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100 Mile Free Press news reports about 108 Mile Ranch

Reporter: Brian Buzdegan, e-mail or 791-5209
Articles and some images reproduced, with permission, from the 100 Mile Free Press
plus the occasional report or photo added by JN Web Design
Previous years

December 20, 2006

Light up the 108 Contest underway

In past years a contest was held for the Christmas lights that people decorate their homes with. This year it is being started up again, so check out this week’s paper and last week, Dec. 13 for the entry forms. Three categories will be judged: Most Festive, Most Unique and People’s Choice, by ballot. Judging will take place after dark on Dec. 23 and prizes and trophies will be given out at the 108 Mall, Dec. 24. Some of the prizes are golf passes from the 108 Resort, and a spa day/lunch at The Hills. And, as the competition states,”Light Up 108!”

108 Community Hall

It has been a busy time at the hall with a number of Christmas parties being held. The Ranch Community Association (RCA) held its annual Christmas party Dec. 10 for all the children of the 108 area. It was well attended, with about 100 people turning out for the festivities. That man in the red suit and white beard was also in attendance, yes Sanata Claus was there also. Thank you to all of the volunteers and businesses for their donations of special gifts for the children, as well to those who worked so hard to make this event a success.


Just a reminder that Bingo will be held on Dec. 29. Same time, same place.

Janitor gone

Our janitor, Lori Fleming, has left her position and Becky Wolf has stepped up and taken on the role as the janitor at the Community Hall. Thank you, Becky, and good luck in the upcoming new year. As the next reporting will appear in the newspaper in 2007, I would like to wish everyone of the 108 and the South Cariboo a very Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year.

December 6, 2006

Volunteer firemen rescue swan

It was a false alarm, that proved to be an exercise in training for the 108 Fire Department. On Nov. 29, someone called in a report that a swan was stuck in the ice on Sepa Lake. The crews were dispatched but upon closer examination it was discovered that the swan was on top of the ice and when the fire crew came by, the bird flew away. Larry Knutsen, assistant fire chief, said it was not a wasted callout. He said some new members were along on the call and the situation was used as an ice rescue practice. Additional ice rescue training will be provided later in December, when the instructor is available.

Reckless drivers

The Ranch Community Association board and the Greenbelt Commission have received a letter, complaining about the reckless use of snowmobiles around the 108. With the lake not yet safe, snowmobilers are using the trails, but must remember that the trails are also being used by hikers and now, with more snow, skiers will be out and about. The trails may be shared by everyone, but people on snowmobiles must use extreme caution, or someone will get hurt. A note to snowmobile users to remember to stay off the roads, as your vehicles are not insured for on-road use.

Cards cancelled

Monday night cards have been cancelled, due to lack of people coming out. Perhaps after Christmas, when we have been house-bound for a while, more interest will be shown. If interested you can call Doug Belcham at 791 - 5592.

Christmas concert

The annual Christmas production is to be held Dec. 21 at Mile 108 Elementary School. It is titled “Slapshot Santa Scores Again” and all students will be participating in the production. It will be held at 12:45 p.m. and again at 7:30 p.m. So, if by then, you are suffering from a lack of Christmas spirit and feeling a bit like scrooge, then get into the spirit of the holiday and come out and watch the show.

November 22, 2006

108 Community Association holds annual general meeting

The annual general meeting was held at the 108 Community Hall, Nov.15 with about 28 people present, along with the board members. The various directors read their yearly reports and president, Robbin Edwards thanked all the board members for their continuing hard work. Edwards stated that the application to the the Northern Development Trust Fund was still in negotiations and that they will continue to pursue the funding to replace the hall roof and furnaces.

Greenbelt: Clean-up Continues
The cleanup of pine beetle trees continues in the 108. Also, the 108 trail has received some new gravel and some new culverts have been installed. The crew hired to do the work experienced some difficulties due to a shortage of workers, but by the end of the season forest service crews came and helped out with the cleanup.

