Peridot the Gems of the Kootenays
30th Anniversary – 2008 Christina Lake Campou

Labour Day Weekend 2008 saw the Vintage Car Club of Canada – Columbia Chapter celebrate their 30th anniversary of hosting a campout at the Christina Lake Pines Campground.  The weekend started with registration and a wine & cheese get together of old and new friends from all over the province and northwest USA.  The management and staff of the Christina Lake Pines Campground brought in two slab cakes Friday evening to celebrate the occasion and they also donated a trophy to the couple whose car drove the farthest and took part in one of the two tours on Saturday.  Winners of the trophy were George and Marianna Westinghouse of Parksville in their 1947 Packard Deluxe Clipper 4 door sedan.  George and Marianna were members of the Columbia Chapter for many years and transferred to the Nanaimo Chapter two years ago and were back for this special occasion. They are pictured below.

After a breakfast served by the Okanagan Chapter on Saturday morning the cars lined up for a long tour, headed by Mike and Jan Burroughs in their 1956 Ford Fairlane Victoria 2 door hardtop, which took the participants from Christina Lake to Grand Forks and then up through the North Forks and back to Grand Forks and onto the Owl Mountain Ranch.  The short tour was headed by Joe and Pat Tatangelo in their 1968 Chevrolet Impala Convertible which took these participants through the area by the school and then through Lavelley Point area before heading down to the Owl Mountain Ranch.  The ranch management and staff had buggy rides, refreshments and BBQ hamburgers on hand for the groups.  All the cars made it through the tours with only minor ailments [like all of us who are getting older they tend to get more aches and pains than the newer models!].

Saturday evening a banquet and dance was held at the Community Hall with Frank Hurley as MC for the night – he has been doing it for many years. Jerry Van Ooyen and her crew took on the catering and the food was delicious as always.  The music was done by John Vere and Liz who, from past experience, know the group likes the oldies but goodies.  Table centres were made by Adele Salsman.  A great number of the group dressed according to the age of their car so there was everything from flappers to poodle skirts; top hats to leather jackets.  Nikki and Jim Butler were celebrating their anniversary so dressed as a bride and groom vintage mid-1930’s – like their car – and had a ‘Just Married’ poster on the back of their car.  A skit was presented by the Okanagan Chapter members, who have never missed putting a skit on as long as they have been coming – it is great entertainment.  A table cloth was signed by many of the people in attendance for Harvey and Fay Jack, long time participants, who were unable to attend because of a slight accident prior to the weekend.  We also missed Dan and Idelle Watkin from Kelowna – Idelle ended up with a medical condition after starting out for the campout and had to return to Kelowna for an operation.  We hope both Idelle and Harvey are up and around soon.

The campout has always been geared for families and this year we had more children under the age of 15 attend than we have had for a long time.  Our youngest was only 4 months old and, if tradition holds, will continue to come until she is OLD.  Two of the women who came – Brenda Salstrom and Kathy McRae have been attending every year since they were born.  Now Brenda’s son and Kathy’s two sons are attending.  It is great to watch the young people pick up where their parents leave off. 

Sunday started with a breakfast hosted by the Kootenay Lake Chapter with help from the Cranbrook group under the direction of Ed Hart and Linda Holloway.  Their theme was the 1950’s and all were dressed up with gathered skirts, poodle skirts, blue jeans, T-shirts, saddle shoes and penny loafers.  The food was great too!

After breakfast the cars gathered in the school yard for the annual ‘Show and Shine’ and car games overseen by Tom Pisacreta and Brian Beaudoin plus many helpers.  The Christina Lake Fire Department attended with their truck and also manned a grill with food and refreshments for the crowd.  The public was invited to attend and the weather was great so the turnout was wonderful.  In the afternoon there was a swap meet and the Valve Cover Races.  The winner of the Valve Cover Races was four year old Ella Casparis of Kelowna – Congratulations Ella!

Ike Braga has always looked after the Sunday BBQ roasts and has had his son apprenticing for the last few years.  This year Ike’s son Kyle advised his dad that he would be in charge of the BBQing and he did a great job – the meal was excellent

The supper hour saw the Columbia Chapter host a BBQ at the Pines; disbursement of the Chinese Auction items; final door prize presentations and Trophy presentations.  Mike Burroughs makes all the trophies and they are works of art.  Winners were:
–    Valve Cover Races – Ella Casparis, Okanagan Chapter
–    Longest Driven/Tour Award – George and Marianna Westinghouse, Nanaimo Chapter
–    Christina Lake Pines Campground Special Award for the car that was driven the furthest to attend the 30th anniversary campout – George and Marianna Westinghouse, Nanaimo Chapter
–    Car Games – Frank Hurley, USA
–    Hard Luck Trophy – Bernie Lawson [1940 Cadillac stopped in Beaverdale with a distributor problem]
–    Lincoln Sandner Memorial – presented by Mrs. Sylvia Sandner to Frank Hurley for his 1908 Reo for the oldest car attending the campout that took part in a tour.
–    Favorite Canadian – Mike and Judy Guido of Cranbrook driving a 1956 Mercury
Favorite American – John and Doris Walters of Puyallup, Washington driving a 1954 Ford .

The winners of the draw of the various sponsors and donators of door prizes to attend the BBQ Supper were Bruce & Linda Gamble, owner/operators of the local Lakeside General Store and Tempo Gas Station.  A draw for a pocket rocket mini motor bike was won by Wes Robson of Trail, B.C.  The final presentation was an Air Hockey Table donated by Leo and Adele Salsman of Trail.  They wanted it to go to one of the children, 15 or under, that were attending the campout.  The name drawn was their grandson, four year old Isaac Dawson, who ran up to the mike and said, ‘I already have one, I want you to draw another name.’   How’s that for generosity? As a result, Milo Smienk of the Kootenay Lake Chapter won the game.

Monday morning saw the windup with a breakfast hosted by the Columbia Chapter.  30th Anniversary cake table centres for each table were made by Jean Pisacreta and Heath Beaudoin and were beautiful.  They also made a huge slab cake that was served as dessert at the BBQ.

These campout weekends would not be the success they are without the continued support from our community.  The businesses and the volunteers that take part help to make it the success it is and we would like to express our sincere thanks to each and every one of them.