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Leaders treated for city’s birthday

Former council members gathered for a group photo during the tea. Pictured standing in back are former councillors  John Dell (left), Paul French, Surinderpal Rathor (former and current),  Annette Giesbrecht, former mayor Walter Cobb and former mayor Ethel Winger. Seated in front are former councillor Judy Allain, former mayor and current councillor Ivan Bonnell, and former mayor Jim Fraser. - Gaeil Farrar photo
Former council members gathered for a group photo during the tea. Pictured standing in back are former councillors John Dell (left), Paul French, Surinderpal Rathor (former and current), Annette Giesbrecht, former mayor Walter Cobb and former mayor Ethel Winger. Seated in front are former councillor Judy Allain, former mayor and current councillor Ivan Bonnell, and former mayor Jim Fraser.
— image credit: Gaeil Farrar photo

A quiet afternoon tea with a wagon wheel cake marked the official beginning of the City of Williams Lake’s 85th year  on Saturday, March 15, the actual birthday date.

The invitational tea was hosted by the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin to recognize city council members who have helped to build the community over the years.

Invitations were sent out to former and current  mayors and council members as well as some of the people involved with the Williams Lake Stampede and early history of the community.

Former mayors Jim Fraser, Ethel Winger, Walt Cobb and current councillor/former mayor Ivan Bonnell were among the 50 community leaders and friends who were able to attend.

The museum logo is a wagon wheel, so it was fitting that the cake, made for the occasion by Taylor Made Cakes, was in the form of a wagon wheel, uniquely crafted with individual cupcakes pulled together with icing.

Mayor Kerry Cook was called upon to make the first cuts in the cake and thanked all of those there for their commitment to working together to make a better community.

The city’s official poet Frank Gleeson was in Kamloops performing at the Cowboy Festival,  but he had written a poem to mark the birthday and it was read by Museum  President Ruth Walters.  In the poem Frank gave some reasons why the city might want to use moonshine instead of beet juice to melt the ice on city streets.

For many of the guests it was a chance to renew acquaintances and catch up on viewing  some of the new exhibits in the museum.

The latter includes  the Woodland Jewellers exhibit which features  the workbench, watchmaker’s stand and tools used by founder Tony Woodland when he first arrived in the city.

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