108 Airport
The use of the airport was up early in the year, but otherwise overall useage has been fairly quiet. The airport day, held in June was well attended and was enjoyed by all who came. Construction of airport buildings are now being regulated somewhat by quidelines provided by the Cariboo Regional District (CRD).

Fire department
The 108 Volunteer Fire Department has serviced the community for 32 years, and they currently have a full complement of members at 25 with two people on the wait list. The schedule for the ice-out training has been set for Dec. 9-10, weather allowing for ice. They are hoping to purchase an infra-red camera to help find hot spots within a building and to help locate people.

Web site busy
The website receives about 1000 visitors a month and Google continues to show the 108 site at the top of the listings. A number of pictures have been posted on the web site and if anyone has pictures of the 108 area, they can have have them posted to the web site.

Lions Club active
The 108 Lions Club currently has 17 members and welcomes anyone who wants to join. They have been at the 108 for 25 years and this year have given out $5,600 to various orginizations. They hold an annual ice-out contest and provide a bar service when needed; most recent was at the SPCA auction.

108 water rates
CRD Director, Al Richmond stated that there will be no increase in the water rates this year. Money is being put aside for the replacement of the Kyllo Road water tank. It was stated that most people obeyed the water restrictions this summer. Hopefully in a real dry year, everyone will comply with the restrictions.

RCA membership
To date we have 78 paid members of the Ranch Community Association, up from 52 last year. About 26 of the 78 are life members and, given that there are over 900 homes at the ranch, it would be nice to see 10 percent of the homes as members. The newsletter comes out three times a year and about 800 copies are circulated. There was a call for two new directors and Bev French stepped up and agreed to become a director. Welcome and good luck to Bev!

Safe snowmobiling
It's been noted that during the first snowfall, someone was seen riding a snowmobile in somewhat less than a safe manner. It is a reminder to all snowmobilers that the trails may be used, but the roadways throughout the ranch are not to be used by snowmobiles.

Special guest

Roger Packham, of the ministry of the enviroment came and talked about the 108 Lake levels and badgers. He explained that the reason the 108 Lake levels are low is due to low snow amounts and low spring runoff. The suggestion of dredging between the lakes was considered not required. It was also indicated that dredging could do more damage than good. It was suggested that the association talk to Ducks Unlimited for some advice. Overall though, it is felt that given the right winter conditions and spring runoff, the lakes will return to normal levels next spring.

Badger - photo Roger PackhamPackham has been part of a study group, watching and collecting information about the badgers within B.C. He indicated that the badger population is under 200 in total. It would appear that the area around Meadow Lake (70 Mile area) holds the largest population in the Cariboo, although the territory covered by each animal is huge. One male badger, can range from Meadow lake, to Doman Road (Horse Lake), to 100 Mile in a triangular area. Hard to imagine that one animal can cover such an area, as it works out to be about 1280 km or about 281,000 acres!

Badger. Photo Rager Packham

Packham explained that by using traps, only to snag hair from the badger, they can find the DNA and identify each animal. It is hoped that within the next year, they will be able to radio implant badgers and see in a more detailed manner, their range, and activities.

Signs have been put up along Highway 97, showing badger crossings, in a hope that people will be on the lookout for them, as roadkill is the main loss of animals in the Cariboo right now. Also studies are showing that the badger population is migrating north, with the 144 Mile area being their northern limit. Packham gave a slide show and a very interesting talk about the badgers, and also stated that the Cariboo region has the largest population and one that is growing.

Thank you to Roger Packham for a very informative talk.

November 15, 2006

Over 80 animal lovers turn out for SPCA auction

The SPCA auction that was held Nov. 4, had over 80 in attendance. Auction items were many and varied and early figures show $6,600 was raised. It was so well received, that the SPCA has booked a date for the 2007 auction already.

