Page 1


For his 75th birthday, his wife took him skydiving

IN THIS ISSUE Feeling the speed with Osoyoos drag racer

Page 16


Couple celebrates 70 happy years of marriage


Caring for those approaching the end of life


Iconic Spotted Lake appears in CBC documentary


Visitors flock to bird banding station


Kilo, 18 months, on front lines against mussel threat


For his 75th birthday, his wife took him skydiving


Feeling the speed with Osoyoos drag racer


Osoyoos again is perfect movie backdrop


Freak’n Fun!


Around Town events calendar













For his 75th birthday, his wife took him skydiving

ON THE COVER Pat Hampson, the former mayor of Oliver, got a 75th birthday present to remember. His wife Linda and daughter Trish took him skydiving at the Oliver Airport. He was beaming when he landed. (Richard McGuire photo) See story Page 14.

We welcome feedback from our readers. Send comments to or mail to Box 359, Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V0, Telephone 250-4957225. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in whole or part by any means without the written permission of the publisher. While every care has been taken with this publication, the author(s) and publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors it may contain. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage resulting from the use of this publication. © 2017 Aberdeen Publishing. We reserve the right to refuse any submission or advertisement. ISSN 2291-2991.


Sun Sightings Luis Plut likes to pick mushrooms, but he’d never seen one this big before. He called it a “chicken of the woods,” but we think it might be a “turkey of the woods.” They’re edible, he says, but he wanted to preserve it for posterity. When Plut isn’t picking mushrooms, he’s a great accordion player. (Richard McGuire photo)

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Finding Home

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Syrian refugees in the Okanagan


OKANAGAN SUN • October 2017 • 3

Martin and Josephine Reynders recently celebrated an incredible 70 years of marriage. The couple met during celebrations of the end of World War II in their village in Holland, and they’ve barely spent a moment apart since then. They came to Osoyoos to retire in 2006. (Keith Lacey photo)

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Couple celebrates 70 happy years of marriage By Keith Lacey When asked to describe the keys to a successful marriage, Josephine Reynders doesn’t hesitate for a second. “Once in a while you have to stomp your feet or pound your fist on the table,” said Reynders, who recently celebrated an incredible 70 years of marriage (Saturday, Sept. 23) to the love of her life. Martin and Josephine Reynders were celebrating the end of the Second World War in a small village in their native Holland when Martin asked Josephine to dance in the village square. They’ve barely spent a moment apart ever since. To help celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary, the staff at Mariposa Gardens Retirement Residence in Osoyoos organized a special Friday afternoon celebration with numerous guests offering congratulations to the loving couple. Not only was Josephine celebrating 70 years of marriage, but that Saturday also marked her 94th birthday. “We got married on my birthday … not many people can say that,” she said with a hearty laugh. Martin turned 95 several months ago. Josephine said she and her husband were looking forward to the anniversary party – and many more years together. “As you get older, you slow down a little bit and we don’t move as fast as we used to, but we’re still alive and enjoying life,” she said. To stay busy, Martin and Josephine try and get out of their assisted living unit at Mariposa as often as possible. “We eat all of our meals downstairs and we try and get out to bingo and the music concerts they have here all the time,” she said. “The priest also visits once a week and we try and get out to meet him as often as we can. “We just don’t want to sit around and we try and keep as busy as we can.” Despite not having any children, Martin and Josephine know they are blessed to have led such a long and rewarding life together for seven decades. “We’ve been blessed,” said Josephine.

Since he was a young child, Martin dreamed of owning a large chunk of land and started looking at coming to Canada at a very young age knowing his dream would not become reality in Holland. After getting married in 1947 and struggling to get by as farm labourers in Holland, they made the decision they wanted to immigrate to Canada. There were very few jobs in Holland and the Canadian government was accepting European immigrants without any hassles, said Martin. “They wanted farmers from Europe, so we applied and were accepted,” he said. “That was our dream.” Even though they spoke very little English and with only a few dollars in their pockets, they arrived in Canada in late May of 1949. They arrived in Quebec City and then immediately boarded a train for Prince Albert, Sask., where they had been hired by a farmer to work on his small family farm. “Back then, when it came to work for new immigrants, it was take it or leave it, so we took it,” said Martin. They ended up working on different farms across Saskatchewan for more than a dozen years before saving enough money to purchase their own farm in Leoville, Sask. They lived and worked on that farm for just over 30 years growing and selling wheat, oats and barley and raising livestock. They moved to Osoyoos to retire in 2006 and chose this community as they, like so many others, have visited on vacation and fell in love with the warm weather and beautiful landscape. Josephine said the love she has for her husband has never dissipated in 70 years. “I’m still in love with him very much after all these years,” she said. “He’s always been so good to me and I still find him so handsome.” Josephine and Martin agree they’ve been blessed to live such a long and loving life together and they hope there are many more years to come. “You never know at our age, but we both feel pretty good,” she said. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”



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Donna Gordan (left) started in June as the executive director of the Desert Valley Hospice Society. Lisa Calder (right) is the DVHS program co-ordinator. (Richard McGuire photo)

