Flash Back Fridays
SALLY SHAMAI 1979
The Lodge was my introduction to the West Coast having been raised in Toronto. I clearly remember my first morning at the Lodge. I was having breakfast in the Whale Room and Jim strode up to me, introduced himself by asking what I knew about flora and fauna. I can’t remember what I said, but it was clearly the wrong answer as he replied with ‘well, I can see you’re a bullshitter, hopefully we’ll find some use for you around here.’ Yikes… a warm Strathcona welcome. That was the first morning.
The second night, I had another run-in with a Strathcona local. I was supposed to be sharing a room with Craig who I hadn’t met as yet because he was on an out -trip. I was in bed that night, still feeling quite uncertain about this whole place, when I heard some noise. It sounded like someone rustling around in the next bed. I was sufficiently scared, as I thought my roommate was out. So, heart pounding, I grabbed my flashlight, crept up to get my paddle by the door and ready to strike, shone the light at the noise…and there on the bed was the Lodge dog, looking peaceful as could be. That was my first day at Strathcona. After that, I was ready for anything, so it was a good intro to the Lodge.
I was at the Lodge from April 1979 – October 1979. I was 24 years old. Molly Doran I had known from the East; we discovered the Lodge together. Staff that I remember were Mary Sherlock in the garden, Valerie Laub, apprentice; Bridget Moore, apprentice; Cliff Redman, instructor; Maureen Garrity, Instructor; Brian Finney, Instructor; and Annie and Jamie Boulding, who were just starting to be instructors. Mary Sherlock and I are still good friends.
Instructors, like me, were being paid at the time enough to get a bit of a sugar hit on town runs. Those were the days where there was NO sugar at the Lodge. Aaah… memories of handling those kids on sugar withdrawal… (not to mention my own).
I learned about West Coast/ rain forest Flora and Fauna in a hurry, the difference between paddling on oceans and on lakes, hiking in mountains, vs. forests and bush, nutrition, Native Culture and more; the Lodge experience broadened and enhanced my love
of the outdoors from East to West.