A Party for Bob Wilms
When Len Werner read a recent Cassiar newsletter it prompted a memory about Bob Wilms. Len wrote:
I think it was in May 1973, I was asked to pick up (since I was going out to Vancouver to set up my going back to UBC) a memento for a '50 years prospecting in the Cassiars' party to be held for Bob Wilms. I went to Vancouver, shopped around, and found by good old north standards, everything tacky and 'cheap' for a guy like Bob; I knew him quite well by this time, and he seemed to have a soft-spot of 'confidentiality' with young geologic exploration types.
So--when I got back, I held a meeting with those who had asked me to pick something up and told them that I thought we could do better ourselves. They let me have my way, and I had Ron Reeves get the wooden base for a small cairn built and stained/finished at the Surface department. Then I got one of the rock and mineral sets from the prospecting course I was part of putting on with Bill Plumb, and one Saturday afternoon we got together at the junior men's staffhouse and mixed up some mortar, and using the mineral specimens built up a cairn about 8" high. Someone had gone up to Whitehorse and had the Hougen's department store engrave a brass plaque that went on the wood base. Graham McKie, who lived out on Bob's property, had managed to see Bob's wife and get her to sneak one of the gold nuggets out of Bob's nugget jar, and we put it right on top. I know that somewhere buried in my slide file are pictures of this cairn, and of the party.
The party was a smashing success. All of the company brass was there, and of course all the usual tacky gifts that I'd passed up in Vancouver. And then the cairn--no question it made a hit with ol' Bob!
After the presentations, speeches, and drinks were all served, Bob came over to me to thank me for the idea of the cairn, then leaned over and asked "You've just GOT to tell me where that gold nugget came from!"--the prospector in him never to die.
His wife heard the question, and-- if you remember her overbearing manner--loudly proclaimed that "if you ever find out where that nugget came from, there'll be the biggest damn stampede around here that I've ever seen!"
I can still picture both his and her faces from that party, today.
Contributed by Len Werner, August 11, 2004
When Len finds the photos they will be added to this page.
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