Caring for those approaching end of life By Richard McGuire One of the biggest misconceptions about palliative care is that it’s for people at the very end of their lives, says Lisa Calder, program co-ordinator with the Desert Valley Hospice Society (DVHS). “People think they don’t qualify to get support from hospice until they are in the last month or two of life,” said Calder. “By that time, they are often very ill and fatigued and their caregivers may be very exhausted and burned out... We would like to see people access palliative care support earlier.” DVHS volunteers can get involved with people who have serious illnesses that they may cope with for years, as well as with people who are closer to the end of life and may only have months to a year to live, she said. “None of us know when it’s going to be our time to go,” she said. “We think we have a good idea, but the predictions about prognosis are often not very accurate. So one of the misconceptions is that people have to wait to receive this type of support.” There are different stages of the palliative journey, said Ken Clarke, DVHS president, in a presentation earlier this year. “Palliative care may happen as soon as a serious illness is diagnosed,” said Clarke. “The palliative approach 6

to care involves symptom management, accessing community supports, and maximizing the quality of life for the client and the family or caregiver.” End-of-life care follows when the patient has months or weeks to live, medical treatments are ongoing and hospice care becomes appropriate, added Pat Wycherley, secretary to the DVHS board of directors, who accompnanied Clarke at the presentation. Clarke and Wycherley described the stages that people go through from the time of diagnosis with a serious or terminal illness to the final preparation to embrace death. “In hospice palliative care, we help patients and their families to address the physical, their psychological, social, spiritual and very practical issues,” said Clarke. “At some point in the journey, there’s a shift from active treatment to comfort care,” said Wycherley. “Treatment of symptoms and pain management is still a priority, but as the illness progresses, there is more focus on comfort and support.” Calder says there’s also a common misconception about the role of the hospice, which doesn’t provide beds for the terminally ill, but rather provides support. “People think of palliative care or hospice as being a place to go to die as opposed to a way of supporting people,” said Calder. “It’s often very confusing for people

in terms of what we’re doing here, because we don’t have a residential model. We have a community support model, so we will go out to wherever people are. It could be the hospital, or the nursing homes, or into their homes, to provide support.” Their facility at 22 Jonagold Place in Osoyoos is used to provide programs, such as the Supportive Care Program introduced in the fall of 2016. That program brings together people dealing with serious illnesses, as well as their spouses and family members. The facility also provides short-term respite, allowing caregivers to take a few hours off from caring for the patient. But a lot of the work that DVHS does is outside the facility, with roughly 25 trained volunteers serving Osoyoos, Oliver and more recently Okanagan Falls. “We’ve had volunteers who have been with us for over 10 years and some have been with the hospice since the very beginning,” said Calder. “We have others who moved here and we have some volunteers who are only here six months of the year, but when they are in town, they volunteer with us.” Many volunteers come with past experience and wisdom even before they do their training. Some are retired nurses or they may have a connection to palliative care, nursing, teaching or social work. “It takes a special person to be willing to practice com-

passion in the community,” said Calder. Although the focus has been to provide support and practical assistance, Clarke says DVHS also advocates for a vision of providing for dedicated hospice space in local communities. Currently there are six designated short-term stay beds in the area at other facilities such as South Okanagan General Hospital, Mariposa Gardens and Sunnybank Retirement Centre. But these are not dedicated beds. “So you may or may not get a palliative bed if you need it,” said Clarke. “They are not the environment that we would like to see for people to have that calming environment at the end of life, so there’s still work to do.” Nonetheless, Interior Health has made it clear there is no funding for standalone hospices and the cost to provide these would be prohibitive without funding from Interior Health, Clarke said. The more immediate goal, suggests Calder, would be to provide increased respite care, giving caregivers a break. But even that requires money that isn’t there. DVHS needs continuing support from the community to provide the quality of care it provides, including financial support, Calder said. “We need their (community) support in many ways,” she said. “We need their voice. We need them to also speak up to those in government and in healthcare, that this is a concern of theirs as citizens of this community, and that this is important to them and to their healthcare.”


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OKANAGAN SUN • October 2017 • 7

Spotted Lake’s rings were photographed from above for the series The Wild Canadian Year. This shot was taken with a drone with ONA permission after water evaporated in late summer 2016. (CBC/Jeff Turner photo)

Iconic Spotted Lake makes appearance in five-part cinematic documentary for ‘The Nature of Things with David Suzuki’ By Richard McGuire Spotted Lake, the iconic Osoyoos-area landmark, makes an appearance in a new five-part CBC documentary cinematic series kicking off the new season of “The Nature of Things with David Suzuki.” The series, “The Wild Canadian Year,” started Sunday, Sept. 24 with the first segment, “Spring.” The Spotted Lake sequence, which is short, appeared the following Sunday, Oct. 1, in the second part titled, “Summer.” Once aired, episodes can be seen online at: “There isn’t anything more unique than Spotted Lake,” said Jeff Turner, the award-winning Princeton-area filmmaker who produced the series with his wife Sue. “I’ve known about Spotted Lake all my life and have driven by it many times on the highway and stopped and looked,” Turner told the Okanagan Sun. “One of the things we wanted to do in the series was showcase some of the more rare, unusual and less-known landscapes in Canada. Certainly the Osoyoos area and Spotted Lake is one of those.” 8

