|While travelling around the Boundary looking for advertisers and stories to go into the OpenMinder, I was told about a person who was building a rest stop for the Trans Canada Trail that was being officially recognized. When I phoned to make a time to meet him a couple weeks ago, he said there was still 8 inches of snow on the ground, but I would find him out at the shelter, up on a ladder building and extention on the shelter roof.|
Well last week I went out to Rhone Road off of Hwy #33 just past Westbridge to meet Paul Lautard and a warm spell had made it harder to find evidence of the snow, but Paul was up on the ladder when I arrived.
When I got out of my car, the welcoming feeling of this place was overwhelming. The layout of the building, the railroad memorabilia, the cenotaph, picknick tables. Everything was a compliment to each other, and even more impressive is that Paul, who is 76, has done this himself, with his own time, money, land, and a little help from some friends.
Pauls canine companion, Stubby, named for his stubby tail, greeted
me and immediately drew me into play. A compact ball of energy
who’s talents included letting Paul know when the cyclers were
coming and entertaining them by moving rocks all over the gravel
covered ground in a variety of ways, for extended periods of time.
Paul, by this time had climbed down his ladder, greeted me with
a warm smile, and after introductions, started to show me around.
One of the first things I noticed when we were approaching the shelter, was that it was covered in writing, and as I came closer I noticed it was signatures in red and black. The first year of the shelter, black markers were left in there for people to use, and red markers for last year. When we walked into the shelter Paul could point to some rafter above, or wall, or post, and read a name and tell a story of the person he met.
“That guy there,”Paul starts in, “he’s a mechanical
engineer at the factory that makes the nails that went into this
place, and just about every other thing that takes a nail, they
make two tonnes a day every day. I get helicopter pilots, school
teachers, architects, geologists, every body comes. Pedro, from
Costa Rica was an exchange student, they come from all over the
Over top of my head is written 25th Wedding Aniversary, and Paul says “There was one guy who was standing there, and he looked up at it and he says ‘It’s my 25th wedding anniversary in 2000 and we’re going to come up and celebrate it here too!’ and then one day not too long ago I was working back here, behind the shelter and I looked back there, and it says Dwane Gilber, will you marry me. A marriage proposal!”
I then followed Paul around the front again where he was getting ready to put up a smooth piece of 4’x8′ plywood for writing more signatures. It seemed as if that one of the requirements of the building materials was, smoothness for writing on.
When we came across a signature from Folkstone England, Paul told me another story
“There was this woman who was here with her husband and son and they were from Folkstone England, and I told them that I was stationed there in the WWII. We were parked right beside the hospital and a bomb had hit the hospital and kill a lot of people in it. Well she says that she is a nurse at that same hospital, and she was quite interested because I had been to Folkstone.”
“Most every name has a number, I keep track of them in a book, that is the ones with the black marker, and I counted them up and there was 628 in 1998 and then in 1999 I used the red and counted them and got 1352. That’s almost 2000 people. This year I’ll be getting a bunch of blue markers, and who knows, I may get 2000 people.”
One of the extensions on the side of the shelter is being expanded for a bike shelter for when it is raining.
Paul does a little bit of wood planing for a friend and in trade has his friend make up some very well designed round picknick tables.
What rest stop would be complete with out an out house, and at
this stop it has something a little bit unique. “Some times
when I’m down here with the visitors,” Paul says “someone
comes back here and the first thing they see is these Dutch doors,
and they’ll holler out to there husband or wife and they’ll say
‘come up here and take a picture of me!”
The building is fresh painted and clean as a whistle. “I wash it every day in the season, and see it’s got a mirror in here too.
We made our way back to the open area and Paul explained that he was in the process of obtaining a caboose that was off its wheels, to add to the collection of railroad memorabilia that he was building into the area. From rails off a track his father drove a speeder on for 15 years, to the signs, spikes, and locks and other tools.
“This is a group of 14 Germans and they come 4 times a year. This stop is their lunch stop” Paul explained to me as he was pointing to some more names. They leave Midway or Rock Creek and by the time they get here it’s lunch time. The stop here is at 651 meters above sea level, they like to know that because the summit is about 1210.”
“Some people who have land that the trail goes through are kind of hesitant to cooperate because of a fear of vandalism and garbage, have you had any problem in the past?” I asked.
” In the 2 years that the shelter has been up, and over 2000 visitors, I have picked up no more than 4 cigarette butts, that’s all! They need all their energy to keep on cycling. They pick up all their garbage. I don’t have a garbage can here, and they’re so polite. They are the nicest people you would ever want to meet.
Paul brought me over to the cenotaph, a 28 tonne rock, surrounded by a cement footing with a Canadian flag and a bronze plaque commemorating the memory of family passed. “The rock picked its place cause the D-9 Cat couldn’t drag it any more” Paul added.
We came across a water hose and before I could ask Paul said that that was for watering the flowers and wasn’t for them to drink, “It sits in the hose to long, I go up to the house and bring down a jug of water I keep in the fridge for them. It’s sort of a hobby to take care of this, cause I don’t have much else to do in the summer.
