Tag Archives: Sue Cameron

Getting Fit (& Fun) at Myrtle Philip

Opportunities for continued learning and recreational programming are not always abundant in small communities.  This was especially true before the internet made distance learning and online tutorials commonplace.  In the 1970s and 80s in Whistler, Myrtle Philip Elementary School was the site of learning for more than just school aged kids.

An adult education department began running out of Myrtle Philip School after the school opened in 1976.  It offered various classes and programs, mainly in the evenings, to those living in the area.  Looking at the summer programs offered in 1981, it would seem that there was high demand among the local population for sports and fitness related programming.

Programming in the Myrtle Philip School gym included drop-in sports, including basketball and volleyball. Whistler Question Collection, 1983.

That summer, seven different activities were offered out of the school, including gardening, French lessons, basketball, tennis, and karate once or twice a week.  The most popular and frequent classes were named Fun & Fit and Superfit, occurring a total of seven time weekly, almost enough to fulfill the small community’s “seemingly insatiable need for fitness classes.”

The classes were run by instructors Sue Worden and Susie Mortensen, who began the program in the fall of 1980.  According to the Squamish Citizen, the popularity of the program was “overwhelming” and it was regularly attended by at least thirty to forty people, including a core group of five to ten men.  By adding later time slots, the class hoped to increase those numbers even further.  Debbie Cook, the adult education coordinator, attributed the program’s success to its instructors and “the enthusiasm and dedication they have infused into the participants.”

Sue Worden of Body Works puts a group of Corporate Cup die-hards through the paces in Village Square Saturday. Whistler Question Collection, 1983.

For $2 (or $10 for ten sessions) participants could engage in an hour-long exercise class including stretches, aerobics, and strengthening exercises.  In 1982 Sue Cameron wrote a review of the program for the Citizen, describing it as a great opportunity to get in shape for the ski season.  According to Cameron, the class began with fifteen minutes of stretching and warming up before turning to twenty minutes of “sweat-out time, running and hopping on the spot intermingled with subtle stretching exercises.”  Pushups and sit ups were followed by another period of stretching, this time concentrating on breathing “so as to get the most out of the pain you just went through.”  All of this was, of course, set to modern music of the 1980s.

Classes were offered daily Monday through Friday, meaning that “if you can walk the next day you can do it again!”

Action! Fitness instructor Sue Worden pedals her heart out for Action BC testing Saturday, March 6 while Kevin Ponnock, fitness consultant, records pulse rate. The government-sponsored program includes flexibility training and a diet analysis so that participants can asses their fitness level. Whistler Question Collection, 1982.

The demand for fitness programs was not just for the adults 0f Whistler.  Kindergym, a weekly class of basic gym activities and occasional handicrafts sponsored by the Alta Lake Community Club, also ran out of the Myrtle Philip School gymnasium.  Targeting children aged two to five, the class was also an opportunity for parents and caregivers to socialize.

The offerings of the adult education department expanded over the decade.  Instructors were drawn from within the community, calling on anyone who wanted to share a particular skill or hobby.  During the fall of 1986 community members could learn about European cooking from Mark Kogler, first aid from Karen Killaly, and mountain safety and avalanches from Chris Stetham and Roger McCarthy, as well as various crafts such as macrame, glass etching, and dried flower arranging.  Topping the list of programs was still Fun & Fit with Sue Worden.

Whistler has grown quite a bit since the 1980s and today there are numerous classes and programs, some still running out of (the slightly newer) Myrtle Philip School.

This Week In Photos: August 16

1978

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean aerial practice ends.

Mayor Pat Carleton stands by one of the Municipality’s trucks, complete with the Municipality’s logo. (In a side note, the “City Hall” sign hanging above the trailer’s door has recently been added to our archives.)

The Christiana Inn is currently closed to the public, as this sign makes clear.

1979

Fire Chief Lindsay Wilson puts up one of the many No Campfire signs now appearing in the Whistler area due to the extreme fire hazard rating.

One V.W. easy over! Stewart McQuarrie of North Vancouver escaped uninjured when he lost control of his car near Daisy Lake.

Stevenson workers work on Package 5 while the piledriver works on #6 at the Whistler Town Centre.

The new temporary addition trailer to the Whistler Municipal Hall.

Neal Davidge shows Rotary President Doug Read the location of Nanisivik in the Arctic.