When the Turners first showed pictures of Spotted Lake to the executive producers, they were enthralled and insisted it should be in the series, he said. Spotted Lake is one of 75 stories from all 13 Canadian provinces and territories included in the series. Unlike some of the stories that show intimate details of animal behaviour and survival, the Spotted Lake sequence concentrates on the landscape. It features aerial views of the lake’s muddy mineral rings as evaporation exposes them in summer. Turner said the sequence was filmed using drones and with the permission of the Okanagan Nation Alliance, which owns the surrounding land and considers the lake to be sacred. The Turners have been involved for more than 30 years making wildlife documentary films for the BBC, Terra Mater, CBC, PBS, Discovery, Animal Planet and Eden channels in settings throughout the world. These have included sequences in such landmark BBC Earth documentaries as “Planet Earth” and “Frozen Planet.” “We’re kind of taking the same approach that you

would take in a series like Planet Earth and applying it strictly to Canada,” said Turner. “Just looking at the wildlife and natural history story of Canada, it’s such an amazing country that we live in.” But unlike the filming in Canada that the Turners have done for BBC, this time they did it for a Canadian audience. “We want to do the same thing, but have it air on Canadian television,” he said. When Turner spoke to the Okanagan Sun, he was already working on another project on the remote Gribbell Island on a Pacific coastal inlet southeast of Prince Rupert. When he filmed “The Wild Canadian Year,” he had a chance to visit many such remote areas of Canada and observe the behaviour of wildlife he’d never filmed before. “I’ve been filming wildlife for 30 years, but until this series, I never had a chance to film animals like polar bears, for example, and spend time in Hudson Bay,” he said. “The sequence at the end of ‘Summer’ with the polar bears hunting beluga whales was a real highlight. That was something we discovered no one had ever filmed before. Even scientists didn’t know about it.” Getting intimate scenes of animal behaviour is a combination of getting to know that behaviour, winning the trust of animals, and having the right equipment and photographic skills, he said. And it’s different for different animals. “What we’re trying to do is observe natural behaviour, so we’re trying to observe these animals without disturbing them,” Turner said. “For certain animals, that means you have to stay back and watch them from a distance. Other animals, it’s about getting them used to your presence.” In one remarkable sequence showing star-nosed moles burrowing underground, Turner worked with a biologist to bring the moles into specially constructed tunnels created for the cameras rather than damaging their actual tunnels. In another sequence, he was able to film fireflies at dusk using special light-sensitive cameras and working with a firefly expert. “Those were challenging,” said Turner. “Every sequence has its own unique challenges.”


Some of the Turners’ previous work has been filmed much closer to home, including a film called “Living with Cougars” shot from their back door in Tulameen, northwest of Princeton. They also did a film called “The Last Grizzly of Paradise Valley” set in the Similkameen area and Cascade Mountains. The Wild Canadian Year features a new episode each Sunday from Sept. 24 to Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. on CBC Television. Starting with “Spring,” the series covers a different season in each episode. The final episode on Oct. 22 is “Making The Wild Canadian Year,” which shows some of the feats of endurance and technical wizardry involved in the filming. Once episodes have aired, they can be viewed online at A CBC blog post about the Spotted Lake sequence is headed: “BC’s Spotted Lake is the Most Magical Place in Canada.” It can be seen at:

Jeff Turner in the north. (Contributed photo)

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OKANAGAN SUN • October 2017 • 9

Doug Brown, bander in charge, examines a Lincoln’s sparrow that was re-caught. (Richard McGuire photo)

Visitors flock to bird banding station By Richard McGuire A little bird, a common yellow throat, is caught in a fine net that’s hard to see unless you’re looking right at it. Janine McManus, deftly untangles the little bird. These ones are especially difficult to remove from the nets because their wings are so short, she said, as visitors aimed their phones to photograph it. McManus has been working as the assistant bander during the fall bird migration at the Vaseux Lake Bird Observatory north of Oliver. It was a busy Sunday morning in late September as crowds of bird lovers turned out for a third annual open house to mark Bird Migration Day. The observatory is open to visitors every day, explained Doug Brown, bander in charge. But this event was especially busy because it was promoted and there were extra exhibits and people to help out. The observatory operates between Aug. 1 and Oct. 15, the prime migration time for many small birds making their way south for the winter. Brown and McManus catch birds in nets strung between poles, examine them, weigh them, put a band on their legs, record the information and then release them. 10

“Right now we are catching a lot of orange crowned warblers and Lincoln’s sparrows,” said Brown, who became a serious birder at the age of 10. “Those are the two big ones right now.” But they’ve also caught song sparrows, Wilson’s warblers and common yellow throats, like the one McManus removed from the net. Then there was the day Brown surprised McManus, giving her a bag and warning her the bird inside might bite. It turned out to be a larger belted kingfisher. “I had no idea that he had caught one in the net and he was keeping it a surprise because it was so exciting,” said McManus. “They are big birds with long beaks that are spearing fish and dive underwater to catch fish. It was so different from the songbirds that we’re catching most of the time.” Where do the birds come from and where are they going as they fly down the Okanagan Valley and pause in the wetlands above Vaseux Lake? Brown doesn’t have a simple answer. “Every species is different,” he says. “Some go all the way to South America. Some of them just go down to the southern states and some, like the song sparrows, remain here.”