Paul invited me up to the house, where he had also brought other trail treckers, to help dry them off in the wetter weather, and let them have a view of the valley and the shelter below, from the sunroom. More of Pauls talents were hiding inside his home. Actually once inside they aren’t hiding, they are displayed on the walls. The beautiful relief carvings of wild life and nature scenes. He says his hands aren’t as good at it any more, so he hasn’t done any in a while.
As I was leaving I stopped at the end of his driveway to take the picture on the front page and Paul was already up the ladder and back to work trying to get it finished and ready for April 26th when there will be the “Official Acknowledgement” of his labour of love.
This issue marks the last issue of the first year of business for the OpenMinder. It was April 1st 1999 when the premier issue was published, and since then this paper has, by fulfilling a need in this area, grown, and still continues to grow. By getting the positive feedback that I have gotten, it makes me believe this second year will be a year of more growth and involvement in the area! The partnership with the Trans Canada Trail Relay 2000 is a little extra reason to celebrate the end of this 1st year in business and a nice way to start off our second year.
As a publisher of this paper, I am also faced with the limits of my own opinion, and having to decide how to give this publication the direction I think, and at the same time, have it live up to its name. In trying to become more involved in the community, I approached Jim Popoff, Editor of the ISKRA, the Doukhobor publication produced at the USCC in Grand Forks, about having them represented in the OpenMinder. I was overwhelmed by how how receptive Jim was and then, having him introduce me to Jason Harshenin, the Assistant and soon to be Senior Editor. Jason submitted a story last issue and again in this one. Jason and I have gotten together a couple of times since, and have been finding a lot of common ground. I have enjoyed the writing that Jason has done in the ISKRA because of the deep cord it strikes in me, and can only look forward to this upcoming 2nd year of OpenMinded journalism with optimism.
“Hoods in the Woods”
The Friends of the Elaho, a Vancouver-based environmental group, will be presenting the film “Hoods in the Woods” as part of its “Elaho Roadshow!” on Thursday, March 23 at 7pm in room #8 downstairs at Selkirk College.
The 22 minute film details the attack last September by 100 Interfor employees on 8 environmentalists in the Elaho Valley, a hotly contested old-growth valley network three hours north of Vancouver, and the Stoltmann Wilderness campaign behind it. The Stoltmann Wilderness campaign is infamous for violent attacks against peaceful protesters since 1995.
The show describes the history of the Stolmann campaign, surveys the past 25 years of direct action to protect wilderness in BC, and highlights current projects around the province oriented towards economic and community sustainability.
It concludes with a discussion focusing on local issues and a large information table covering community groups and actions from around the province. For more information call: Bryce Gilroy-Scott, Friends of the Elaho at (604) 255-6967 or David Simm, Friends of the Granby Environmental Society at (250) 442-3556
Trash Talk Getting the Hang of it?
Those cloths hangers can sometimes pile up on us, leaving our closets cluttered. They are still useable, though, and if you are like me you will hate the idea of throwing them out. Everyone seems to have enough of their own, and so for me, giving them away to people I knew was not an option. But, I have found a few ways.
Dry cleaners will often be more than happy to take back their own hangers. Many thrift and second hand stores or shelters are often in need of hangers; so give them a call. We reuse our metal hangers in the garden as pins to hold the row covers and plastic covers in place. Simply cut the two elbows out so that there are long legs left to insert in the ground. Poke the legs through the cover or plastic and push into the ground. We have also reused them to roast wieners while out camping by cutting the hanger’s hook off and straightening it into a rod.
To make them into a dust wand, simply cut out the hook part of the hanger and straighten it out. Attach strips of recycled soft cloth on the end of the wire by using a good glue. The wand works very well for reaching ceiling & wall corners where those nasty spiders seem to hang around.
Ideas & comments can be sent to e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A Community Perspective:
Embarking on a New Beginning
Jason Harshenin Assistant Editor, ISKRA
Recently, I had the fortunate opportunity of getting to know Brian McAndrew, the Editor the this publication, and I was inspired by his enthusiasm and dedication to promoting our community and the Boundary Area so positively. Brian is relatively new to our area but has already been able to develop a niche for himself and a new forum for community discussion, via “The OpenMinder”. And as the name signifies, it is definitely “open-minded”. Brian approached me recently to discuss cooperation between his publication and the one that I will be managing in April: ISKRA.
ISKRA, a Russian name which literally translates as “Spark”, – which Doukhobors interpret as the recognition that everything is connected to something larger than itself, the divine spark of the Creator or God that exists in all living things – is what this publication is named after.
ISKRA has been successfully published by the USCC organization since 1943. Today, we have over 1000 subscribers and issues being sent to places as far away as Japan, England, Finland and Russia, (and several other former Soviet republics), as well as across Canada and the United States. ISKRA is published bi-weekly in a humble office space here in Grand Forks, nest to the USCC Community Centre. It has an illustrated bilingual format, with over 75% of the content in English.