Off to slow start

Monday night cards is off to a slow start, but with enough people, it will continue. It starts at 7:30 p.m. in the upstairs hall and is $2 per person. For more information contact Doug Belcham at 791-5592.

Bingo busy

Friday night bingo continues on, with around 40 people attending. New faces are always welcome and if you would like to help out, come on out at 7 p.m.

Chimney smokeFire Department

Fire Chief, Lee Simpkins states that four more firefighters should be certified by month's end for the first responder training. With the fire department year's end being Nov. 1, Simpkins said there were 102 calls for their fiscal year, of which 50 were first responder calls. For their new year, three calls have been handled already.The fire department is also due to renew their ice rescue training, however if the weather does not change and there is no ice on the lake, training will have to be postponed. Simpkins also advises, that before winter really sets in, everyone with wood burning stoves should have their chimneys checked and cleaned. It's not a bad idea that everyone with natural gas should also have their units serviced.

Woodsmoke. Photo Jeffrey Newman - JN Web Design

Taste of winter

November 2nd, old man winter gave us a taste of that good old snow and ice. Like clockwork every year winter comes, and like clockwork, Easzee Drive tries to claim another car. The curve on Easzee drive, posted 20km, showed the signs of someone doing a 180 degree spinout. Luckily though, they did not end up in the ditch. Remember to slow down before you enter the curve and not while going through the curve. Also with children being out of school during the week of Nov.13 - 17, if we do get more snow, please drive with caution. Watch out for the children.

November 1, 2006

"Good luck to Colin, and thank you for your years of reporting on the 108."
Hi, my name is Brian Buzdegen and I am taking over as the correspondent for 108 Mile. I was born and raised in British Columbia and first came to the South Cariboo in 1981. In 1988, I bought a piece of property and finally moved fulltime to the Cariboo in 1995. With a short time back in the big city, the lure of the Cariboo called me north once again and I have been here now for just over 12 years, with the last two years living at the 108. When I read that Colin Campbell was leaving his position, I decided to give the correspondent position a try. My backgound is in construction and adult education, so reporting local news is a totally new venue to me. But here goes.

Ranch annual meeting re-scheduled

The annual general meeting of the Ranch Community Association, will be held Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. at the community hall. Elections will be held to fill the vacant directors positions and nominations can be dropped off at the 108 Cafe with attention to Maggie Pugh or at the meeting. There are a lot of new homeowners in the ranch area so come out to the meeting and see what the directors are doing for your community. They are also looking to fill some positions, so new faces are more than welcome.

Bingo on Fridays

Bingo continues to be played on Friday evening at the community hall. I understand that a lot of people are making the trek to William’s Lake, to play at the casino there. Bingo, along with hall rentals, are the main source of revenue for keeping the hall open. So come one, come all, and support our community hall.

Card night

Card nights started Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m. The first night saw a turnout of seven people, so for anyone wishing to join and have a fun evening, come check it out.

Call for bookings

Jumping into community affairs with both feet, I have also taken on the role as manager at the community hall. If you want to book the hall for a meeting, or group party, you may contact me at 791-5209. If you have an idea for a group gathering, such as doing crafts, please contact me about using space at the hall.

Kiosk hit

If you pick up your mail at the kiosk at the airport, you may have seen a couple panes of glass missing. Person or persons responsible are not known. A few days later, paint ball splatters were discovered on a few window panes. Remember this property is owned and maintained by Canada Post, so it is we the taxpayers who end up paying for the repairs. If you have seen anything, contact either Lisa at the main postal outlet in the 108 Mall, or the RCMP.

No speeding

We need to watch our speed on the local roads. If you are out walking, remember that wearing dark clothing, makes you hard to see. Wear light-coloured clothing, or carry a flashlight.

I look forward to reporting happenings around the community, and if you have any news, or birthday wishes, or what have you, please feel free to contact me. You can also email me at: Good luck to Colin, and thank you for your years of reporting on the 108. I am awaiting the opportunity to finally replace that bottle of White-out, and maybe enjoying that cup of latte.

