Report on Cassiar Reunion 2001
For those of you just checking in, there was a Cassiar Reunion held July 20-22, 2001 at the Silver Star Mountain Resort near Vernon, BC. The reunion was organized by Kate Elhorn. I promoted the event. My heartfelt congratulations to Kate and her crew of volunteers for organizing this event and ensuring it went ever so smoothly. I know everyone that attended feels the same way I do. If there were any problems it was dealt with behind the scenes and no one ever knew - the trademark of a successful public event. Way to go Kate! I had no idea I would be generating so much work for you when I took it upon myself to promote the reunion across the nation (and further abroad).
I am extremely pleased to report that I think the event was a smashing success! We were all thrilled when 800+ people showed up, 200 of them being unregistered and unexpected. There were people from as far away as Australia, Germany and the USA, and of course all over Canada. Mr. Cam Church, age 94 (deceased 09/2001)) had the distinction of being the oldest there. Many Cassiarites brought their spouses and their children and based on all reports everyone had a fabulously good time, even if they were never in Cassiar. It was a big "family" atmosphere where hugs were more common than handshakes. Everyone was accepted and any old barriers that may have existed in Cassiar were long forgotten. Sometimes it took forever to go anywhere because along the way we would meet someone we just had to stop and talk to and then after a few steps see someone else.
At the reunion this picture depicting the Silver Star Resort was presented to me. It certainly does remind me of Cassiar. Another was presented to Kate Elhorn. An engraved plaque at the bottom is inscribed with "Cassiar Kids Rule! Thanks Herb. Reunion 2001". Kate's plaque bore her name.
My picture prominently hangs in the living room and will always remind me of this event. "Thank You" to those responsible for making this presentation.
The venue was perfect - the resort being on a mountainside at 4,000 feet above sea level (Cassiar is 3,000 and the mine 6,000). Someone said "The higher and closer we got to the place one could just feel the years that passed since we left Cassiar just slipping away, and as you went over the rise and came into the parking lot there was Cassiar! There were the pine trees just like at home. There was even the tramline (the ski lift)!" There were some mosquitoes too. Not many, just enough to make it seem like home.
It really was an awesome event and I have been told by many attending that it was by far the most memorable event in their lives. It sure was for me! Insight Film & Video Productions had a film crew there to get some footage for the "Cassiar" episode as part of the "Ghost Towns of Canada" series. It first aired in December, 2002 on the History TV channel and was broadcast more than once. See the History TV page for details. I was interviewed by Insight Film in Vancouver 2 days after the reunion and afterwards Todd, their cameraman, gave me a ride to the airport. He told me that the whole film crew, all total strangers to us, was really high too, from all the joy and positive energy radiating from us at the reunion. I cannot image the impact we must have had on the staff at the resort - they got a much bigger dose of the energy.
Prior to driving there many people downloaded from this website and printed the "Cassiar Window Sign" which was a large version of the logo in use at the time for this website. The signs were affixed to their vehicles so we could all toot horns and wave at other Cassiarites along the way, as we converged at Silver Star from all over the nation. I think that this gesture really helped generated the excitement and we will certainly have to do that again. Maybe we will get decals made like one Dan & Lucy Legros from Ontario did (photo of it in the photo album). That really was an inspiring idea they had.
Rose Loverin made a very special Cassiar Quilt and that was raffled to raise funds. Lots of people sure wanted to win it. Great job Rose. See the page in the Photo Album for the full story about it.
Many of us got so caught up in the experience and excitement that cameras were totally forgotten, even when they were dangling from our shoulders or wrists. Fortunately some us managed at times to snap some priceless photos there and you will find them in the photo album section of this website. Unfortunately the professional photographer Kate contracted to take the "Lets get everybody in" photo on Saturday morning turned out to not be so professional after all and never showed.
The only complaint I heard (and have myself) about the reunion is that there just wasn't enough time to see everyone on our "must see" list. There were also disappointments when we learned that friends we hoped to find there didn't show up, perhaps due to work schedule conflicts or cost.
Be sure to see Reunion 2001 Photos in the Photo Album.
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