Like the name signifies, we are trying to participate in raising human consciousness: from ecologically sound methods of living, to health matters, spiritual discussion, various types of “peace” initiatives, and involvement in the “positive, community building” aspects of journalism from a Doukhobor perspective.
I truly believe that there is a contemporary need for alternative journalism, that the “negative” and “sensational” approach used by large networks and newspaper chains must be challenged. There is way too much “positive, community building” activity taking place that is not lining the pages of our so called “mainstream” sources of information. In fact, if we can participate in promoting the positive aspects of community versus the negative, sensational qualities that our global media network seems to thrive upon, we will, at the very minimum, contribute to the growing phenomenon of “community based”, positive awareness. And what a breathe of fresh air that would be to actually see our future, and the future of our children, optimistically. I am not suggesting that we all put on “rose coloured glasses” and deny the reality of our current global challenges but that we at least acknowledge the “bright side” of life; and those responsible for media coverage and journalistic endeavors become responsible to the vehicle that carries us through life (Earth), and all the people who call “her” home!!
Basically, we will help support each other along the way and do our collective best to promote positive change. What that looks like technically is hard to say, however, realistically, it amounts to “reaching out” individually towards each other and towards what we all value but tend to forget: that peace, ecology, sense of spirit, and hope starts at home, and at least within our community, is obviously growing!”
For information regarding ISKRA, or for subscription information, do not hesitate to call 442-8252 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
SNOWBIRDS Excitement Building!!
Since the Snowbirds Coordinating Team’s initial visit in February a great flurry of activity has been generated. It is a rare privilege to have the entire Team provide their full Airshow Program for a small town. It is the special 30th anniversary of the Snowbirds as well as the millennium celebration performance.
A team of eager volunteers have come forward following the first meeting of the Snowbirds Committee two weeks ago. The Committee Chairman – Ann Gordon, made a presentation before City Council to appeal for seed capital to finance the event. Another presentation was made to the Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday evening to outline the need to have the downtown businesses involved in promoting the special day of July 20th as Snowbirds Day.
The Airshow requires that a “safe zone box” is cleared, where no living person can be inside that box while the show is in progress. Several volunteers have visited the residents within that box of , Cameron Ave., International and Kenmore, to appeal to them to be kind enough to vacate their homes for approximate two hours, to include the Snowbirds preparation and performance of the show. In exchange for their generous cooperation the Snowbirds Committee have invited them to dinner and a VIP viewing place for the show. Most of these kind folks have been so very cooperative, for which Grand Forks thanks you most sincerely. They have demonstrated a true community spirit. These volunteers have also made a lot more friends. These residents will have the security provided by the RCMP who are also more than willing to help our cause in every respect that day. Through the numerous agencies we have had to contact to supply the needs of the Snowbirds Team we have gained tremendous support, volunteers and financial assistance.
We will be having continuous committee meetings prior to the event so we can present to the Snowbirds a facility second to none for organization, generosity and pride in our town.
The entire community appears to be showing such excitement for the wonderful, world class performance coming to this small town nestled in the mountains of BC.
My daughter told me there are kids at the high school that are drinking and driving. The kids that don’t drink and drive want the one’s that do to stop. Kids are dying, what can they do?
Start by encouraging your daughter to talk to a councilor at the
school. The issue must be brought to the attention of the family first and the school would be the best agent for that first attempt. Failing this go directly to the parents yourself. Your daughter is likely not wanting to be a “snitch” but you and I know how many lives are lost in this and so many other communities. If every student made a stand against drunk driving peer pressure could be used in a positive way.
Tax Tips -Did you know?
Child Tax Benefit will be increased (from information on you 1999 tax return) by an additional $170 effective July 1, 2000. The clawback rates will be 11% of family net income in excess of $20,921 for one child family: 19.7% for two child family and 27.6% for families with three children or more.
Why join the Chamber?
As a business owner in any city, at one point you will be approached about joining the local Chamber of Commerce, and if you are concerned about the economic and business atmosphere of the place where you are operating your business then the “Why” question shouldn’t even come up. The City of Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce is a group of business people who volunteer their time to encourage and help the growth of business. The Chamber can lobby the City to establish guidelines for better business development, help with tourism initiatives, and this year, if you are a member of the Chamber and book your booth at the Boundary Showcase by March 31st, then you will receive a 40% discount. For more reasons drop into the Chamber office on 5th Street in the Tourist Info Centre.
+ Francis Bacon, Essays – A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.
+ Henry Kaiser – Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.
+ Anonymous – Opportunity may knock only once, but temptation leans on the doorbell.
+ Anonymous – Many an opportunity is lost because a man is out looking for four-leaf clovers.
+ Laurence J. Peter – Fortune knocks but once, but misfortune has much more patience.
+ Flora Whittemore – The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.
+ Pogo – We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.
+ Anne Landers – Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognize them.