Seniors’ trek to Barkerville

113 seniors enjoyed a day in the historic town thanks to the efforts of Quesnel Rotary Club

Everyone gathered at St. Saviour’s Church for the annual photo.

Everyone gathered at St. Saviour’s Church for the annual photo.

On Sept. 11 some seniors began arriving early at the Quesnel arena with anticipation for the Quesnel Rotary Club’s Seniors Trek to Barkerville. Upon checking in, everyone received identification with the day’s schedule and meal tickets for one of three restaurants: Wake up Jake, Lung Duck Tong or House Hotel, all encased in a zip lock bag with ribbon to be worn around our neck. What a great way of getting things organized and keeping names straight with those we met throughout the day.

An entourage of two buses from Pacific Western Charter out of Prince George provided transportation to 113 seniors, including residents from Dunrovin Park Lodge on a third bus. Some of the eight accompanying rotarians went out in two cars. A pick-up was made at Maeford Place.

For several seniors it was the first time they had been to Barkerville. One of the senior travelers was Paul Gauthier, who has just celebrated his 101st birthday. On behalf of all of us who had the privilege of going, we would like to give a big collective thank you to the Quesnel Rotary Club. It is a big undertaking.

And it wasn’t without its problems. Some had tried to register but were told buses were full. Trek organizer Ron Paull explained the difficulty coordinating three lists where seniors could register: OAPO Golden Centre, Seniors Centre and the Royal Canadian Legion. When Paull tried to pick up the Legion’s list he found they were closed for renovations.

There will be a meeting Sept. 19 to strategize next year’s trip and he has a few ideas on that. One of the suggestions he will put forward is to only have one list where people can register with date and time noted.

This way the 110 seats will be allotted in order. They will shoot for 115 – 116 and if there are not many cancellations and no shows and if there are five or six extras, they can ride in a Rotary car to Barkerville.

He feels all in all it went quite well. Going in September this year, instead of August, they anticipated cooler temperatures and

people had more time to relax in Barkerville without the usual stop at Cottonwood House, which closes each year after the Labour Day weekend.

And enjoy it we did. Theatre Royal’s Lafont and Ward’s Musical Revue was one of the best shows I can remember.

The cast included Don Nelson, Amy Newman, Alison Jenkins, Graeme Thompson and Jim Hodgkinson at the piano. That alone was worth the trip.

This trip was all made possible by funding from the province of British Columbia through the gaming branch. The Quesnel Rotary Club makes application for this grant every year for which the seniors are most grateful for.

Again a collective thank you from all of us who were able to go.

– submitted by Ruth Scoullar