On April 4, the Highway 24/Interlakes Lions Club celebrated its 35th charter evening at Interlakes Hall before some 50 guests, including Lions and Lionesses from 100 Mile and Williams Lake, and VIP friends.
It was April 10, 1976 when the Interlakes Lions Club was formed. According to their first president, the late Gordon Brown, it was they who coined the deliberately-inclusive term “Interlakes” to cover residents from all of our beautiful lakes, a term in common usage today.
Back then, the all-male Interlakes club comprised of Len Aalten, Mike Barkley, Al Bishop, Ray Blackmore, Colin Bromley, Gordon Brown, Steve Brown, Tex Carroll, Don Charlton, Gordon Charlton (first treasurer,) BJ (Deane) Dean-Freeman, Robin Dell, Earl Diotte, Howard Ellsworth, Dick Farmer, Lloyd Fitzmorris, John Gordon, Larry Greenall, Ken Kermeen, Mike King, Rick Knight, Jack Larson, Walter Levick, George Mockler, Russell Ross, Ted Slate, John Steeves, Stan Tkachuk, Ernie Unger, Ernie Vager, Bill Wood and Konrad Weinert.
Many of these good gentlemen have passed away, others have moved and still others have retired from the club, leaving Al Bishop and Don Charlton the only remaining continuing charter members.
The fledgling club was sponsored by the 100 Mile Lions Club, and on April 4, their past president and past zone chairman Ron Graves spoke of that first evening and 100 Mile’s continuing pride in their offspring. He also pointed out the South Cariboo Lionesses (SCL), who were sponsored by the Interlakes club in late 2006, were, in effect, 100 Mile’s granddaughters.
SCL president Carolyn Charlton welcomed everyone and thanked the Interlakes club for its sponsorship, particularly noting the Lionesses’ pride at being affiliated with Interlakes.
After a delicious dinner, Graves and past zone chairman 100 Mile Mayor Mitch Campsall presented 35-year pins to charter members Al Bishop and Don Charlton. Russell Ross, a third charter member who earlier retired from the club, was also present for the celebration. Unfortunately, charter member Larry Greenall, who also retired earlier, was unable to attend due to illness.
The joyous occasion concluded with “tail-twisting.” Each guest paid one quarter, which went to Pennies for Diabetes, to guess how old Sir John A. MacDonald would be today. While guesses ranged from 130 to 230, the correct answer was 196. Lioness and Deka resident Jean Nixdorf was closest at 195.