Flash Back Fridays

FOLK WEEKEND 1977

Like much that happened at the lodge, the folk weekend came from an impulse. There were some talented musicians at the lodge lead by Bob Sutherland. Stevie Smith sang British drinking songs, and Rob Wood sang climbing songs, and the accountant Ross “rock spider” Nichol always sang the MONSTER MASH. They needed a sound system. The plan was to sing for staff and others in town and then pass the hat, take the cash and let Ross,who had been a roadie for a rock band, go to Vancouver and buy a sound system.

So by the summer of 1976, there was a sound system: mixing board, mikes, stands, cables, and large Trainor stand up speakers purchased by staff. Sadly, the good stuff was later stolen.

The first folk weekend was in the spring of 1977. June Simpson, Stevie Smith, Bob Sutherland, and other musical staff produced a weekend of sing along folk music and it was a terrific success.

Lodge youngsters being directed by Bob Sutherland (upper right)

Lodge youngsters being directed by Bob Sutherland (upper right)

Later prodded by Jim to have a fall get together, a year end celebration, and to have some kind of activity to assist the lodge to become a year round facility, Bob Sutherland switched the date to a long weekend in November .

In 1978 the Folk Weekend was a rousing good time and started a tradition that lasted 28 Novembers. The first few years were more end of year staff reunions with old staff returning, and new staff enjoying a break from school groups.

And then it got famous. In 1980 Quadra Island’s Smooth Edge came and played for 18 years in a row. They were a harmony singing group with some accompanying instrumental music. Later the Strathcona Choir was formed to sing such all time hits as: The Yellow Rose of T exas, Gypsy Rover, and When the Coho Flash Silver All over the Bay, all favorites of Jim. Read more