Flash Back Fridays
C. .K. Mirror
Regional District of Comox-Strathcona
4695 Headquarters Road, Courtenay, B.C. V9N 5W3
Dear Sir or Madam, There seems to be some misunderstanding about Strathcona Lodge.
At a recent meeting the Regional Board turned down an application by Strathcona Lodge for a liquor licence. According to a newspaper report the licence was refused for two reasons – that we are presently an educational institution and deal only with young people, and that we would become a “watering hole. ” There was also a remark about our receiving government money. Perhaps I can correct the misunderstanding by describing our history and explaining our present operation.
My husband and I started our business in 1958 with a small lodge that we ran during the summer; we taught high school during the school ear. In 1963 we expanded and obtained a liquor license for our dining room and coffee shop. We never sold much liquor, nor did we try to. Unfortunately our main lodge burned down in 1973. By this time we were running outdoor education programs. As our tourist facilities were, for the most part, destroyed we then concentrated on the outdoor education part of the operation.
Between 1974 and 1976 we received funds from the Ministry of Education. We ran courses for about 1000 teachers and 15,000 young people during this period but we still continued to cater to tourists on a reduced scale. After 1976 the funding for education was stopped. We made a supreme effort to increase the tourist part of our operation both because we enjoyed the business and because we felt strongly that a sound tourist industry gives support to the preservation of wilderness areas. TIDSA, a federal and provincial body set up to develop rural tourist facilities, like our site and our plans and in 1980 advanced us money to make improvements. TIDSA knew that we planned to continue in both education and tourism.
Adventure holidays, to which our area is well-suited, are becoming more popular. We cater to bus tour groups of senior citizens and to small conferences. Many people come simply to enjoy the area they rent rooms and buy meals, rent boats, sail, kayak, canoe, sight-see, hike and take pictures of the beautiful scenery. Many of these tourists would like to have a glass of wine with dinner or perhaps a cold beer in the afternoon.
We have lockable cupboards so that we can store a small amount of liquor to sell to our adult guests. The liquor inspector has approved of the arrangements. We would be delighted to show anyone who is interested in our planned space for selling liquor and for that matter the whole place of which we are proud. We are also proud of our family. We have five children; three are grown up and are particularly energetic and wholesome types. We like young people and have rather old fashioned ideas about how they should spend their time. We run a tight ship, both in respect to staff behaviour and the general atmosphere of the place. We don’t even sell cigarettes. The last thing we want is drinking drivers on the highway – particularly as we drive in every day to take our two youngest children to school. I don’t think we would appeal to local orang-utans anyway. We believe in exercise, nourishing food and, for adults, liquor on occasion. Anyone interested is welcome to study our financial statements which show quite clearly who our clients are and the large number of tourist dollars those we generate and spend in the Campbell River area.
Yours Truly Myrna Boulding