He’s not entirely sure where they spend their summers, adding that’s one of the mysteries that banding helps to uncover. Most likely they go to central B.C., he said. Aside from learning about migration routes, the banding program also provides insights into how successful birds are at breeding. “Because we are able to age and sex the birds, we find out what the percentages of young and adults are,” he said. “So we can tell how successful they were at nesting.” Inside the banding station, Brown examines a Lincoln’s sparrow. It already has a band and the number indicates it was just caught in a net earlier that morning. It is simply released. Brown tells of one bird caught in a previous year that was released only to fly into another net. It kept flying into nets each time it was released – about five times in all. “It was just not a smart bird,” Brown chuckles. Most of the birds are just anxious to fly away once they have been examined and banded. After recording an orange crowned warbler’s information, Brown drops it into a tube leading out of the little banding station trailer. In a fraction of a second, the little bird flies away and is gone.

Doug Brown, bander in charge, shows an orange crowned warbler that he’s removed from a net. (Richard McGuire photo)

An orange crowned warbler flies to freedom after being released through a tube once its measurements have been recorded. (Richard McGuire photo)

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OKANAGAN SUN • October 2017 • 11

Kilo, 18 months, on front lines of battle against invasive mussels

Staff Sgt. Josh Lockwood of the Conservation Officer Service introduces Kilo, the mussel-sniffing dog, to Anna Warwick Sears, executive director of the Okanagan Basin Water Board. She and others couldn’t resist petting Kilo, but the petting will stop next year when Kilo is older, Lockwood said. (Richard McGuire photo) 12

By Richard McGuire An 18-month-old, all-black German Shepherd is on the front lines of a battle to keep invasive zebra and quagga mussels out of Okanagan and B.C. lakes. Kilo, the mussel-sniffing dog, might be spotted checking out boats coming into Canada at the Osoyoos border crossing. Then again, he could be at any of 12 mussel inspection stations at roads coming into the province. And now, as the boating season winds down, he could be deployed to track suspects and locate evidence during hunting season. Staff Sgt. Josh Lockwood, of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) brought Kilo to show at the annual general meeting of the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) in West Kelowna in September. Kilo has already had success locating invasive mussels brought into B.C. by recreational boaters since starting work in late June. In one case, a Quebec driver with a boat had already blown past inspection stations in Manitoba and Alberta without stopping. He tried the same at Golden, B.C., but Lockwood pursued him and pulled him over. “Kilo went inside the boat and checked in four locations for the scent of mussels,” said Lockwood. Invasive mussels were found inside the ballast tanks, hoses and on the anchor. “And that boat was headed for Shuswap Lake,” said Lockwood. “The individual was charged with possession of mussels and failing to stop, so it was about $1,300 or $1,400 in fines that were issued.” Another time in Cranbrook, Kilo sniffed a boat coming from Manitoba that had already been decontaminated in Alberta. He checked out cracks in the floorboards and immediately went into a sitting position – his signal that says: “I found mussels.” When the conservation officers removed the floorboards, they found that even though the boat had been decontaminated, that location had been missed. Not bad for a young dog that only started training on April 28 and finished two months later, starting work on June 28. “He’s been working for almost 90 days on the road,”

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said Lockwood. “He’s done an amazing job. Since we hit the road June 28, I think I’ve slept in my own bed four nights.” Kilo has worked in Osoyoos several times and also did some training here with a dog handler from the Canada Border Services Agency. Kilo can inspect 15 to 20 boats a day, but he’s a multipurpose dog also trained to sniff for firearms and ammunition, do evidence recovery and track human scent if any suspects attempt to flee. German Shepherds, said Lockwood, are one of the dog breeds that are exceptional at scent detection. “If you and I walk into a kitchen, we smell a stew,” explained Lockwood. “If Kilo walks into a kitchen, he smells beef, potatoes, carrots, onions, gravy – so it’s all different. He can distinguish between scents.” Kilo has no trouble sniffing out some mussels at a display table at Friday’s meeting, even though they are embedded in plastic. With black fur over his whole body, except a few lighter areas on his legs, Kilo doesn’t look like a typical German Shepherd. “He’s still considered a black and tan,” said Lockwood. “It’s just that his colour came out black. It’s kind of like we call them black bears, but they’re everything from cinnamon to black.” Kilo had an RCMP trainer initially when he was 11 months old, but Lockwood took over when Kilo was 15. He’s now approaching 18. “So he’s not matured yet,” said Lockwood. “When he’s two years old, he’ll be a fully mature dog. But he’s amazing for his age.” When the boating season is over, Kilo will do other work such as tracking suspects and recovering evidence during the hunting season. “What he can do in 20 minutes, an officer would take an hour to search by hand,” said Lockwood. Kilo is friendly with those at the meeting and many stopped to pet him. “He’s people friendly unless he’s otherwise directed,” said Lockwood. “We’ve let people pet him this year, but that will stop as he gets older.” With 12 inspection stations as far as Dawson Creek and only one mussel-sniffing dog in B.C., Kilo will be busy with lots of work to do.

