1943 at the age of 18. Following graduation I was sent to the village of Kitwanga to re-open the school, which had been closed all year because of the shortage of teachers during the war. I was one of the lucky ones that got a teaching job for 2 months, so I ended up at Kitwanga, which was an Indian village on the railway between Prince George and Prince Rupert. It was quite an experience for a city girl! When I got off the train, I saw a long line of totem poles behind the Hudson Bay Trading Post and I had been instructed by the people at Normal School to go to the Hudson Bay Post and "Ask Mr. Bob Campbell, the manager, where Mrs. Fred Dahl lived" because that who I was to board with. So when I got off the train, I was really confused, or worried because I wanted to make sure that my trunk with my books and other supplies in it was taken off the train too, and at the same time I suddenly realized at 18 that I had to give the porter a tip. I had never tipped anybody in my life and I looked at the conductor who was helping me off with my suitcase and so on and I thought, "what do I tip him; twenty-five cents? Fifty cents? He looks old enough to be my father. I'm embarrassed. What do I do? "Anyway, without looking at him, I pushed twenty-five cents into his hand, and I didn't say anything, except say "Thank You"' but I was terribly embarrassed. At the same time, someone spoke to me and I turned and looked at this lady and she said, "What are you going to do now?" I said, "Well I have to go to the Hudson Bay Post and ask Mr. Bob Campbell where Mrs. Fred Dahl lives." I had been memorizing this sentence all the way in from Prince Rupert on the train. She said, "Well I just told you, I'm Mrs. Fred Dahl." How to win friends and influence people! She told me later she thought she had never seen such a scared kid in her life -and this was the teacher? Well, I survived those two months. There's some other stories about my learning the difference between a steer and a cow and what a coyote sounded like, I thought somebody had had their dog follow them to school and it kept yip, yip yipping out by the gate and I told the class to leave their dog at home. Nobody in the classroom would answer me and them somebody sort of giggled and said, "Miss Lomas, that's not a dog. That's a coyote! I also learned that workhorses don't chase you. That there's a difference between workhorses and bulls. I was very innocent. Another thing I learned is that people live together and have children without being married - that was a big eye opener, I guess I was one of the original innocents.
How did you get your job in Summit Lake and why did you choose this particular one?
After Kitwanga, I went to Armstrong for 2 years. I met my husband, quit teaching, had a baby and ended up when he was 1-1/2, 2 years old, already divorced and raising the child by myself, I decided that I wanted to see some of the rest of BC. So I applied to Prince George District. I thought it would be an adventure and all of the rest of it. I wanted a rural school for the experience and I had two or three positions offered to me - one of them was Mud River, I remember, I think the other was Marguerite and then there was Summit Lake. Well, my mother took one look at the description of the schools and said, "I couldn't bear to tell our friends that you were teaching at MUD River", so on that recommendation I took Summit Lake! I remember very distinctly at Normal School being told, "when you get to 'Deadwood Hollow' or 'Pumpkin Centre' don't get so lonely that you marry the first farmer that offers." Well, I ended up marrying a trapper! Anyway, Summit Lake was a very small school; it was really the first year. It was in a building that had been used by the highway construction company Campbell Mannix as a cookhouse, and so I was given half of the building to live in, which had 2 bedrooms and a kitchen and the other half which had been I suppose, the dining hall, was the school room. I believe I had about 14 students, if I remember right, every grade from I to 8, several of the children had come straight from the trapline and had 2 months of instruction in how to read and write up on the trapline but they had had no formal schooling. It was quite a challenge.
Were there any other children, other than the ones off the trapline that attended the school - any that had had education?