October 11, 2006

Crews replace bridges

On Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 23 and 24, Greenbelt Commission crews will be replacing the bridges over the two shrinking lagoons on 108 Lake. This will involve closure of those sections of the trail for the two days, requiring walkers to detour via Litwin Court when heading east and the Parker Court access when heading west.

Lagoon off the 108 lake

One of the lagoons off 108 Lake, in fuller days. Photo JN Web Design

Lions news

The Lions will be putting on another of their successful fundraising spaghetti dinners, Oct. 21, at 5:30 p.m. at the Community Hall. Entertainment consists of Crown and Anchor with donated auction prizes. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the 108 service club. The event will be marked with a celebration dinner on Nov. 2, attended by the District Governor.

Bob McGregor

Updating a story from last month - congratulations to the 108's, Bob McGregor who has been selected to one of the two teams supporting the 2007 Pole to Pole Expedition trekkers. McGregor will be on a team undertaking humanitarian and environmental projects along the expedition route. His team will meet up with the Expedition Team at various locations along the route.


The Ranch volunteer firefighters are closing in on 100 call outs for this year, "the busiest year ever," says Fire Chief Lee Simpkins. He said the increase is due mainly to the high number of First Responder calls, symptomatic perhaps, of an aging population. The unit raised $535 for Muscular Dystrophy at its recent fundraiser.

Chipping Program

Recently, with a grant from the Cariboo Regional District and coordination by Graham Allison, the 108 Ranch Community Association provided an hour's free chipping for 108 residents who needed to get rid of debris from dead pine tree clean-up (aftermath of the pine beetle onslaught). 28 residents took advantage of the program, 29 hours were spent chipping branches that would have been burnt or taken to the land fill.

Here are some "before" and "after" pictures;



Photos Graham Allison

September 20

Former 108 resident and UBC grad Bob McGregor, could soon be following in the footsteps of another local, Dylan Spencer and become the second 108'er to be chosen as a member of the Pole to Pole International Expedition Team. Spencer was a member of the year 2000 team, led by adventurer Martyn Williams that cycled, walked, kayaked and skied 25,000 miles in 11 months from North to South Pole. McGregor, 22, has been selected to the final group of 30 young men and women for the 2007 expedition. By the end of camp, which runs from Sept.18th to the 21st followed by a three-day adventure, this group will be whittled down to a dozen or so who will make up the expedition team. The remainder will form part of two teams that will be located along the route working on social and environmental projects. Now working in Vancouver as a Testing Engineer, McGregor said in a telephone interview that he found out about the 2007 expedition via a newspaper article and applied online. Like Spencer, he has great love of the outdoors and enjoys sailing, cross-country skiing, hiking and biking, including a cycle trip last summer from 100 Mile to Ottawa. In 1996 he was a member of a youth group out of 100 Mile that helped out after the Red River floods.

VFD news

At their monthly meeting, Sept. 5, the 108 firefighters elected Terry Capnerhurst deputy chief and Ralph Dumbs captain. Recent recruiting efforts have paid off and the unit is now up to strength, although still taking wait list applications. The local detachment saw action along with 100 Mile and Lone Butte volunteers fighting a house fire on Scott Road in town recently.

Youth Groups

Various groups under the banner of Girl Guides of Canada are registering members and looking for leaders and helpers. The 108 Sparks group for 5-6 year-olds is led by Candace Shields, who can be reached at 791-5570. Christine Hawes, 791-9276, looks after Brownies (7-8-year-olds). Joy Gregorash at 791-5664 and Heather Wood, 791-7320, run the Guides (9-11 years) and Joy Gregorash also leads the 108 Pathfinders for girls 12-14. All groups meet on Thursday nights at Mile 108 Elementary. Leaders and helpers are needed and interested parties are asked to phone Joy at 791-5664. No experience necessary, but criminals are discouraged from applying.