8316 Main St Osoyoos 250.495.6652 OKANAGAN SUN • October 2017 • 13

For his 75th birthday, his wife took him skydiving

Pat Hampson, with instructor Rocky Tyson behind him, floats down under a pink parachute to Oliver Airport. His wife Linda and daughter Tricia arranged the jump for Hampson’s 75th birthday. (Richard McGuire photo) By Richard McGuire Pat Hampson, a former Oliver mayor and councillor, was soaring with joy when he received his 75th birthday present – quite literally. Hampson’s wife Linda and daughter Tricia arranged a skydiving experience for him one Saturday at the end of August. When he hit the ground at the Oliver Airport, Hampson was grinning from ear to ear. “That was a lot of fun and I don’t feel like throwing up,” said Hampson after a tandem jump with instructor Rocky Tyson. “I’m feeling good.” Linda said she got the idea when she learned that Vernon-based Okanagan Skydive would be operating in Oliver for several weeks in August. When Hampson turned 60, she got him a flight in a small plane and this, she said, was a 15-year follow-up. His actual birthday was Sept. 12, but Okanagan Skydive was wrapping up its Oliver stint at the end of August. “He likes presents like this,” Linda said. “He’s always 14

been interested in aviation.” Hampson grew up in Wales right next to Cheshire, England and at the end of an airplane maintenance aerodrome. As a boy, he watched Lancasters, Lincolns, Mosquitoes and other aircraft flying over him to land. The 17-year Oliver resident never had a chance to fly a plane, though he once had a brief chance to steer one. But before Hampson could parachute to the ground, he had to go through a bit of training and get suited up. Tyson showed him the tiny ledge over the right wheel of the little Cessna from which he would jump, demonstrating the positions Hampson should be in before the jump. They then rehearsed on a mat before Hampson slipped into a bright red jumpsuit. As Hampson prepared to board the plane, he was surprisingly cool for someone about to jump thousands of feet for the first time in his life. “Actually, I don’t feel scared,” he said. “I’m just wondering how it’s going to be. I made the decision I would do it

and I haven’t had any apprehension so far. Just a feeling of caution.” Motioning at Tyson, he added, “I put my trust in him. If he’s prepared to do it, I guess I shouldn’t have a problem with it.” It was a tight squeeze getting everyone onto the plane. Hampson would be jumping second after Abraham McNicoll Grajal, a young Oliver man doing a tandem jump with Bret Chalmers, the owner of Okanagan Skydive. With pilot Ted Bates, that made five people on board. It was at least 20 minutes from the time of takeoff to when the first jumper appeared as a tiny speck in the sky. Wife Linda, daughter Tricia and granddaughter Brooklyn Ceholski expressed relief when they saw that Hampson’s pink parachute was open. As he glided down with Tyson on his back, he came into view enough that his beaming smile was visible. After landing, Hampson admitted that the only time he had any second thoughts was when he stepped out onto the little ledge over the wheel in preparation to jump. “That’s when I thought, ‘Oh my God, what am I doing here?’” he said. Once he jumped, he experienced free-fall for close to 35 seconds before the parachute opened at about 5,000 feet. “The wind impact was really high and you get buffeted around,” he said. “Once the chute kicked in, I could see everything. Rocky let me control it and I made a couple

of turns, which was neat. All in all it was a great experience and the guys were really good instructors.” Chalmers, the owner of Okanagan Skydive, says more than three quarters of his customers are trying it for the first time. “For some people, it’s a one-time thing,” he said. “Other people come maybe once a year and then we’ve also got a large group of recreational skydivers.” The experience for every beginner is different, he said. “Some people find it exhilarating and surprisingly some people find it quite calming,” said Chalmers. “It’s typically less scary than most think it will be. I think every day we hear somebody or more than one person say they just had the best time of their lives.” Although some customers may be a bit nervous, Chalmers only recalls one who actually chickened out among the close to 5,000 people he’s taken up. Okanagan Skydive has now left Oliver, but Chalmers said people can still parachute with them in Vernon for a spectacular view of Kalamalka Lake and the Monashee Mountains. As for Hampson, would he do it again? “Yes, probably I would,” he said. “But I’m not going to make any guarantees.” Still, it was a thrilling and memorable experience. “That was a great birthday present,” he said. “My wife and daughter decided on a good thing for me.”

Rocky Tyson, of Okanagan Skydive helps Pat Hampson adjust some straps that will connect him to the parachute. This followed training showing Hampson the positions to take as he jumped. (Richard McGuire photo) OKANAGAN SUN • October 2017 • 15

Okanagan Sun editor Richard McGuire (left) got harnessed and helmeted to go for a fast ride with Brad Quwek at the Richter Pass Motorplex, aka Osoyoos Airport. (Richard McGuire photo)

Feeling the speed with Osoyoos drag racer By Richard McGuire When Brad Quwek offered me a chance to ride with him in his souped-up 1975 Pontiac Astre on the drag strip at the Richter Pass Motorplex, I hesitated for just a second. I don’t usually turn down a chance for a new experience, so I accepted. High speeds don’t terrify me, but I’ve never felt the urge to race in cars. “Don’t forget to bring a second pair of underwear,” a helpful colleague advised. But Quwek, who has lived in Osoyoos for four years and has been drag racing since the 1970s, impressed me that he knows what he’s doing. He inherited his love of speed from his father, who bought a 1958 Mercury Montclair with a 430-cubic-inch engine, “just because it was faster than a Cadillac.” For Quwek, who’s almost 60, the speed is fun, but there’s a lot more that draws him to drag racing. “It’s working on the vehicles,” he tells me as he gets his highly modified Astre ready for a time trial. “It’s the people that go to the racetrack. They’re very friendly people and they’ll help you out with anything.” 16

It was still just Saturday, but the racetrack at the Osoyoos Airport was already a busy place. The Wine Country Racing Association was getting ready for its second last Sunday of racing this year. The final racing day is Oct. 8. In every direction there was the sound of loud engines revving and the sight of fast car lovers with hoods removed tinkering with engines. The smell of burned gasoline, or in the case of one powerful-looking vehicle, alcohol fuel, permeated the air. When asked, Quwek admits that as a teenager in Bruderheim, Alberta, he liked to race his half-ton truck on the roads. “We did,” he says. “Things were different then. There were a lot less vehicles around and things were totally different.” When he was around 20, he began racing legally at tracks. “It was a place a person can go and drive their vehicles as fast as you want,” said Quwek. “Or as fast as you can. When I started in Edmonton, it was a quarter-mile track, so my 1971 half-ton was running 1424 at nearly 100 miles an hour.”

