Tag Archives: Bill Vander Zalm

This Week In Photos: July 12

This week seems to be full of races!  With the Garibaldi Cup, Molson’s Whistler Bike Race and the beginnings of the Whistler Half Marathon all making appearances, July would seem to have always been a very active month in Whistler.

1979

Paul Tattamanti and Eugene Rochfort at the Stage 1 turnaround at Whistler in the rain on Saturday. By the end of the weekend, Rochfort was celebrating as part of the Anglia-Norco team that won the Garibaldi Cup.

Mayor Pat Carleton and Alderman Al Raine with Minister of Municipal Affairs Bill Vander Zalm and his wife Lillian.

The Blackcomb view from the 4,000 ft. level looking down one of the runs towards the school and the Town Centre.

Vic Hurford’s crew at work on the Blackcomb Road.

1980

New location for Town Hall puts municipal buildings adjacent to the Public Safety Building (PSB) on the north side. Upstairs meeting room in the PSB will be used for Council Chambers.

Blackcomb’s mountain top restaurant takes shape before a shrinking backdrop of peaks and glaciers.

The wedding hall in Whistler set with finery ready for a post-nuptial feast.

Betty Vogler slams a service over to her opponent during the first women’s open tennis tournament on Sunday.

Dale Arsenault completing the first hang-glide journey from the top of Whistler to the base facilities near Highway 99.

1981

Cyclists climb as part of Molson’s Whistler Bike Race.

The $300,000, three-room addition to Myrtle Philip School begins to take shape.

Betty Vogler, winner of the women’s singles.

Birthday boys Murray Coates (left) and Doug Schull cut their giant cake.

Peter Andrew, Willy Schaeffler, Nelson Bennett, Bob Bartley, Bill McCance, Lorne O’Connor, Boyd Stuwe and John Hanna discuss the new downhill course plan.

1982

Delta Mountain Inn’s General Manager John Pope surveys the main lobby of the hotel as workmen add finishing touches.

The guest rooms at Mountain Inn feature luxurious appointments, including original artwork. This one was decorated in tones of royal blue with beige and rose bright lights.

Molson’s Whistler Bike Race passes through the Whistler Village.

Phil Anderson of West Point Cycles could have stolen the show in the Celebrity Race with this two-star wheelie. Celebrities, including Whistler’s Mayor Pat Carleton, tested their skills on similar race vehicles during the Sunday afternoon race.

In honour of the first annual ‘sailpast’ of the newly formed ‘Whistler Yacht Club’. Commodore Jan Holberg takes the salute as the motley array of boats passes the reviewing stand on July 12.

With the families and godparents gathered together, Rev. Ed Wallace recites the baptism service to the Roberts family (left) and the MacKenzies on the occasion of the christening of their children on July 10.

Under a Rest lifted their voices in perfect harmony to give Whistlerites a taste of a capella singing on Friday.

1984

Whistler T.V. Society members Floyd Eclair, Richard Heine and Albert Bryjack went up to adjust the society’s channel 6 antenna atop Sproat Mountain last Sunday.

Whistler’s Bottlemaster Harry Carman with just some of the new-fangled bottle types that have flooded the market.

Ready to go! Finishing in a time of just over 1:12, Alan Carr won the second annual Whistler Half Marathon last Sunday, beating out a crowd of more than 200 other runners. Carr says that the course was as hilly as he’d ever seen, adding that he trains only about four or five days a week, one half hour a day. Neil Waken placed second in the 13.1 km race.

Stew Muir gets a shot of diesel from Art Den Duyf’s tank at Mons.

Someone is chopping down trees on Ruth Buzzard’s property. Buzzard recently received permission to build a campground on a 15.3 ha (38 acre) site between White Gold and Mons. But despite no trespassing signs and notices asking that trees not be cut, at least a dozen trees have disappeared. Now a large area of the future campground is almost bare.

Whistler landscaper Leigh Finck donated time, plants and energy over the weekend to spruce up the Chamber of Commerce Information Centre at the gondola.

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This Week in Photos

As it’s the beginning of a new year, we thought we’d share some photos from the beginnings of some other years in Whistler’s past.  From the mundane to the more historic, we’ve collected a few shots of six new years in Whistler.  All photos come from the Whistler Question and were taken or published in the first week of January.

1979

Cold temperatures created perfect temperatures for outdoor skating.  Here we have a hockey game on quite an impressive looking rink.

Creekside was a pretty busy place with cars taking up most of the available space during the days.

Rocky the Raccoon pays his nightly visit through the hole in the rock at the Whistler Vale bar.

One for the road! Highways’ gravel truck being rescued out of the ditch by Wayside Park on Sunday, January 7.

1980

Bill and Lillian Vander Zalm engaging in a friendly snowball fight during their visit to Whistler.

