Continuing with a brief explanation of the duties of the Directors for the BC Winter Games, Marg Cleaveley is our next Director. She was liaison to School District #60. The School District put up $13,000. Part of this came in from a “lot of staff participating on a volunteer basis” stated Mrs. Cleaveley. As a main source of venues for the Winter Games, the School District saw a great deal of upgrading done to its facilities.
One of the more involved areas of the BC Winter Games was that of Communications Director. Cliff Pickton had the overall responsibility of putting together the communications system. In order to maintain maximum communication between venue sites the Games office and key individuals, a full switchboard and telephone system was set up for the BC Winter Games. In the Games telephone system there were 80 locals available through the switchboard, 60 portable radios and 40 individual pagers. Howie Coell handled the telephone system, Rowena Holden and Flo Miller took care of the switchboard. Rich Mackie looked after the paging system and Roger Flint took care of the equipment.
An area of primary concern during the BC Winter Games was the feeding of the athletes, coaches and special visitors. Food Services fell under the Direction of Peggy Moynahan, who had the responsibility of feeding them all. Under her directorship the welcoming banquet, breakfasts, dinners and box lunches were coordinated. The Food Services group fed 2500 people at the opening banquet and 2300 athletes and coaches for the other days of the Games. They prepared close to 10,000 meals in four days. Dottie Young was Peggy’s Co-Chairman while Clarice Jury was responsible for the Welcoming Banquet. Millie Asling was in charge of the box lunches and Bernice Miller was the coordinator for the breakfasts and dinners. 400 volunteers were used under this directorship.
In any group operation there is one sector that is responsible for the handling of the money. Don Bradwell had the job of Administration Director, and it was his committee that had responsibility for the budget, accreditation and registration of volunteers, as well as distribution of the sports bags. Like the other director portfolios there was a number of individuals who assisted Bradwell and were in charge of key areas in the administration responsibility. In charge of accreditation and registration was Gene Blishen. It was his committee’s responsibility to operate the registration centre for the arrival of the athletes and handle the marking of personal possessions by the use of name tags and baggage tags.
One of the areas requiring the most volunteers and hours on the job was the Security responsibilities of the Winter Games. Heading this was RCMP Officer, Bob Halliwell. In his portfolio, Halliwell, along with four other individuals in his directorship had to see that the security for the games covered accommodations, venue sites, and special events. Security also had to be visible at the Torch Lighting Ceremony, the Opening Ceremonies, Closing Ceremonies, Registration and the Premiers Reception. Halliwell’s Co-Chairman was myself, Larry Evans. Jack Fraser headed Security for accommodation, Bill Karran for sports venues and Stan Kary for special events. This Directorship topped out at 650 volunteers for the Games.
As one of the major sponsors of the BC Winter Games, the City of Fort St. John had a keen interest in the development of the event. Because of this, Alderman Gretzinger was designated by City Council as the liaison to the BC Winter Games in 1984. It was his responsibility to keep the lines of communication open to the city.
Jim Frey was the Director for Promotion and Public Relations. His Co-Chair was Ken Garrett and his responsibility was gaining the publics awareness. Frey’s responsibility was media, results, souvenirs, the program and photography. The souvenir sales was headed by Steve Thorlakson and Rick Hart. Souvenir sales grossed over $100,00 during the Winter Games in Fort St. John.
Dr. Mike Wright, a physician in Fort St. John, and one who had been involved in sports and sports medicine for several years, was the Director responsible for Medical Services for the Winter Games. Unlike most Directorships, Medical Services required that the volunteers be qualified as physicians, trainers, physiotherapists, nurses, etc. The committee operating under Dr. Wright included; July Gibson - Physiotherapist, Brad Craig - Pharmacy Manager, Paul Mahler - Ambulance/First Aid, Dr. Art Cain - Medical, Pat Foster, Leslie Clark and Mary Gibbs - Nursing. In order to prepare for the Games, two weekend sessions on CPR basics and handling of sports injuries was held.
Last but not least was Deb Harris, who was the second paid employee. Her position was secretary, which included overseeing the typing and mailing responsibilities. She also worked closely with the Directors and staff in the Games office.
As I mentioned in my first column, I had hoped to give you an overview of the planning and the work that was done to ensure a successful Games. There is neither room nor time to encompass all that happened. One thing I would like to mention was the arrival of the athletes and how they got here. Two jumbo jets and nine chartered 737’s brought the people here from all over the province. Only one 747 was scheduled for the return flight but they also used 13 chartered 737’s for the return trip. Stairs were shipped from Vancouver, they were needed to be able to reach the doors of the 747’s!
Everything you want to know about the BC Winter Games of 1984 was compiled, organized and put into a large book. The book was created by Ella Fraser and her committee and is on display at the North Peace Fort St. John Museum.