Brash Bears

As is usual at this time of year, there have been a number of reports of bears in the backyard and as always the local conservation staff encourages residents to cover the compost, gather up apples, avoid leaving pet food out and not smear jam on the children. This way the bears are more likely to move on and annoy someone else.

September 6

Finnish veterans receive treatment at 'the hills'

An agreement drawn up between The Hills Health Ranch and the Finnish government to provide customized treatment for that country's war veterans was the feature story in the Health section of the Sept. 4, edition of Maclean's magazine. The article provides details of the contract that allows elderly Finnish World War 11 vets living in Canada to receive rehabilitation treatment at The Hills, rather than having to travel to Europe. According to the feature, the generous Finnish health care system focuses on "small local facilities as opposed to large centres." The vets are funded for rehabilitation treatment anywhere from 10 to 28 days-a-year depending on their needs. The Hills, it was explained, was approved following an inspection and review by the Finnish government of the facility's programs and staff qualifications. Hills manager, Pat Corbett, commenting on the article, says that the arrangement with Finland has been in place for the past two years and was "one of a series of initiatives undertaken to find new markets in the wake of the provincial government's devastating decision to halt train service to 100 Mile House."

Caretakers leaving

Grant and Jean Rowlands, caretakers at the Heritage Site for the past three seasons, are leaving the job Oct. 12th. The couple has purchased a large 5th wheel and will be spending their winters in Arizona, before returning to B.C. in the spring. The 100 Mile and District Historical Society will miss the capable and hard-working couple who so diligently kept the site trim and in good repair. The society is presently considering options for caretaking duties. The Rowlands will not be saying good-bye to the Ranch entirely. Grant and Jean intend to return in May and spend from then, until the end of October here. They are looking for a cottage to rent on the 108 and if anyone knows of one available for that period, they would appreciate a call. They are willing to vacate for a few weeks if the owner wishes to use it for a time. As a parting gift to the Historical Society and the 108, Grant is constructing a number of picnic tables for the site. (left)

Lions donations

On behalf of the 108 Lions Club, member, Janet Herrick, extends thanks to the community for its generous support of the various fund raisers held over the past year and reports that the club was able to meet donation requests totaling $3,675. Recipients of those donations included: Scouts Canada, CampWinfield (a camp for children with disabilities), Peter Skene Ogden Secondary (Scholarship funding), the White Cane Club, Street Fest, SPCA, Diabetes Association, Food Bank, BC Youth Parliament, CARE (River Blindness Project), Destination Imagination and many other local groups and individuals in need of assistance.

August 23

Storm leaves a trail of destruction

While last Tuesday's not so perfect hail and windstorm cut a swathe through the Ranch, strafing flower beds, downing a few trees and strewing the roads with leaves, no serious damage was reported. Considering the intensity of the storm, it seems quite remarkable that other than a few bruised noggins, there were no more serious injuries to people or property. Most surprising of all perhaps was the fact that the power stayed on throughout. Residents were still cleaning up the showers of pine needles and Aspen leaves, days after the storm stripped them from the trees.

Photos JN Web Design

Fire Report

The Volunteer Fire Department has had a fairly quiet summer considering the extended period of drought, Fire Chief Lee Simpkins reports. While the volunteers have not been called out to any fires recently, they have attended a number of motor vehicle accidents and medical emergencies. The volunteers First Responder training has turned out to be a blessing for some Ranch residents. So far in the department's accounting year, which runs from November to November, the department has attended 71calls, with 37 of those being First Responder calls involving strokes, heart attacks, falls and other medical situations. In the recruitment area, one individual has responded to the need for additional members and there is still room for two or three more.

