Three year’s worth of BC Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees were officially inducted during the Williams Lake Outdoor Rodeo on Sunday, Aug. 14 at the Stampede Grounds.
The inductions had not occurred in 2020 and 2021 due to the rodeo being cancelled because of the pandemic.
From the Let R’ Buck area, the inductees, or family members representing them, were transported by a horse-drawn wagon driven by Chilcotin ranchers Roy and Gwen Mulvahill just prior to the rodeo.
The wagon entered the grounds doing a drive-by past the grandstands before circling around to stop for the induction.
Announcer Russell Allison congratulated the inductees describing them as “legends, each and every one of them.”
Kelly Walls, Museum of Cariboo Chilcotin director and Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo president, presented plaques for each inductee.
For 2022, the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees were the late Henry Castillou, in the builder of western culture category, the late Norman Lindley in the category of horseman, and the late Charles “Chunky” Woodward in the builder of western culture category.
Inductees for 2021 were Marlene Wilson in the category of working cowboy, Steve Roberts in the category of working cowboy, Duane Witte in the category of horseman, and Durrell family, in the category of family.
The inductees for 2020 were Frank Armes, in the category of ranching pioneer, Allison Everett, in the category of builder of western culture, Paul “Buck” Mammel in the category of working cowboy and ranching pioneer, and Chilancoh Ranch and Bayliff family, in the category of century ranch and ranching pioneer.
Judge Henry Castillou
Henry Castillou was born and raised on a working ranch in British Columbia. Henry was born May 25, 1896, on his family’s Coldwater Ranch just south of Merritt, B.C. Ranching was a life-long integral part of Henry’s identity. By the age of four he was riding horses, and by the time he was a teenager he was competing in daring horse races at the Merritt’s Dominion Day celebrations and was running his own pack train.
Henry held onto his father’s horse and cattle brand, the “inverted L over 4, left hip” and had it registered under his name until two years before his own death. Henry often said he got more of a thrill rounding up cattle or wild horses in the Nicola Valley hills than in any court contest.
Henry grew up beside the Coldwater Indigenous Reserve 1 where he worked and lived with Nlakapamux peoples on his family ranch. Henry spoke multiple Indigenous B.C. languages and dialects, including being fluent in Chinook Wawa. He knew the important role Indigenous people played on B.C. ranches and farms.
Henry took up law as his profession after serving in the First World War as captain for the Royal Flying Corps. He became a defense lawyer and routinely defended the underdogs and marginalized people. His client’s cases ranged from murder and criminal cases to family estates. Over the decades, many of Henry’s court cases and legal activism activities often involved ranchers, ranch hands, cowboys, and rodeo organizations.
Henry was also an early B.C. legal and political Indigenous rights advisor. He used his many media contacts to further acknowledge Indigenous roles and contributions to events and rodeos across B.C. During his legal career, Henry was the Senior Judge of the County Court of the Cariboo and Local Judge of the Supreme Court for the County of Cariboo from 1950-1961.
Along with being a lawyer, Henry was also a horse show judge, rodeo announcer, and a rodeo contest judge. He was the official announcer for the Nicola Valley Stampede in Merritt for four years and was even given a Key to the City of Merritt. He was “Big Henry” to Nicola Valley locals on stampede days, and across B.C. he was known as the “Cowboy Judge”.
For decades Henry contributed to the betterment of rodeo and other horse sports. Henry used his connections to promote these events by inviting high-profile guests to rodeos and stampedes. He helped to keep western culture alive by being a rodeo and stampede supporter, judge, announcer, and booster.
Along with being involved in the B.C. rodeo community, Henry was often an honorary president of historical societies and museums. He helped preserve museums, buildings, and heritage sites in ranching regions such as Clinton’s famous old brick schoolhouse and courthouse. His knowledge of B.C. history led him to share countless historical stories that related to ranching, packing, and cowboy culture.
Henry was a devoted family man and raised three children with his wife Mintie. He had a son, Henry, and two daughters named Sheila and Josephine.
He remained connected to this province’s rich ranching culture during his entire lifetime. He died in Vancouver on April 11, 1967, age 70. His adventurous life, and devotion to B.C.’s ranching and rodeo culture characterized the “Cowboy Judge” until the end. Nicola Valley historian Pat Lean stated, “He was Williams Lake, he was Vancouver, he was Merritt, and he was British Columbian.”
Charles “Chunky” Woodward
Charles “Chunky” Woodward was born into the successful Vancouver retailing Woodward family on March 23, 1924. He spent holidays and summer vacations at Alkali Lake Ranch in the Cariboo. His maternal grandfather, Charles Wynn-Johnson, bought the ranch in 1908.
At its peak the Alkali Lake Ranch had more than 4,000 head of cattle and employed dozens of cowboys. From a young age, “Chunky” was enthralled with ranching life. He learned how to ride, rope and took part in cattle drives on his frequent visits to his grandparents.