Brad Quwek shows off his car, which started life as a 1975 Pontiac Astre. He’s completely overhauled and customized it for drag racing. (Richard McGuire photo) The “1424” means 14.24 seconds. By contrast, Quwek’s Astre runs 614 or 6.14 seconds at 111 miles an hour on an eighth of a mile. The Astre was the Pontiac version of the Chevy Vega. Part of its attraction for Quwek is that it’s more rare than its Chevy cousin. But the car has little resemblance to the way it came off the assembly line more than 40 years ago. “Everything has been changed,” said Quwek. “The only thing left of the original car is the top section.” The doors and windows have all been gutted and replaced with stronger parts. There’s a custom frame and a roll cage. The engine is a 406-cubic-inch small block Chevy, with two-speed powerglide transmission. This car is the one Quwek likes to drive the most of the three he owns. Quwek wants to take the car for a short spin to get it warmed up before the time trial. He lets me hop in. Or more accurately, squeeze in. The space is very tight – tighter even than economy class on an airplane. I’m over six feet and 220 pounds and there’s no room for both my camera bag and me. The engine hesitates to start, but pretty soon it’s cranking out exhaust and making lots of noise as we slowly drive around. Soon we’re ready. The seatbelt is more like a harness. Quwek and I both wear helmets, which muffle the noise

a bit. We drive up to the start of the track and wait for our turn in line. Onto the runway track we drive, through some water, and then Quwek spins his tires to do a burnout, sending up black clouds of burned rubber. This warms up the tires, he explained. Quwek watches the hand signals of the men on the track and then the lights so he knows when to move forward. “You’re at the starting line,” Quwek explains. “You wait until the Christmas tree starts going down. It’s a half a second between the lights. When it gets to the bottom, you just let go of the button and you just nail the gas.” In that quick burst of power, the force of gravity was intensified and I clung tightly to hang onto my camera. It lasted a few short seconds and then we were slowing down. It was over before I knew it. Quwek guessed we were over 70 mph before he slowed down, but the ET (elapsed time) slip would give the true information. “That was fun,” I told Quwek as we coasted back to his truck. One of his buddies pointed me in the direction of the washrooms in case I needed them. I didn’t, and I didn’t need any spare underwear either. See more photos at OKANAGAN SUN • October 2017 • 17

The crew of the short comedy film Two Thumbs up, directed by Haiderali Ajmeri (centre top) pose for a photo on the set at the Osoyoos Airport. The film is about a young man who picks up a hitchhiking escaped convict. Ajmeri picked Osoyoos after extensive location scouting.(Richard McGuire photo)

Osoyoos again is perfect movie backdrop By Richard McGuire Haiderali Ajmeri, a budding young Vancouver film director, was looking for the perfect spot to give a desert feel to his first film since graduating, a short comedy called “Two Thumbs Up.” After extensive location scouting, he picked Osoyoos, which he learned has also been used in other films, including the science-fiction thriller, “The Humanity Bureau,” which was shot in Osoyoos and Oliver last November. “I thought Osoyoos is the perfect spot,” said Ajmeri, who says he wanted a dry landscape to represent the western United States in this story where a naive young man picks up a hitchhiking escaped convict. As they film a couple scenes at the Osoyoos Airport in the late afternoon, the golden light on the sagebrush is perfect. The first two nights they underestimated the time to get their shots before the sun dropped behind the mountain, completely changing the light. This time they nailed it. It was a small crew at the shoot that evening – 10 people – but they seemed to be enjoying themselves. “It’s been awesome,” said Ajmeri. “We’re just loving the 18

scenery, we’re loving the lake, the motels and everything. It’s been kind of like a mini-vacation when we go home at night after working in the day. It’s been really, really cool.” “Two Thumbs Up” is a film idea that Ajmeri has been wanting to do for a long time. He’s made other short films during his studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC) film production program. Like the others, this one will run about 20 to 25 minutes when it’s completed this year. “I’m just starting out,” said Ajmeri. “Short films are a great way to start making films and start exploring the stories I’d like to tell, (explore) directing and writing and filmmaking in general.” In his UBC program, the students often made short films. His crew includes others he met in his UBC program. Short films also aren’t nearly as expensive to make as feature-length films. Ajmeri planned to finish shooting by the end of the summer and then take a few more months with postproduction, releasing the film closer to the end of the year. “We are going to be submitting to a few film festivals and hopefully once we’ve gone to that cycle, open it to a

Get Back Into The Swing Golfer’s Elbow

Andre Lyskov, second assistant camera, holds up a clapperboard as the camera starts rolling. Bill McNaughton plays the sheriff and Kenneth Tynan is in the lead role of Alvin Cahill. (Richard McGuire photo)

Golfer’s elbow is pain and inflammation on the inner side of your elbow. It’s caused by damage to the muscles and tendons Greg Wheeler, that control your wrist and Pharmacist fingers. Since it’s related to excess or repetitive stress, it’s not just limited to golfers. Playing tennis, working out at the gym or being at a computer for prologued periods can also cause it.