Yes, there was the Buchanan family where the children had had correspondence, and just after that another couple of families moved in from the prairies, I can't remember where they came from, but they moved in and their children had been to school. Well, one of the first things that happened was that a mother who turned out to be my future mother-in-law, landed at the back door of the teacherage one morning while I was eating breakfast, with a saucer in her hand. In the saucer were a couple of head lice. I had never seen head lice before and I don't think she had either, but she said with a rather sickening tone in her voice, "Patty has head lice!" So we looked at these and I said "Oh, what'll we do?", and decided we would send word in to the Health Nurse, because I wasn't familiar with what you did with head lice and I knew they would go through the whole school because of the crowded conditions of the cloak room, where everything, all coats and hats were piled up on top of each other and so anyway. The Health Nurse came out and gave me, I think about, 6 cones of pure DDT powder with the instructions, to sprinkle this powder in the kids' hair and in all their hats, every day for 2 weeks until all the lice were killed and the 'nits' (eggs) would be killed if they hatched. If you could imagine all these little, mostly native kids, heading home looking like little gray-haired old men, with all this DDT powder sprinkled right into their scalp. It just horrifies me now! I'm sure it would horrify the Public Health Nurse now too - to think of using this DDT powder that way, but that was done in 1949. That year they built the first school building at Summit Lake, the original style, just like an overgrown garage - one room school, with two outhouses out back and a woodshed. We had wood heat. One of the things that happened was that it rained all that summer and early fall when they were building the school - so that I could move from the old Campbell Mannix building up there, and all of the lumber that was used in the school was damp. That turned out to be one of the coldest winters in history in Prince George. I think it got down to -58F that winter and there was no way we could get that school warm. We would be standing around the wood stove, just trying to warm up our hands with our coats and everything on. It was awful. The superintendent came out. It was Ray Williston, and he was convinced that it wasn't built properly and there must have been drafts that was causing us to be so cold. After the fire had been going for 3 or 4 hours, we could still see our breath inside the classroom and he went all around with matches and almost crawled around all the corners there trying to find out where these drafts were. There were no drafts. It was just simply that everything was so wet.
Did they have any lining? It was lumber on the outside. What was on the inside of the building?
I have no idea, I don't think there was such a thing as fiberglass insulation
in those days, so I guess it just wasn't insulated except with tarpaper. You
know they used to put that on the outside under the siding. Anyway, we survived
that year and the next spring I found out what mosquitoes were like! Oh boy!
I actually got married that December, during the holidays, and I swear if
I hadn't got married, I would have frozen to death - that was the coldest
One of the things that used to bother the superintendent when he came out for inspections or visits, or whatever you call them, was the smell in the school. He said to me several times, "How do you stand it?" I said, "It? What do you mean?" and he said, "The smell!" I didn't realize quite what he meant, but it was to do with the unwashed bodies, and sometimes I got really frustrated with them and I'd say, you know, "It's time you guys had a bath!" But, if you realize the living conditions of those families - there were maybe 9 or ten of them in 2 room houses, shacks, that had no privacy at all. They were probably, almost a kilometer from the lake, which meant if they wanted lake water for a bath, they had a long way to carry it. Otherwise, in the winter they could melt snow or ice and get water that way. But how did you go about having a bath when you've got 3 or 4 big brothers around and this sort of thing? The smell was pretty bad, and I realize that bathing was a problem for them and I guess I just more or less got used to the smell. When I went down to New Westminister to visit my family, my mother would say, "You know, you smell." I guess my clothes and everything else got this odour in it from being around all those kids all the time. Impetigo was another really bad problem that we had and it used to spread through the families too, due to the living conditions. I used to really stew about this and the kids would be coming to school at 30 below with their bare feet in rubber boots and I would fuss about this too, to my husband and say "You know, its awful. We'd better do something about their clothes, you know they haven't got proper clothing!" "Oh", he said, "don't worry about it. Half the world lives like that!" I said "Not the half I know!" I just couldn't accept these living conditions -they had no toys, their recreation was tumbling around, wrestling, playing like little bear cubs. In fact, one of the boys knocked on the door one day and asked if my son, could "come out and fight." That was their recreation, they didn't have any toys, they just fought. They didn't hurt anybody, I don't remember my son ever coming home with a bloody nose or anything, but there would be a lot of torn and dirty clothes unless we organized ball games or something like that on the school grounds.
How did the education part of schooling go? Did you have difficulty teaching?
Well, as you can imagine, homework was not done - there was no place to
do homework. There were no facilities at home and there was one family where
one of the older boys really hadn't been able to go to school until he was
14 almost 15 and be was so eager to get an education and eager to study,
he would take his books home and study at night with card games going on,
with people drinking and talking and partying, and he still did his homework.
(The first year I had him, he finished the Grade 5 books.) The next year,
when I realized how diligently he was working, I really pushed him and he
finished most of the Grade 8 work - 6, 7 and 8 in that one year. That was
his own doing, it wasn't my fantastic teaching, but when he finished the
year, I wanted him to go into Prince George to the dorm. At that time they
had the accommodation in the dorm and so a boy or girl from out of town,
could get into town and go to high school, Well, the superintendent was not
too impressed with the idea of sending this kid to high school when he'd
only really had two years of schooling. I convinced him, saying "You know,
if he doesn't go, he'll end up working in a mill and he'll never go back
to school, so please give him a try." I was convinced he'd do it - he did,
he finished grade 12 and he married a school teacher!