With the onset of the Second World War his trips from Vancouver to the Interior became less frequent. After graduating from St. George’s School, Woodward enrolled in the University of British Columbia but left in his sophomore year to join the Canadian Army and served overseas with the 12th Manitoba Dragoons.
After securing his discharge at the end of the war, Woodward served as a manager of the newly-built Park Royal Shopping Centre in West Vancouver before becoming president of Woodward Stores in 1956. Retail may have been his vocation but ranching and riding were his passion.
In 1959 he, along with his partner John West, bought the then 75-year-old Douglas Lake Ranch near Merritt, B.C. West’s ownership continued until his death in 1968 at which point Woodward became the sole owner of the property.
The ranch, which includes 164,000 deeded acres and 350,000 government leased acres, remains Canada’s largest working beef cattle ranches. Despite directing his retail empire, Woodward was very much a “hands-on” rancher and had a small runway built near the home ranch so he could fly in on weekends to ride out on cattle drives, take part in the brandings, and ride his cutting horses.
In addition to the 200 head of saddle horses used by the cowboys, in the early 1960s Woodward began to nurture a Quarter horse breeding program. Starting in 1963 with the purchase of a four-year-old Quarter horse stallion, Peppy San, from Texas breeder Gordon Howell.
This program grew to have over 100 registered Quarter horses. With Texas trainer Matlock Rose on his back, Peppy San became the NCHA world champion in 1967 at which point he was retired to stud at Douglas Lake until 1975. Woodward also bought the mare Stardust Desire, which Matlock Rose had made the AQHA world champion in 1966. Woodward himself excelled as a competitor in Canada and the United States, and personally rode Peppy San to the 1969 Canadian Open Champion. His “stamp” on the sport of cutting will live forever through the purchase, breeding, and sale of cutting horses by the Douglas Lake Ranch. The horses he brought into Canada and incorporated into the ranch’s breeding program are a legacy that all cutters, past, present, and future, benefit from and acknowledge.
Despite his business career, Woodward’s boyhood attachment to ranching never waved. He was a founding member of the Canadian Rodeo Commission and worked to fund and establish professional rodeo across western Canada. He served as vice-president of the Canadian Cutting Horse Association (CCHA) from 1968 to 1972 and in 1988 was inducted into the CCHA Hall of Fame.
He also helped establish the British Columbia Cutting Horse Association (BCCHA) in 1973 and served as its first vice- president and was the first inductee into the BCCHA Hall of Fame. In all that “Chunky” undertook, whether it was business, recreational, social, or charitable, he demonstrated his own personalized sense of excellence.
In 1962 HRH, the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Phillip visited the ranch and was introduced to the sport of cutting. He was convinced that it would be a superb exhibition for the English equestrian world. So in 1964, with sponsorship from Rothman’s and British Airways, Woodward and five other members of the Canadian Cutting Horse Association took six horses to England where they competed at 14 shows including the Royal Windsor Horse Show and undertook a three-month tour of Great Britain.
Chunky Woodward died in April 1990 and the Woodward family operated the ranch until 1998 when it was sold to an American businessman, Bernie Ebbers. Charles “Chunky” Woodward kept his passion for ranching evident throughout his lifetime and will be forever known for his legacy left upon the cutting horse industry.
Norman Christopher Lindley
Norman Christopher Lindley was born in the mountains near Princeton B.C, May 1952. He was raised at the Quilchena reserve and Douglas Lake at the Blackjack homestead.
He developed a relationship with working with horses at an early age and felt at peace on the back of a horse. Norman worked as a cowboy for the Douglas Lake Ranch, Quilchena Cattle Company, Stump Lake Ranch and Spaxomin Cattle Company.
He was a competitor in the rodeo arena, and he was a pick-up man for Double J Rodeo company for many years, making numerous trips to the British Columbia Rodeo Association rodeo finals. In the early 80s, he began to raise and buy bucking horses, which he brought to Western Indian Rodeo Exhibition Association and British Columbia Rodeo Association rodeos throughout the province. Norman also leased bucking horses to Flying 5 and Big Bend Rodeo Company who was a Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association rodeo company based out of Washington State. His bucking horses- Buffalo, Thunder, Snowflake, Mighty Blue, Bald Hornet, Air Jet and Wise Guy to name a few – Thunder, Mighty Blue and Wise Guy made appearances in the bright lights of the Thomas & Mack during the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas.
Up to his death in September 2016 he was highly involved with his passion for raising high quality bucking horses.
Norman’s legacy is still living strong in the western world, turning heads with an up-and-coming superstar named “Dirty Roots” being brought down the rodeo circuit by Pete Carr Pro Rodeo.
With files from the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin for the 2022 BC Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees