A special community tribute for author and former Chilcotin Coast MP Paul St. Pierre takes place at the Gibraltar Room this Friday evening, Sept. 16.
The Williams Lake Film Club is proud to announce that this year’s opening tribute to Paul St. Pierre will be a team effort between our club and the Williams Lake Library branch of the Cariboo Regional District Library, for this one special event only.
Paul St. Pierre and many old-timers will be present as well as his family.
Mayor Kerry Cook, Cariboo Regional District chair Al Richmond, and Dorothy Unrau of the Williams Lake Spinners and Weavers Guild will all make special presentations to celebrate St. Pierre’s work and his importance to our region.
You will be surprised what these presentations will be.
Lorne Doerkson, of Cariboo GM, which is the event sponsor, will be the master of ceremonies for the evening.
St. Pierre, the well-known author of many books about the Chilcotin, such as Breaking Smith’s Quarterhorse, Chilcotin and Beyond, and Boss of Namko Drive; Vancouver Sun syndicated columnist for many years; Chilcotin Coast MP from 1968 to 1972; and writer of the beloved 1960s CBC television series Cariboo Country, has accepted our invitation to come to Williams Lake and be honoured for his life’s work.
Come and meet the legend.
As part of this event, St. Pierre has chosen his two favourite segments of Cariboo Country to be shown. One of them is with Chief Dan George, who was introduced to the public in this series and later became world famous.
In between the screening of the two segments of Cariboo Country, Veera Bonner will introduce Paul St. Pierre.
He will then talk about his life and experiences in our area, and he will be ready to answer your questions. Did you ever imagine you would have this opportunity? Well, here it is.
Paul St. Pierre will be 88 this coming October.
Let us take this evening and truly make it a celebration in honour of a special person, a person with “grit and gumption,” a person with honesty and understanding of our people, with wit and humour, and never without kindness toward the strength and weaknesses of the people of the Cariboo-Chilcotin.
Here is a suggestion: if you have any of his books, why don’t you bring them along and ask him to sign them for you.
St. Pierre is best known for his fictional recounting adventures and quirks of life in the Cariboo-Chilcotin. In his books he perfectly describes the lives of cowboys, the harshness of daily survival of ranchers and settlers, local history and myth.
His books serve as portraits of the cultures of the Chilcotin, Cariboo and Nechako districts of British Columbia.
Throughout the country, in fact, his books are recognized as classics in Canadian literature.
He has received many honours, including the 1984 Western Writers of America Spur Award and the B.C. Gas Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000.
As journalist Jim Bundell of the St. Catherine’s Standard remarks: “(St. Pierre’s) stories somehow grasp the very soul of Canada.”
But more specifically, they grasp the essence of life in the Cariboo-Chilcotin.
In true Cariboo-Chilcotin fashion, I want us to have a social gathering at the end of the evening, with home-baked cookies supplied by you, with tea and hot chocolate supplied by us, and with good talk and discussions supplied by everyone.
All of you are invited to take part in this very special evening. I am so looking forward to see you there; and so is Paul St. Pierre.
The tribute happens this Friday, Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Gibraltar Room at the Cariboo Memorial Complex.
Both doors open at 6:30 p.m, and admission is $10 for everyone.
After this opening, our films will be shown on Tuesdays, starting Sept. 27.
All proceeds are being donated to the Cariboo Regional District Library, Williams Lake Branch, and the LDA, Williams Lake Chapter of the Association of Students with Learning Disabilities.