The Billy Barker Days parade wound its way through downtown Quesnel attracting people of all ages to watch the lively procession of floats, classic vehicles, and more on Saturday, July 16.
Waving from the procession was 96-year-old Ray Collins of Quesnel, who stepped out of a long-term care home into the passenger seat of a vintage logging truck named “Ol Red.”
Collins purchased the new Mack truck in 1960 with a self-loading trailer for $23,000.
The truck started its life in Clinton but hauled logs in all corners of B.C. from 1968 to 1980 and was awarded the Mack Million Mile Award in 1975.
It has been parked in a covered shop since 1980 with a few visits to the parade.
Ol’Red was driven in the parade by Dan Watts, who learned how to drive logging trucks from Collins, who retired from logging at the age of 70.
“He (Ray) has a little twinkle in his eye when we talk about it, and even the staff—he lives at Redwood—they’re all excited about the truck and Ray going in the parade,” daughter-in-law Kit Collins said before the parade.
Some other participants in this year’s Billy Barker Days parade included the Prince George Bagpipe Band, the Prospectors Car Club, the Lhtako Dené Nation, and the Bouchie Lake Gymkhana Club.
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