Treatment tips:

Director Haiderali Ajmeri (right) and cameraman Craig Range, of Nakasone Folk, watch the monitor as actors Robert Garry Haacke and Kenneth Tynan play out a scene in an RV. (Richard McGuire photo) wide release that will be accessible to anyone,” Ajmeri said. Osoyoos has been used in such other films as the 2010 movie “Gunless” that was filmed on a set of seven buildings at Elkink Ranch. A Mexican film called “Dance of the Little Old Man was also filmed there, and the Punjabi-language film “Crash” was filmed at the airport in 2014. Osoyoos Councillor C.J. Rhodes

points out that the film industy can be a huge economic driver. Even a low-budget, short film with a small crew spends money in local accommodations and restaurants. More importantly, they raise the profile of the area as a film location. Ajmeri hopes to be back. “I would love to,” he said. “We’ve been so fortunate here in getting locations and everything has been really convenient for us.”

Rest. Wait until the pain is gone before returning to the links, or you may make it worse. Apply ice packs to your elbow for 15 to 20 minutes, four times a day for several days. Stretch and strengthen the affected area. Wrap your elbow with an elastic bandage or use a forearm strap. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin. Your doctor may recommend a cortisone injection to reduce pain and swelling. Gradually return to your usual activities. To find out more about golfer’s elbow, speak to your Remedy’s Rx pharmacist.

105-291 Fairview Rd Oliver


OKANAGAN SUN • October 2017 • 19

Freak’n Fun! A contestant swings out over a muddy pool before going into the water while another contestant gets ready to jump. This was one of the challenges in the Freak’n Farmer obstacle race at Covert Farms north of Oliver on Sept. 23. Courses of five, 10 and 20 km drew 400 adults. Kids did shorter courses. (Richard McGuire photo)

Contestants got good and dirty slithering through mud under barbed wire. At left is Diane Gludovatz of Oliver. The obstacles were loosely inspired by chores on a working farm. (Richard McGuire photo) 20

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Osoyoos Rotary meets Thursday at noon at McKia’s Restaurant in the Best Western Hotel, Osoyoos. Osoyoos Woodcarvers meet Monday 9:30 a.m. upstairs at the Osoyoos Arts Centre. Call Joe at 250-495-5079 for info.

T.O.P.S. meets every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Osoyoos Baptist Church (lower level). We are a support group interested in eating healthy and losing weight. New members welcome. Call 250-689-5159. Kiwanis Club of Osoyoos meets at noon on the second and fourth Monday of each month at McKia’s Restaurant. For info contact 250-495-7701. Stroke-Brain Injury Recovery group meets Friday from 10 - 11:30 a.m. at the Osoyoos Health Centre, 4816 89 St. Dan 250-4958055, Fiona 250-498-3122.

2929 if wanting to attend. Autoimmune Support Group meets every second Wednesday of the month from 1:15 - 3:15pm. Call Marilyn 250-495-0666.

Alzheimers support group meets every 2nd Tuesday from 1 - 3 p.m. Call Laurie 250-493-8182.

Double O Quilter’s Guild meets on the 2nd Monday of the month, 9:30 a.m. Drop in every Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., September to May at the Oliver Community Hall. Contact Linda at 250-498-4193.

Soroptimist International of Osoyoos meets the third Tuesday of the month at McKia’s Restaurant, Best Western Hotel, Osoyoos at 6 p.m. Call Joan 250-495-

Grandmothers for Africa meetings are the second Wednesday of the month, 1 p.m. at Osoyoos United Church. Call Elaine at 250-495-3140.


Osoyoos Elks #436, second Wednesday meet at 7 p.m., Elks Hall, 8506 92 Avenue. Call Annette at 250-495-6227 or Karen at 250-495-0778.

Enjoy your evening out, taking in a movie at the Oliver Theatre!

October, 2017 Programme Visit Our Website

Oliver & Osoyoos Search & Rescue, 7 p.m. every Tuesday, 100 Cessna St., Oliver (beside the Air Cadet hangar) Sat. - Sun. - Mon. - Tues., Thurs. - Fri. Sept. 30, Oct. 1 - 2 - 3, 5 - 6

O’s Own Writers meet the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Osoyoos Arts Centre. New members welcome. Call Jody 250-495-2170.

Regular Showtimes Sun. – Mon. – Tues. – Thurs…7:30 p.m. Fri. – Sat………….……….7:00 & 9:00 p.m. (unless otherwise stated)

Phone 250-498-2277 Oliver, BC

Sat. - Sun. - Mon. - Tues., Thurs. - Fri. Oct. 21 - 22- 23 - 24, 26 - 27

One Showing Nightly @ 7:30 p.m.

One Showing Nightly @ 7:30 p.m.

Osoyoos Photography Club meets the first and third Thursday at the Osoyoos Golf Club, downstairs, 6:30 p.m. For more information 250-495-4960 osoyoosphotoclub@ The Multiple Sclerosis group meets the second Thursday of the month at 10 a.m. at the Osoyoos Health Centre, 4816 89 Street, Osoyoos. Call Donna 250-495-5001.

