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.

Just Posted

Kelowna students awarded for their heritage research

The Okanagan Regional Heritage Fair was held April 24

Kelowna dragon welcomed to the den

Lane Merrifield is the new dragon on Dragons’ Den

Lake Country man facing assault charges

A woman was seriously injured after an alleged aggravated assault on April 22

State of emergency issued for Mill Creek

Risk of flooding increases as runoffs from higher elevations reach the valley bottom in Kelowna

Send us your spring pics for a chance to win

The Capital News is collecting photos of you taking advantage of this nice weather

VIDEO: B.C. ‘escapologist’ stuns judges on Britain’s Got Talent

Matt Johnson says televised water stunt was closest he’s come to death

WATCH: Moms Stop The Harm respond to opioid crisis

Someone asked her if she does the work for her son. McBain said: “No, actually. I do it for your son.”

Haley Blais tackles social norms through music tour

Haley Blais encourages people not to be discouraged by social norms and to be who they are

Been a long day? Here’s cute puppies in training

Group is training next batch of assistance dogs at Vancouver International Airport

B.C. skydiver lands safely after cutting away main chute

Greater Victoria emergency services called after witnesses saw spiralling chute

78 Mexican farmworkers displaced after fire tears through building on B.C. farm

Flames broke out Thursday morning in building that housed up to 80 workers at Abbotsford farm

3 year-old golden lab from Calgary missing after car accident east of Revelstoke

The car that Abbie — a three year old Golden lab was driving in — flipped over and ended up in a ditch early this morning

Inmates, machines adding muscle to Oliver flood fight

Inmates are packing 250 sandbags a day, but RDOS says newly acquired machine will push 6,000 an hour

Cartoonist captures public mood following Toronto, Humboldt tragedies

Cartoonist said he was trying to find a bit of positivity with an image that has garnered attention

Most Read