After spending 40 years as the president of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists club who runs Scout Island, Fred McMechan is retiring from the board. (Gaeil Farrar photo)

YEAR IN REVIEW: April

Chemo RV partners with West Fraser to replant thousands of trees

April 4, 2018

The owner and staff at Chemo RV are taking steps to be leaders in the wildfire recovery efforts.

Already known for assisting their community of 150 Mile House when needed during the 2017 wildfires, Jason Bell and his staff are now focusing their efforts on regrowing and rebuilding the area in the years following the emergency by committing to plant trees in areas hit hard by fire.

“We have already committed to replanting 150,000 trees this year but our goal is to get to 175,000 trees,” Bell said.

Chemo RV has partnered with West Fraser to purchase and plant the trees, promising to plant 1,000 trees for every RV sold at their locations in Quesnel and 150 Mile House from April, 2018 until the end of October, 2018.

On average, the two Chemo RV locations sell just over 200 units per year, he said.

“The whole idea is to replenish what we all lost. It’s just about giving back to the community,” Bell said.

“We had a catastrophic event that we aren’t going to forget any time soon. But now we’d like to put the focus on rebuild and regrowth.”

Bell’s dream is to watch those trees change and grow over the years where the fires were.

Last summer, Chemo RV lent more than two dozen RVs to first responders to use as they battled the wildfires at 150 Mile House.

The dealership, which has locations in Quesnel and 150 Mile House, also hosted a fundraising event and collected donations for several groups of first responders working to protect the region during the fires. Overall, $54,000 was raised and donated to the Canadian Red Cross, and the Williams Lake and 150 Mile House Fire Departments.

Williams Lake Minor Hockey Association parents and executive mourn Humboldt Broncos tragedy

April 7, 2018

Hockey families across the country, including those in Williams Lake, were shaken Saturday (April 7) as news continued to unfold surrounding the tragic hockey bus crash in Saskatchewan Friday evening.

As of 1 p.m. Saturday, 15 victims were confirmed dead and another 14 were injured, three critically, when a semi-truck collided with the bus, filled with members of the junior hockey team headed to a playoff game.

The team’s head coach and captain as well as the team’s play-by-play radio announcer were among the dead.

The tragedy is being felt in the hockey world and around the globe.

It was just a few weeks ago that Williams Lake hockey players filled buses themselves and hit the road for playoffs.

READ MORE: WLMHA parents and executive mourn Humboldt Broncos tragedy

Williams Lake Minor Association president Todd Isnardy was in Edson, Alberta with other Williams Lake friends playing at a hockey tournament they heard the terrible news.

“It’s every parent’s, every coach’s, every association’s worst nightmare,” Isnardy told the Tribune.

“You send your child off to play hockey and follow their dreams … and this happens. It’s mind-numbing. It’s hard to find the words for how I feel. Our whole team here, we are just numb.”

Williams Lake Indian Band celebrates specific claims victory

April 7, 2018

The community of Sugar Cane came together Friday for a celebration 150 years in the making.

Hundreds of community members and guests gathered in the Elizabeth Grouse gymnasium because of the Williams Lake Indian Band’s recent specific claims win.

On Feb. 2, 2018, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled the WLIB was wrongfully displaced from its village lands in the 1860s and settlers were permitted to take up the lands.

The land in the claim encompasses the foot of Williams Lake, including downtown Williams Lake, where the band lived, had homes and a church and where Chief William is buried.

In 1879, Chief William wrote a letter to the editor of the British Daily Colonist newspaper in Victoria, B.C., pleading that the land question be settled for First Nations.

“The land on which my people lived for 500 years was taken away by a white man; he has piles of wheat and herds of cattle,” William stated. “We have nothing — not an acre. Another white man has enclosed the graves in which the ashes of our fathers rest and we may live to see their bones turned over by the plow.”

The claim will not give land back to the band, but it will be compensated financially.

Fred McMechan retires as president of Scout Island

April 11, 2018

Fred McMechan has been president of the Williams Lake Field Naturalists club, the group who runs Scout Island, roughly as long as Scout Island has existed in the form it is today.

Now, 40 years later, the long-standing president is retiring from the board, citing some health concerns.

“I’ve always enjoyed it. I’ve always thought it was very worthwhile to work down there and also, of course, to assist with the club itself. I’m accepting of it and I think I have served fairly well and it is time for others to take over.”

In the early 70s, the Scout Island property was purchased by the Nature Trust of BC to be conserved as a nature area. In 1977, the Field Naturalists took on running the property, starting properly in the winter of 1978, said McMechan.

McMechan has been around as president since that time.

“What we had to do was start planning. We had to develop trails there, bridges and walkways: the Island Trail, the Willow Trail,” he said. “A lot occurred in the first few years after we took over. The first important thing was opening up the nature house and making it into a nature interpretive centre.”

81st Annual Williams Lake Bull Show and Sale underway in lakecity

April 19, 2018

Auctioneers Larry and Wayne Jordan, Wilf Smith and Wayne Pincott will be calling the action Friday, and will kickoff the sale portion of the event April 20 at 11 a.m.

The agricultural display in the parking lot of the Williams Lake Stockyards features the latest in tractors, farm equipment trucks, livestock handling equipment, tires, ATVs, stock trailers, seed, fame shelters and more.

READ MORE: Bull sale and show nets results

For more information on the 81st Annual Williams Lake Bull Show and Sale call Pam Abrahamse at 250-392-0858 or visit www.bclivestock.bc.ca.

Sellars, Price team up at Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo

April 24, 2018

It’s not everyday that Willie Sellars jumps on the back of a rodeo bull.

The Williams Lake Indian Band councillor, Stampeders netminder, father of three and celebrated children’s book author shocked many in the crowd Friday evening by entering the bull riding event at the 28th Annual Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo.

And, he also garnered a little help from a fellow goaltender — none other than the Montreal Canadiens’ and Anahim Lake’s Carey Price.

“This was just like the fourth time in my life I’d ridden a bull,” Sellars told the Tribune. “And Carey Price is there to pull my rope. You couldn’t have scripted it any better unless I [stayed on the eight seconds]. That was some experience for me, and having [Price] there was just a bonus.”

Sellars drew nasty C+ Rodeos bull, Ellis’s Holy Roller.

With just one practice ride under his belt from the previous evening, Sellars said Price approached him behind the bucking chutes Friday night and asked if he could hold his rope as he prepared for his ride.

“I was pretty pumped,” he said. “That’s the first time I met him, really, but I guess he knows who I am. He’s really friendly with all the cowboys and loves rodeo like any Williams Laker, and he was keen on it, and I was stoked. It wasn’t something that was premeditated.”

Sellars’ decision to enter bull riding was inspired by an upcoming children’s book he’s working on: Rodeo with Dad, which will follow in the footsteps of his two previous books, Dipnetting with Dad and Hockey with Dad.

In Hockey with Dad, Sellars introduces a new character at the end named Big Brother.


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