1980

Cover this turret with copper, fix up the other finishing touches, and put it on top of Parcel 16 and you’ve got Whistler’s very own clock tower. The clock is visible as skiers head down the chairlifts of either mountain.

Two members of the party unload skis off the sea plane at Garibaldi Lake before heading up the route.

A lone skier descends down the glacier to Garibaldi Lake.

Peter Chrzanowski stands in one of the warm mini-lakes at the foot of the glacier. Camera’s lens is 1/2 submerged causing a strange distortion below the water’s surface.

Like toothpaste from the tube, cement oozes from a hose handled by a construction worker as he balances along the top of the “dressing room walls” of the Resort Centre.

1981

Whistler Question publisher Paul Burrows loads one of the 40 bags of mail that left the Post Office on August 12 after the mail strike was over.

FIRE! Lightning strike sets fire to Rainbow Mountain Ridge. Sunday afternoon cocktail sippers got this view from Stoney’s terrace.

Hilda Davey and daughter-in-law Nancy smilingly await the arrival of the new soft ice cream machine at Hilda’s Deli which recently re-opened in the Village centre.

L&A Contracting CAT 225 loader sits in the waters of Green Lake after road widening ledge collapsed on August 11.

Dave Cathers exhibits fine form during the mixed double finals at the Inside Out Tennis Tournament.

The swimmers and sunbathers on the beach and the new dock.

1982

Bon Voyage! The Raine family – Al, Nancy and twin boys Charley and Willy – gather on their front porch for a parting shot shortly before leaving for Switzerland Sunday, August 22.

Petanque player shows his form while President of the Whistler Petanque Club, Jean Jacques Aaron, looks on.

Thieves were determined to get into the office of Whistler’s Husky station as this battered door evidences.

Whistler’s original sluggers, Doc A’s, took part in the Pemberton Ladies’ Invitational Softball Tourney August 14 – 15. (L – R, top row) Brillo, Jan Simpson, Kathy Hicks, Linda Henderson, Cathy Dickinson. (L – R, bottom row) Barb Simpson, Valerie Lang and Laura Nedelak. Missing – Ann Chaisson, Katie Rodgers, Jan Haldimand and Wendy Meredith.

New owners of The Going Nuts Shop (l – r) Brenda and Doug Horton and Chuck and Claire Kingzett take a break from busy preparations.

1983

Jerome Rozitis, right, took first place and Andrew O’Keefe second in the Children’s Triathlon Saturday.

The Whistler Community Arts Council sits with collection boxes for a Book Drive and Auction, while also advertising the Class of ’83’s Arts & Crafts Show.

It was a hot time in the old town of Whistler August 12 – 14 as jazz musicians and their fans poured into the valley for Jazz on the Mountain. Skies stayed sunny and spirits soared, including Larry Coryell’s. A pioneer jazz fusion and one of the most innovative performers featured at the three-day event, Coryell cranked it out with saxophonist Richie Cole and blues belter Ernestine Anderson for a real show-stopper Sunday afternoon. J. Bartosik photo.

Whistler’s new $15,000 tent had its inauguration during the August 12 – 14 jazz festival, much to the pleasure of 4000 jazz buffs who turned out for the event held at the base of Whistler Mountain. Friday night’s concert, offered at no charge, featured the stylings of West Coast Jazz Orchestra and Vancouver Ensemble of Jazz Improvisation in Village Square. At press time, no official report had been released on the financial outcome of the festival.

1984

Cyclists in Friday evening’s White Gold criterium race averaged about 37 km/h in the 50 km event. Ninety-three racers from the Lower Mainland, the rest of Canada and other parts of the world took part in the criterium, which was part of a five-event series that ended Sunday in Gastown.

Whistler windsurfer Sue Cameron picked up four medals at the Western Hemisphere Championships (District 11) on Chestier Lake in Calgary over the weekend. Cameron, who plans to enter professional competition, placed high in three separate events to pick up the overall crown. The championships will be aired on September 8 on CTV.

The Melloyds, an a cappella group, grabbed the spotlight as one of the most entertaining acts during the weekend Music Festival.

A wide variety of musical acts took part in the festival, including Olatunjia (a band featuring African drums and dancing), Mojo and Vancouver’s Jim Byrnes, who created a local following after just one show.