A busy moment at the intersection in Creekside with the ski traffic filling the highway.

The snow was looking pretty good for the new year!

Whistler children enjoy a performance by Officer O’Sneely and giants in the Myrtle Philip School gym.

1981

Highway 99 shows the effects of rampant flooding. Turbulent waters carved a new creek bed for a hundred yards.

One of two destroyed power lines when flood waters washed out footings south of the Tisdale Hydro Station.

BCR Rutherford Creek crossing hangs by its rails after the December 26 flood washed away all supports and girders.

Pauline Wiebe hard at work checking the next edition of the Whistler Question.

1982

Willie Whistler poses with some young racers at the base of the village lifts.

They’re off! One of the groups starts in the ALSC X-Country race January 2.

The shelves at the grocery store were looking pretty empty after the holidays.

Two real longhorns – assistant manager Gavin Yee poses with manager Peter Grant.

Ski ballet made an appearance on the slopes with some impressive acrobatic feats.

1983

Sign bylaw is in, neon goes out. A municipal bylaw saw the end of neon signs in the Village.

A pensive Dave Murray checks out the application of new skiing techniques put to task by young members of the Whistler Mountain Ski Club during the recent training camps.

Ready! Get Set! Go! The newest members of Alta Lake Sports Club are off and racing in a 400 metre cross-country event Sunday, January 2.

A Molson downhill race was held on Whistler Mountain, making the most of the snow.

Heavy apres ski traffic is masterfully channelled by parking attendant Nick Di Lalla on Sunday, January 2, in Whistler Village.

1985

New Year’s Eve saw a packed Village as crowds celebrated the countdown to 1985.

The celebrations for New Year’s Eve were overseen by Santa Claus, hanging around a bit later than expected.

The offices of the Whistler Question, where Kevin Griffin works tirelessly on despite interruptions.

The Whistler Singers perform under the direction of Molly Boyd.

And her son, Rob Boyd, walks down some stairs in the Whistler Village.

The SoCreds Party in Whistler!

Thirty years ago, Whistler was at the centre of the BC political universe. During the week culminating in July 30th 1986, the provincial Social Credit Party held their leadership convention here, as they sought to find a replacement for outgoing party leader Bill Bennett.

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The Whistler Driving Range was transformed into a political fair grounds, where leadership hopefuls could promote their political brand.

The Socreds, as the party was commonly known, had a close connection to the nascent resort. Although the initial decisions to create the RMOW, develop skiing on Blackcomb, and build a tourism-specific village at the base of the mountains had been made during the 1972-1975 reign of the NDP, the Socred’s ideological opposites and bitter rivals, the Socreds (to many people’s surprise) continued to support Whistler Village when they regained power in 1975.

Most notably, this included assuming provincial control of a heavily indebted Whistler Village Land Company in 1983. Without that decision, Whistler Village would be a very different place than it is today. At major political risk, the Socreds had hitched their wagon to Whistler Village.

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The buzz in Village Square was inescapable.

In 1986, with Whistler Village construction completed and the resort experiencing rapid growth and approaching economic stability, it was the perfect venue to highlight one of the Socred’s major successes in governance.

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The carnivalesque atmosphere on the Whistler Village driving range during the 1986 SoCred Leadership convention. Photo by Dave Steers.

In typical fashion, Whistler locals made sure to apply their own interpretation of the term “political party.” As local photographer Dave Steers recalls:

What became evident rather quickly to Whistlerites was that the convention offered interesting eating and drinking opportunities. Many of the would-be leaders didn’t seem to mind wining and dining the locals in town and, not surprisingly, full advantage was taken.

Tapley’s regulars could be found schmoozing with delegates over bar-b-q’d bison burgers. Citta’s patio-dwellers migrated to the driving range to trade political views and and down beers with the movers and shakers of the Social Credit party. It made for some interesting exchanges.

A kind of poster war developed in the village. Rumour had it that local eateries were selling walls and pillars to candidates who would then paste their campaign posters onto them. A pillar in the right location was rumoured to be worth over a thousand dollars.

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Village Square was turned into a central convention space and outdoor billboard for all of the contenders (at least those that could afford the temporary real estate for their signs).

In the end, Bill Vander Zalm won the convention and assumed leadership of the party, overcoming rivals Grace McCarthy and Brian Smith, among others. Notably, the 12th and last place finisher was none other than future Prime Minister of Canada Kim Campbell.

The 1986 convention was widely regarded as a successful and energizing political event, and Vander Zalm initially enjoyed high approval ratings as BC Premier. Thankfully, however, Whistler’s fortunes weren’t tied to the Socred brand, as Vander Zalm was forced to resign due to a controversial conflict-of-interest case in 1991, and the ultimate decline of the Social Credit Party followed soon after.

Here in Whistler, meanwhile, the party never stopped.