Three individuals and one family from the Cariboo Chilcotin will be inducted into the 2019 BC Cowboy Hall of Fame at next week.
The 2019 inductees were announced recently by the BC Cowboy Heritage Society were welcomed into the hall at the Kamloops Cowboy Festival on March 15, and will be recognized at the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo’s Sunday performance on April 28.
This year’s hall of fame categories and inductees are as follows:
• Willie Crosina (Builder of Western Culture)
• Lawrence Elkins (Competitive Cowboy)
• Phillip Camille (Working Cowboy)
• The Moon family (Family)
Nominations go to the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin in Williams Lake, which is home to the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame inductees memorabilia at its location at the Tourism Discovery Centre.
A new category this year is the Builder of Western Culture where Crosina, at 94 years old, will be inducted.
“It makes you feel very good about it, and it’s a great honour,” said Crosina, who has been an avid supporter of all things ‘Western’ in Williams Lake, especially the Williams Lake High School Rodeo where he has been the announcer since it began in 1972.
Crosina is a cowboy, ranch hand, bookkeeper, truck driver, rodeo clown and bull fighter, plus a western wear store owner, and is well-known throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin and beyond for his dedication, passion and commitment to the sport of rodeo.
“I don’t think this class is just for me, but I guess I’ll be the first,” he said.
“It’s kind of nice to be recognized.”
Mark McMillan,who is the president of the BC Cowboy Heritage Society who hosts the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame induction ceremony, said Crosina embodies the ‘Western’ spirit and culture.
“It’s basically because of him,” McMillan said. “Willie sort of didn’t fit into any of our categories but he’s been so behind the cowboy ways and promoting it in so many different ways and doing so many different things his whole life we’re putting in this new category.”
Crosina added to be inducted alongside his friend, Lawrence Elkins of Anaham, is special.
“It’s an honour to go in with Lawrence,” he said. “I’ve known him a long time and he’s very deserving.
“He was one of the most classic saddle bronc riders I’ve ever watched. He just seemed to float.”
Phillip Camille, in the working cowboy class, worked in the Dog Creek area his entire life. He was born in Dog Creek in 1933 and grew up in Canoe Creek and Dog Creek while working at Dog Creek, Gang Ranch, Empire Ranch, Diamond S Ranch and Circle S Ranch.
The Moon family, meanwhile, who are spread throughout B.C. and Canada, have roots in B.C. and the Cariboo where family members owned and ran ranches including the Meldrum Creek Ranch, Deer Park Ranch and Hillcrest Ranch.
Charlie Moon came to the Cariboo in 1888 from England to work as a ranch hand in the Riske Creek area. He purchased his first property in 1901: the Deer Park Ranch, with several more to follow including the Hillcrest Ranch and the Moon Ranch at Meldrum Creek.
His grandchildren, John, Rex and Lillian still live in Williams Lake.
During his time in the Cariboo Charlie was heavily involved in the local community including the Cariboo Livestock and Fall Fair Association and the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association. He was a member of the Masonic Temple for many years, and was very involved wit the Anglican Church.
McMillan said the BC Cowboy Heritage Society was started in 1997 and the BC Cowboy Hall of Fame opened the following year in 1998.
“I think 99 per cent of the people who go in are just thrilled,” McMillan said. “It’s really quite an honour to them to find out — either that or a family member — is being acknowledged as being one of the founders of B.C. in some cases.”
The Moon Family was inducted during the Kamloops Cowboy Festival on March 15, while Camille, Elkins and Crosina will be recognized during the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo’s Sunday performance on April 28.