Wrestling Day rolls on

Jean Belliveau’s death has triggered a lot of attention, and it’s well deserved.

Jean Belliveau’s death has triggered a lot of attention, and it’s well deserved. He was not only a superb hockey player (he made it look so easy), he was a special person off the rink, too. A true hero.

***

Wrestling Day has its critics, but we’ll celebrate our unique civic holiday again in 2015.

When it started, way back when, most of the businesses were of the mom and pop variety and the entire town shut down for the day. That ended as the town grew and chain stores came in. Wrestling Day wasn’t the “only in Williams Lake” event.

We used to have a bull throwing contest at Stampede time. This event featured local politicians and visiting dignitaries vying to see who could throw the bull (dried  cow patties) the farthest. It usually made the TV news.

Maybe it’s nostalgia, but I think politics used to be more fun. I don’t know about our newly-elected bunch, but in the past few years our politicians have tended to take themselves pretty seriously.

Williams Lake is also one of the few B.C. cities to have a poet laureate, Frank Gleeson. We have an official flower, too, the lilac, but we share that with Merritt.

***

I participated in a BC Hydro phone survey last week and  had my usual problem. My answers didn’t fit the questions. I rate the services provided by Hydro very satisfactory.

It’s  the management I question. This particular Crown Corporation was a huge factor in the growth and prosperity of this province for over five decades.

In recent years, for one reason or another, it has developed problems including, but not limited to, a huge debt load, a surplus of electricity, and environmental concerns over projects like Run of the River and the proposed Site C dam.

The survey didn’t deal with those issues.

Our other former Crown jewel,  BC Ferries, isn’t doing so well either.

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.

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