I really had had no experience with our BC native people, at all. I'd heard all sorts of stories, you know what you hear - the drunken Indians, their fighting and all this sort of thing and I'd heard about the potlatching and the fighting up by Kitwanga but I hadn't really had any direct contact with them. When I went to Summit Lake, over half of the student body was native or part native. I got to know the parents quite well and all the rest of it. However, my very, very first day that I was at Summit Lake, I was dropped off for supper at a neighbour's place, by the fellow who had taken me up, Mr. Van Somer. His daughter lived out there, so he took me to her place and I was to have supper with them and then go to the teacherage. That was fine, except that, just while I was waiting for supper, in walks this dark skinned fellow, drunk as can be, and sat down beside me, wanted to talk to me. I was introduced to him and it sounded like a Norwegian name, but I figured he was Indian, for sure, and a drunk Indian on top of that. The first thing I know, his hand is over on my knee, so I got up and moved to another chair. Well, after awhile he wandered out, I didn't say anything to my hostess, but I went home that night and I checked all the locks on this so-called teacherage and all there was were these little slide bolts. Anybody could push the door open with those locks, I went around and put table knives in all the doors to hold them shut, went to bed and I didn't sleep very well, so I got up several times and looked in the teacherage part because I could hear things creaking and I guess the building itself was creaking, or I was imagining it, I don't know. I would listen and hear another noise, pull the door open and shine the flashlight in there - there was nobody around! I was really, really nervous about this guy who obviously had taken a shine to me and I didn't want him coming visiting in the middle of the night, so I ended up getting a hammer out of the tool kit and putting it under my pillow. Well, I slept a little better, except that it was very hard and very lumpy under my pillow. I ended up with it under the bed - luckily, I never did have to use it! Several weeks later, I was sort of baby-sitting or looking after a girl who was about 10 years old. Her mother had gone to Prince George. I still had the hammer under my bed and her mother didn't come home until maybe 2 or 3 o'clock in the morning. We'd gone to bed and gone to sleep. Then her mother told me the next day that they had been going to come get the girl, but when they came home in the middle of the night they decided to it was too late I said "Oh, it's a good thing you didn't do that - if you'd have opened that door, I'd have been behind the bedroom door with a hammer!" Of course the whole story got around the neighbourhood about how the teacher was sleeping with this hammer under her bed all because of this harmless, "pussycat" guy because apparently, he wasn't native at all! I had a hard time fitting into this rural life style as you can tell.
One really nice thing about teaching in a small community was that you met the parents. The kids knew you were going to run into Dad or Mom down at the corner store, that night or the next day and you might talk about their behaviour. So it was not exactly like family, but it there was always that consciousness that you knew the parents, they knew you, and there wasn't such a thing as a discipline problem. I don't remember having any discipline problem. I used to, one year, when I had 38 students in 8 grades, teach school in my sleep. My husband would wake me up because I had said, "Jimmy will you help Roy and Andy turn around and quit talking!" It was obviously a very stressful type of job when you had 8 grades. I also had several children that I now would identify as FAS students. Now I can look back can identify which students they were. But we didn't have labels like that then. I knew there was an alcohol problem in the family and that sort of thing, but it never dawned on me that it had any affect on the learning patterns of the students. One year I had 3 or 4 kids in Grade 1 - one was a Danish girl and the other 3 were native kids. There was just no way I could get one of the native boys to read. I would go through the sounds, the word patterns, like will, bill, hill, sill, mill and he would get all of this. "Boy, " I'd think, "He's got it." On Friday he went home, after I'd just drilled on these things again. He'd got some of the sounds and I'd think, "Oh, OK, we're getting there!" I'd review it on Monday and it was gone! At the same time, the little Danish girl, was just going great guns and she finished two years in that one year! There was no problem, she could read, she could understand so I figured it wasn't just my teaching methods. There was something wrong, but I didn't know what it was, I really didn't.