August 9

War being waged against weeds

The battle against invasive plant species on the Ranch has been raging on all fronts this past two weeks. A crew hired by the Greenbelt Commission has been busily clearing out patches of thistle, while Cariboo Regional District crews and some residents have been attempting to forestall the march of knapweed in Walker Valley and elsewhere. While the annual attack on the thistles appears to have had some success, Commission Chairman, Graham Allison, said the spread of Knapweed is a real concern. Former BC Parks Superintendant, Herb Carter, has observed the spread of the plant in Walker Valley over the years. The plant, he said, is a prolific producer of seeds and spreads rapidly, eventually choking out neighbouring grasses and native plants. Residents who spot the interloper in their yards or around (for recognition purposes, there is an identification board in the parking lot across from the Heritage Site) are asked to pull the weeds and bag them. Graham Allison will come around at some point to take them away for incineration. Knapweed should not be taken to the dump or placed in the garbage. Meanwhile, Allison thanks those residents who have been assisting with the eradication. His phone number is 791-1977 for bag pick-up.

Lions Club

The Lions would like to remind everyone of their concession trailer that can be wheeled to a site for any type of event involving pancakes, hotdogs or hamburgers.

Writer wanted

Because of other pressing writing deadlines, I need to phase out my involvement with this column and would welcome someone with an interest in Ranch affairs (make that happenings) to take over. Please give Iris Phillips, Editor of The 100 Mile Free Press, a call at 395-2219 if you are interested.

July 26

Cougar sightings in 108 Ranch

Conservation officer, Colin Nivison, confirms that his office has received calls from 108 residents reporting a cougar in the area and he's monitoring the situation. At the time of going to press, the big cat had been spotted off Kallum by Sepa Lake and in the vicinity of Easzee Drive. Nivison suspects that it is deer that is keeping the cat around. He asks that residents report any sightings to the 24-hour call centre at 1-877-952-7277.

Grizzly experience

Some weeks ago, former Peter Skene Ogden Secondary graduate and 108 resident, Sean Broadworth, had a close encounter with a grizzly bear that left him feeling fortunate to have survived. Sean's father, Mike, said his son had been re-cruising a cut block for forestry near Burns Lake, when the bear charged out of the woods. The bear pounced on Sean as he was reaching back for his bear spray, causing him to trip. Broadworth managed to roll over and place his hands over his neck to protect it. He estimates the attack lasted about 30 seconds, but the young man was left with bites to the stomach and arm, a broken bone in one hand and a chipped bone in his elbow. Broadworth was able to make his way back to his truck and call for help. Following four days of hospitalization he was back on the job. Despite his unnerving experience, Sean requested that the bear not be pursued since it had been defending a moose kill.

Feeling chipper

The Ranch Community Association's offer to provide a one-hour free chipping service for those who have accumulated trees and branches appears to have sparked interest. A number of households have called the Greenbelt Commission's Graham Allison to list their names for this service made possible by a $5000 grant from the Regional District. The free hour is worth $150 to those who take advantage of it. Time beyond the one hour is billed at the $150 an-hour rate. Allison asks that residents make their piles to be chipped as accessible as possible for the machine operator, preferably close to the road. Allison also advises that he will not be available to take telephone calls from now until July 30th. The program was initiated in an attempt to reduce the amount of burning that would have taken place otherwise.

Watering Hours

Watering restrictions are in place until October. Hours are 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

July 12

Fire chief, Lee Simkins108 Ranch Fire department loses members

The 108 Volunteer Fire Department, which has been looking to bolster its ranks, is losing two of its most experienced firefighters. Former chief, Ian Henderson and long time member, Steve Fouchier, are moving from the area, creating an even greater need for new members, male or female. Meanwhile, Chief Lee Simpkins reports that the fire scene has been relatively quiet despite the recent lightning strikes.

New 108 Fire Chief, Lee Simpkins. Photo JN Web Design

Fowl fight

The current standing in the Ranch's aquatic equivalent of soccer's World Cup sits at Loons 2, Eagles 1. Team Loon began the tourney with three chicks, two hatched by Sepa Lake parents and a single on 108 Lake. One of the Sepa youngsters appears to have disappeared, however, as only one has been seen in recent weeks. It is suspected the resident raptor might have scored. Both teams move on to the next round.

