Starting small


The Quesnel ski club members after an exhilarating race.

The Quesnel ski club members after an exhilarating race.

I recently found this picture, taken on a spring day, when the Quesnel Ski Club had it’s downhill races, showing a number of club members at the finish line.

Downhill skiing was started then in Quesnel by this group. You can see the club crest on Jack Petty’s and Lil Hoy’s clothes. The club was very active taking part in events in Prince George and Wells.

Jack and Mac were the leaders, especially Jack as the hill was across from his Moffat Avenue house on Dragon Creek. He did a huge amount of work including acquiring, stringing and running the rope tow.

The people are from left to right: Jack Petty, Virginia Cross, Per Strand, Lil Hoy, Don Petty, Joan Huxley, Willie…?, Betty Motherwell, Frank Dolman and Mac Grady. Jack was a carpenter, Mac worked for BC Hydro, Per worked out of Denver, Lil lives on Vancouver Island, Betty is in Agassiz, Frank is retired in Abbotsford, Don lives at Sechelt and Joan lives here. Virginia’s whereabouts is unknown. Mac and Jack are deceased. Lil Hoy thinks Willie’s last name was Kaufman. Does anyone know the address of Virginia?

It’s interesting that three became Citizens of the Year – Joan, Betty and Mac.

It’s 51 years ago, but see how a small group started something that is now a huge recreational pursuit in Quesnel.

Joan Huxley is the only one still in town.

The hill, with it’s old PGE railway grade through the middle above the Forestry office and West Fraser Timber Park, has returned to nature.

Andy Motherwell is an amateur historian and regular Observer columnist.


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