Christmas concerts - of course they're a big thing in a rural school. Everybody has to be in the Christmas concert. I had two students in Grade 8 one year that were really good organizers. The one boy was quite a bit older than the others and this girl was a very bright girl and a very good organizer so I set the two of them up as stage managers. We went through all the little items, all the songs and the little plays and skits that they were going to do and they did just fine. On the big night, they were doing really well. I had warned them that I was going to sit in the audience and I wasn't going to be back there, helping them with the costumes or anything. They had to do the whole thing, which they did very well. Then during one of the breaks in the concert when the curtain was pulled and one boy would come out in front of the curtain and say a little poem. It was just 4 lines, that was all he had to say, and of course we had practiced. Well, he came out in front of the stage, and he stood there, and everybody started to get quiet. So he stood there awhile. He looked all around at everybody. Everybody got quieter. Finally you could have heard a pin drop in that hall and then he gave a kind of startled look and he said, "I forgot." Well the whole audience just broke up because they thought that was what was intended. That he had meant to do this as a kind of a trick. He really had forgotten. He didn't know what he was supposed to say, so he just stood there til everybody was absolutely quiet, and then he just said "I forgot" and walked off the stage!
One of the little girls got a box of dishes given to her by Santa Claus. She was about 3 or 4 - she opened up the box and it had all that straw in it and she took one look at this and said "Hay, that's for horses!" and threw the whole box on the floor.
How long did you stay teaching at Summit Lake?
I was there until 1963, so it was 13 years. I had adopted a couple of children in 1960 - 61, so I didn't teach in those couple of years, and then I left Summit Lake. I got married in '49. While I was there, I organized the parents and we built a community hall, which is still there. There was a second school built while I was there. It was built about 1956, the year after I had the 36 students in 8 grades. Today both of the schools are gone. Just after I left, they were moved up to Bear Lake. There hasn't been a school for quite some years now. I was up there a couple of years ago and I saw the old hall and it was named after Mr. Buchanan, Senior, who had owned the property and donated it to the community.
If you had it to do over again, would you still choose to go to Summit Lake?
Oh God, what a leading question! Well, if I had most of my life to live over again, I'd probably make the same mistakes, so I suppose I would!
We want to thank you very much Connie, this has been interesting, I've been laughing the whole time, just visualizing what you went through as an innocent. I presume you weren't quite so innocent when you left!
I am Jeanne Anderson, a member of the Prince George branch of the Retired Teachers' Educational Heritage Committee and of the Prince George Oral History Group. This evening, September 17, 1998 I am interviewing Connie Buchanan, a teacher who has been a leading force in the development of the Prince George Lawn Bowling Association and the Bowling Green at Watrous & 3rd Avenue in the city of Prince George. This is the first of the series of oral history records which I am entitling "Teacher Contribution To and Participation in Community Life". I am going to ask Connie to take us through the 8 years of development prior to the Grand Opening of the Green on June 13,1998.
Would you like to tell us of your early interests in Lawn Bowling?
Well, my early interests go back to before I came to Prince George in 1989. I was involved, mostly I guess because I had retired to Vancouver and my sister got me involved at the Kerrisdale Lawn Bowling Club. Then I moved up here in 89 and decided to look for a lawn bowling club and I found Terry Muirhead, who was the current principal of the lawn bowling club selling raffle tickets in the Overwaitea, so of course I stopped and asked her where the green was and how many club members they had and to my shock, found out they didn't have a green, they had very few members and they were trying very hard to get a green going. In a town of 70,000 people I could not believe there wasn't a green. I was familiar with Armstrong, with 2,000 people and they'd had a green for over 75 years. I just couldn't believe it, so anyway, the upshot was I started to get involved, Terry, the president at that time, decided to leave, because she was getting so frustrated that she couldn't bowl properly. The club was just bowling on a mat, a short mat, 45 feet long, in the basement of a hall so she decided to leave and go to Kamloops where there's two greens. Kamloops is a town the same size as Prince George, two greens, two clubhouses and here we were in Prince George with nothing. So then I ended up, I guess, big mouth - I don't know, I ended up getting to be president - the position I've occupied for the last eight years. We petitioned the city hall, first of all to get some property designated so that we could build a green somewhere. Until we had a promise of the space that was going to be ours, there was no way we could apply to BC 21 for funding, or the lottery people, or anybody. We had to have at least that guarantee. So I went to - I don't know how many meetings at city hall, I began to feel I was a persona non grata around there - spoke to the city council a couple of times, and said, "All we need is a place where we can put 125 feet square piece of lawn with a fence around it." "Oh", Shirley Gratton said, "is that all you need?" Lo and behold, we did get a letter from the City about 1992 that guaranteed us the space at Watrous Park. That was the start. We proceeded to apply to Senior's Lotto & BC 21 and David McWalters Sr. was very involved at that time. He was really dynamic and involved so we missed him very much when he died 3 years ago. We spoke to Rotary Clubs and presented pictures and ideas and asked for help and we ended up getting $48,000 from BC 21 and $9,000.00 for equipment from the Seniors' Lottery. As a club, with members of less than 20, we had to raise $16,000.00 ourselves and the city donated the property, fencing and so on to a value of $80,000.00. So the first estimate of establishing the green was going to be around a $100,000.00. They thought that with the $150,000.00 altogether we'd be able to have a clubhouse too. Well, it didn't work that way. The money all went into the green and there was nothing left for a clubhouse. Prior to our club getting involved with the production of the present green there was a green, a partial green that only had 3 lanes out at Dr. Haley's property on Huene Road, which is the North Nechako area. It wasn't a very satisfactory green, but it was the only thing available. He was very much involved with bowling - he loved bowling, but it was basically a family affair and they established their own club called the Caledonia Lawn Bowling club and the Prince George Lawn Bowling Club had separated, I don't know why, I wasn't here at the time, but they would no longer participate out at his green and it was a lot of work to keep up the green for the old gentleman and it has since just disappeared. There's nobody bowling there at all. It was not suitable for a public green because it was too far out of town, off the bus route, not close for anybody that lived right in town unless they drove, so it really wasn't the right place for it.
