We’re starting something new on the Whistorical blog! In the 1980s the Whistler Question began posing a question to three to six people and publishing their responses under “Whistler’s Answers” (not to be confused with the Whistler Answer). Each week, we’ll be sharing one question and the answers given back in 1982. Please note, all names/occupations/neighbourhoods represent information given to the Question at the time of publishing and do not necessarily reflect the person today.
Some context for this week’s question: The front page of the April 1, 1982 issue of the Question featured a story about Drew Meredith, a local real estate agent, winning $2 million and donating it to the Whistler municipality. As the paper was published on April 1, many readers recognized the story as an April Fool’s prank. A major recession hit North America in late 1981, with interest rates reaching up to 20%, and Whistler’s economic future was still unsure in early 1982.
Question: What did you think when you read the story last week about Drew Meredith giving away $2 million?
Sharon Berry – Head Cashier – Alpine Meadows
Actually, I did believe it while I was reading the article, and kept on believing it until the next day when I heard other people talking about it and realized it was a joke.
My first impression, though, was that he was a fool. I couldn’t imagine how anyone would be that stupid to give all that money away.
Jack Cram – Restaurateur – Village
I believed it for about two hours, mainly because I thought Drew is the kind of person to do something like that. But with the economy the way it is, especially the real estate market, I wondered why he would do it.
I was busy when I read it so it took a while to sink in.
Ross Tocher – Office Manager Mountainside Lodge – Nester’s
Basically, I thought if it was true, then (a) he was nuts, (b) he wanted a mountain named after him or (c) he wanted to be Mayor.*
Only someone like Mother Theresa would do something like that.
Lisa Knight – Manager of Calberg’s – Brio
I thought it was a lot of fun. When I first read it, I believed it. Then as I read more, it became more obvious.
A $2 million giveaway – I sure wouldn’t have done it. But a lot of people believed it.
Brian Fitzpatrick – Logger – Emerald Estates
I was disgusted. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to throw away $2 million.
I believed it, but it didn’t seem to make any sense. Those real estate b——- are either robbing us blind or throwing it away.
Bob Currie – Contractor – Alpine Meadows
Well, I immediately had grave doubts about the whole story. I laughed a lot the minute I saw a $2 million giveaway.
It was just too much of a coincidence to have a story like that April 1.
*Drew Meredith did, in fact, serve as Mayor from 1986 – 1990.