Jacket styles have changed since 1979, when the first BC Winter Games were held in Kamloops. Pictured is the board of directors from the 1979 Games. Front row from left are Don Fisher, Dale Janowsky and Lois Cutler. Back row from left are Pat O’Brien, Jim Coke, Neil MacDonald, Jack Hollstedt and Larry Grant

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

–– Kamloops this Week

In 1979, Kamloops was host to the inaugural B.C. Winter Games.

Now, 39 years later, the city is doing it all again, and some of those who helped make it happen the first time will be there to watch — and volunteer.

Back then, Jack Hollstedt was a director for the Games and his wife Lois sat on Kamloops city council.

Jack was charged with providing three things for athletes: accommodation, food and registration. He put athletes up in city schools and fed them in school cafeterias, on top of registering them for all of their events.

Today, these jobs fall to at least three different people.

In 1979, Kamloops was a city 2/3 its modern size and the Games were roughly the same size they are today, with more than 2,000 athletes and coaches participating.

But the city had no trouble filling volunteer positions.

Jack and Lois said they can’t recall Kamloops hosting an event the size of the Games prior, adding it was a challenge putting together something of this size.

READ MORE: Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the Winter Games

“I think what happened back then is that service clubs got involved tremendously. I’m not sure that’s still the case, because there are fewer clubs to be involved,” Lois said, noting there is no longer a Kinsmen club in the city — a club that was a big volunteer contributor back then.

Volunteers have always been a big part of the Games’ success, not only year after year, but in securing them as a permanent fixture for sports in B.C.

Securing volunteers for the Games was vital in showing the provincial government an event of this size can work in a city like Kamloops.

“We were very much under the finger of the provincial government, so we definitely wanted to make sure we did everything just as proper as we could. It was a very large event for Kamloops in those days,” Jack said.

Lois, who will be volunteering at the Games this weekend, said the city is still very much a volunteer community, but things have changed since 1979.

She’s had to pick up a few extra shifts to cover for the positions still unfilled.

“I don’t think the problem is that people aren’t willing — it’s that people are busier,” Lois said. “There are more women in the workplace now than there were then — two people working full-time in families when it used to be just one.”

Making it all come together is something Hollstedt has experience with. Before he helped organize the 1979 Games, he was the president of the Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament.

After the Games, he helped organize the 1996 Brier, the 1998 Ford World of Curling, the 2000 Scott Tournament of Hearts and the Strauss Canada Cup of Curling from 2003 to 2008.

Looking back at the Games, Jack, now 80, said what he still remembers most is all the fun he had making it happen.

“At the time, you don’t think that way, because you’re too busy,”

Jack said.

“So when I look back, we had such a great time. I hope that everyone that’s involved now can take part in that kind of fun.”

Athlete of old

Bob Walton from 2018 would have a few tidbits of skiing-safety advice for 1979 Bob Walton.

No. 1 on the list — wear a helmet.

Walton, 53, is coming full circle along with the 2018 B.C. Winter Games, first held in Kamloops in 1979 and returning to the Tournament Capital this year.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Over 5 million of funding announced for Nuxalk Big House and CCRD parks project

The funding is joint federal, provincial and municipal and will support 24 infrastructure projects

DFO Monitors keeping watch as commercial fishery opens up

Volunteer DFO Monitors have been onsite to ensure requirements are met

Cariboo waterways swell as special weather statement, rain continues Thursday July 2

Quesnel River at Likely and Quesnel Lake seeing 20 to 50 year events

QUIZ: Put your knowledge of Canada to the test

How much do you know about our country?

Commercial fishery closed tonight due to local concerns

The fishery was supposed to open tonight

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Liberal party finished 2019 having spent $43 million, raised $42 million

All political parties had until midnight June 30 to submit their financial reports for last year

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Most Read