"Somebody told me that at that time that he spent his winters in Escondeda, California or something and was only up here during the summertime, which again that club sort of dropped.
As president, I was unable to work successfully with Dr. Haley. He had his own private green in Escondeda too but he wouldn't allow women in the club down there, just men. He was a difficult person, you know, but then when the Summer Games came to Prince George, I believe that was in 89, and there was money in the budget for a lawn bowling green, $300,000.00. How I heard this, I don't have proof, but I understand that there was some embezzlement going on with the funds for the summer games and the allotment for the Summer Games, for the lawn bowling club disappeared. There never was any comeback. So that's where it started actually, with Dr. Haley's interest and me agitating with the City Hall, and so on, I got no-where and I think partly because he wanted it out on his property. I think that was part of the problem. What prompted me to become involved, I think I've already said that. I had been bowling down on the coast and moved up here and found there was nothing here.
You have already expressed some difficulties that you have encountered throughout, are there any other difficulties that you can think of besides no space, no money, loss of money, as many problems as you can possibly have?
Welt our difficulties now is getting the word out and getting people to try it because Prince George people, most of them have never tried lawn bowling. They know alley bowling, but they don't know lawn bowling. We've been trying to interest the curlers, because it is a good occupation or a good game for curlers in the summer. Down at the coast, I would say almost half of the members of the lawn bowling clubs are winter curlers and we haven't been able to get that involvement here, yet. But, it is only the first year!
What do you see as the future of lawn bowling in Prince George - what is needed and can it be achieved?
Well, one of the things we have is one young bowler 15, whose is very enthusiastic. One of the things too, has got to be that we have to appeal more to the young people and getting rid of the image of a whole bunch of white haired people in white - that's got to go! We've got to get more people and we've got to make people understand that they don't have to wear white. It is the coming thing all across Canada now, to change that image and this is to attract the younger people. Maybe whites will stay with coloured jackets or vests for competition, but outside of that there's no need for people to wear white. Another thing I think we'll do is expand and have more blind bowlers - we have several, dedicated, blind bowlers now that have been bowling for as long as I've been here, and they're very good. There are international competitions, with one blind bowler going to South Africa this year, from Vancouver and we have blind bowlers here in Prince George that are just as good as that girl. I think that we could get a whole program going for those people and you know, there are some blind people in their 20's. You don't have to be a senior citizen, but it is one thing you can do when you're old. I mean you can't be good, you can't be competition material if you don't start till your 65, but if you're going to go into World Class or even BC, Canadian Class competition, you've got to start younger.
Could you tell us a little bit about your Opening Day Celebration, I was not there so I would like to hear about that.
Well, we're really not going to have the Official Opening until maybe the year 2000, because we're waiting for the surface of the green to get really up to good playing quality. We had the opening day and we invited people to come and try and that sort of thing, via the newspaper and the TV and so on, but we didn't do anything really, really special. It's too small of a club still & and I think whoever takes over now will see the start or maybe the completion of a club house by the year 2000 and there's all sorts of monies being moved around the province for special things to celebrate the year 2000. So we're kind of looking at tapping into that, in order to finish what we've started here.
Can you tell us a little bit about the plans for a clubhouse?