Frightening scenes, violence, coarse language.

Sat. - Sun. - Mon. - Tues., Thurs. - Fri. Oct. 7 - 8 - 9 - 10, 12 - 13

Osoyoos Quilters meet every Tuesday at Elks Lodge, 8506 92 Ave. Call 250-4952254 or 250-495-4569. Evening quilting every first and third Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Vera 250-495-2738. Parkinson’s Support Group meets on first Monday from 1 - 3 p.m. at the Osoyoos Health Centre, 4816 89th St. Call Claudette 250-485-8954 for more info.

Subject to Classification

Sat. Sun. Mon. Tues. Oct. 28 29 30 31 Sat. - Sun. - Mon. - Tues. Oct. 28 - 29 - 30 - 31 Showtimes on Sat. @ 7:00 & 9:10 p.m.

Toastmasters ... “Where leaders are made”. Drop in any Tuesday 7 p.m. at the Osoyoos Baptist Church, north side entrance, 6210 Hwy. 97. Contact Walter Peron 250-498-2389.

There will also be a matinee of this show on the Sat. at 2:00 p.m. All seats $6.00 for the matinee. Sat. at 2:00 p.m. All seats $6.00 for th

Sat. - Sun. - Mon. - Tues., Thurs. - Fri. Oct. 14 - 15 - 16 - 17, 19 - 20 One Showing Nightly @ 7:30 p.m.

Supportive Care Group for people coping with serious illness and loss. Thursdays at the Supportive Care Centre, 22 Jonagold Place, Osoyoos. Call Lisa at 250-495-1590. AA meetings every Monday 7 p.m. St. Anne’s Catholic Church. Every Friday 7 p.m. St. Christopher’s Anglican Church. Call Louise 250-689-0415. The Osoyoos Library Book Club meets the third Wednesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. in the library. Artists on Main paint Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. upstairs at the Osoyoos Arts Centre. Sue 250-495-7664.


Coarse language, violence.

Coarse language.

Programme Subject To Unavoidable change without notice

OCTOBER The Federation of Canadian Artists - SOS is hosting a national art show with entries from across the country. There will be 70 entries selected and displayed at the Shatford Centre from Sept. 22 – Oct. 26. 760 Main St., Penticton. The Front Street Gallery presents guest artist Merle Somerville from Sept. 29 – Oct. 13. Please join Merle on Oct. 7 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gallery located at 60 Front Street, Penticton and is open Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Reveen is back and coming to the Frank Venables Theatre on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at or by calling 250-498-1626. The world’s funniest and most amazing hypnotic show ever! For all ages. Gramma Shirley’s Arts and Crafts will start on Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. Seventh Day Adventist Church, 748 Similkameen Ave., Oliver. Call Shirley at 250-498-0898 to register. Women’s Network organizational meeting Monday, Oct. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Troy’s Grill 8309 78 Ave., Osoyoos. Buffet lunch $13.50. For details and confirmation by Oct. 12 contact Lorraine 250-408-4846 On Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. there will be muffin baking at the Osoyoos Secondary School home economics room. Baking is every two weeks. Everyone is welcome to come help.

Call Marg at 250-495-5079 for more info. Frank Venables Theatre presents, Jake’s Gift, a veteran’s reluctant return to Normandy for the 60th anniversary of D-Day. Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets at www. or at the theatre box office. SOAP Theatre presents Ken Ludwig’s The Game’s Afoot (or Holmes for the Holidays) Nov. 2 to 4 at Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver. Showtimes 7:30 p.m. each day with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Nov. 2. More information and ticket information at The Osoyoos Concert Series’ next show will be on Nov. 9 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for this show are available at Mills Office in Osoyoos and Sundance Video in Oliver, $23 in advance or $25 at the door of the Osoyoos Community Theatre. The South Okanagan Concert Society presents “Piano Chameleons,” classics with a jazzy touch on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver. Best prices on advance tickets available online ( or at the box office. For bus transportation from Osoyoos or more information, call Janet at 250-495-6487.

tact Walter 250-535-4232. Come and join in for a night of fun and exciting public speaking. 6210 Hwy. 97 (north side entrance). Hoping to bring the Big Bike to Osoyoos May 2018. A commitment from five local business or groups is needed. Each team needs to selfraise a minimum of $1,000 each with a commitment of minimum 14 riders aged 14 yrs. and older. Contact Jennifer at 250-495-2520 for more information. Duplicate bridge every Monday at 7 p.m. at the Osoyoos Senior Centre. Call 250-495-2673 for a partner and 250-498-0508 or 250-495-7411 for further information. Fun game. Everyone welcome. Gentle yoga on Thursdays and Mondays upstairs at the Osoyoos Legion. From 9 – 10:15 a.m. Drop-in fee $3. Bring mat and towel or small blanket. For more info contact Vivienne at 250-495-7885. Osoyoos Choosing Wellness is held on Thursdays starting at 8:30 a.m. Looking forward to seeing everyone again. Cactus Centre on Chickadee Crt. Send your events to:

Conquer your fear of public speaking. South Okanagan Toastmasters meet on Tuesdays at 7:15 p.m. at the Osoyoos Baptist Church. ConOKANAGAN SUN • October 2017 • 23


Profile for Okanagan Sun Magazine

Ok Sun October 2017  

Ok Sun October 2017