Oh it's going to be wonderful. Its going to be a clubhouse that looks over the green so people can sit in the glassed area indoors to watch or sit on a covered porch, off the front of the building, and it will be long enough to facilitate bowling indoors on the short mat in the winter. That's the 45 foot mat, I mentioned before. So the building itself will probably be about 80 feet long, it'll have to have lockers. It will have a kitchen and it will be available as a rental for small parties, for wedding parties, this sort of thing, to offset the cost of operating it. Its a really exciting complex, and the one in Maple Ridge that we looked at, upstairs, had an apartment for the caretaker, greenskeeper and/or watchman, so that you had security there, 24 hours a day.
Could you tell us something about the current fees and what one gets for them?
OK, the current fees have been the same for years and years. Its $100.00 for a year and that means you can bowl indoors and outdoors as many times as you like for that particular amount of money. You conceivably could have 10 games a week if you wanted to bowl that much; there's no restrictions on how many times you can bowl. What else is there about the fees? The winter bowling is included in those fees. While we're on the subject of money, we could, we should mention that this summer we decided to charge everybody 50 cents when they were bowling outdoors and that was because we had to have a Port-a-potty brought in and there's a rental for that and the 50 cents per game per person has certainly helped towards that particular cost.
Could you also tell us about our current clubhouse because this is going into a historical archive for the beginning of bowling?
Ohhh, well, we started out in June and we were putting the rakes and the club bowls and so on into the Port-a-potty every night when we were finished and we'd stack everything in there and that was it. Well we soon realized it was impossible. We couldn't keep on doing that, and we needed a table and we needed some water there and things like this. So one of the members brought a little card table with attached seats and we bought a portable, what would you call it, Thermal jug for water and various other things. I mean we have a guest book and then we've got the mats, rakes and jacks and we've got these other things that you've got to store. So, I canvassed the executive, all the directors and so on, by phone. After about 2 weeks of this, they all agreed that we needed a storage shed desperately. So, I went around to the various places, in town that sell storage sheds and found one place that sold them already put together, we didn't have to take the pieces and build, say a metal one, like a backyard storage shed. It was wooden, so it was fairly sturdy, substantial, and they would deliver it, within an hour of my paying for it! So we paid, a thousand, no it wasn't quite a thousand, eight hundred & something dollars for this little wooden building & within an hour it was delivered to the spot and we had an instant storage shed. It was just great, small but essentially held a multitude of items including extra sets of bowls. The city volunteered to put in the budget, $4,000.00 for the care of the greens this year. Of course they're using our machinery that we bought with that $9,000.00 grant, there's a Scott Bonner mower and a verticutter that are specialized machines used for the care of greens. They've been stored down in Doug's Roofing storage shed for 3 years, waiting for the green to be ready. The city asked us about a month ago if maybe we could take over the care of the green ourselves and I pointed out to them we had no place to put those machines. We don't have a door wide enough - its only a standard door on the shed, you couldn't even get the lawn mower in there if you wanted to store it, let alone the ability to look after the machinery ourselves, so they realized that we couldn't do it this year. But, we might be asked to do it next year!
Would you like to name a few of the people that have worked with you towards this development?
OK, sort of a - stable membership we've had all along?
You mentioned David McWalter earlier
David McWalter was Vice President, and helped a lot, with the putting together the plans for the green and his son David McWalter Jr. drew up the plans and made the petition to BC 21 and for us very professionally because he has done this for the Soccer Clubs and lots of other clubs. And then we have really good members who have sold raffle tickets til they're coming out their ears, like Nellie McArthur, over 80; and even some of the blind bowlers have sold tickets; Lorne and Harold Atchison, both of them; Lorne's wife Mary; Muriel McWalters, David's widow, oh I'm sure I'm missing somebody, Bea Rolls who's also been a stalwart member. Another person whose helped a great deal with encouraging words, patting me on the back every once in awhile has been Mike McGuire, from Leisure Services - he now works on special projects at City Hall and I know a couple of years ago when I was just ready to pack it in and figured we weren't going to get anywhere, he said "Don't do that, stay with it" and with a little look, that sort of meant you're getting close so, I carried on.
The wish for the future of course is that we get the clubhouse and that those of us that have been involved for the last 6, 8 years can still be involved, I mean, we are getting older and its time to turn over the torch and have somebody else carry on.
I'd like to thank you Connie for this account of your efforts and
as a new bowler, I certainly appreciate and enjoy the results of your efforts.