July 1 - Canada Day

Choir sings at Heritage Site

Choir sings at Heritage Site Photo: Steve Monk

June 28

More volunteers needed

A couple of rebuttals ago, I mentioned that Friday night bingo was desperately in need of additional volunteers and that the ranch fire department could use an extra hand or two. The need is still there in both cases. The first appeal yielded three new helpers for bingo, secretary Margaret Pugh reports, but more are needed to reduce the number of hours the crew has been putting in. As was mentioned, these Friday night sessions are what bring in the revenue needed to pay the upkeep and operation of the hall. Pugh's goal is to have enough people in place so that each volunteer would be required to work only one five-hour session every six weeks. As an incentive, the evenings are smoke-free. Potential volunteers should phone Bev Iverson at 791-9286 or pop into the 108 Café.

Fire department

At the VFD meanwhile, Chief Lee Simpkins could use an additional firefighter or two to bring the unit up to full strength. Training is provided. Lee's number is 791- 5781.

June 14

Film crew enchanted with area

Red Barn Productions, the company that was here June 4 to film a segment for CTV on Agnes McVee, proprietress of the 108 Hotel in the 1870s, returned to the 108 Historical Site on June 6 for more filming. Maryanne Rutledge, 100 Mile and District Historical Society president, said she was delighted with the way things went. "The company was fascinated with the site and its surroundings and, on their return from Quesnel, stopped in to take more footage." The item on McVee in the May 31 column, prompted a few phone calls. Some expressed outright skepticism about the story/legend, while others were concerned the historical society should be in any way embracing a story they considered to be lacking in real research. Asked about the background to the story, Rutledge cited a booklet, Lost Treasure in BC #3, by Larry Lazeo of Fort Langley, who published the story of the 108 murders after hearing the details from an old-timer. Rutledge owns the last two copies of this out-of-publication booklet. Whether the original story is true in part and has become wildly embellished, or is a complete fiction, few believe part of the tale claiming the bodies of 56 murdered travellers were found in local lakes. I've always wondered why the McVee clan would go to the trouble of shooting their victims in any case when, given her background, Agnes could just as easily have killed them with a full Scottish breakfast. Another claim that $6,000 of McVee's supposed buried plunder was uncovered during construction of the 108 Airport is dismissed by Block Drive resident Bert Corno, who was manager of the Block Bros. office in the development years of the Ranch. Lots of questions remain and it will be interesting to see how the filmed episode, to be shown on CTV's Travel and Discovery series on satellite late September or October, treats the story.

Volunteers needed

In the more mundane social world of bingo players meantime, there is a desperate need for volunteers to supervise the Friday evening sessions. RCA directors are advising the situation has reached the point where bingo may have to be closed down. Since bingo is the main source of revenue for the community hall, its demise could jeopardize the future of the hall itself. Among the expenses incurred in operating the hall, the main ones are heating and insurance. The latter amounts to $5,000 per year. The heating bill is even higher and more revenue is needed to update the present inefficient heating system. A significant number of volunteers would make possible a rotation that could entail only occasional bingo duties.

Tree donation

West Fraser Timber has donated 300 pine trees to the Greenbelt Commission. Local Boy Scouts have been hired to undertake planting in recently logged areas of Walker Valley.


You might want to hold off on burning those accumulations of downed tree limbs. The RCA is considering hiring a chipper to assist residents cleaning up debris as an alternative to all that burning. If the plan does go forward, residents will be asked to pay a small fee for chipping. More to come on this.


Word has been received of the passing, in White Rock, of Grant Kyllo, former vice-president of Block Bros. Real Estate after whom Kyllo Road is named.

May 31, 2006

Crew to film 108 murder mystery

The Goldrush-era legend of Agnes McVee and her supposed murdering ways, which intrigues visitors at the 108 Heritage Site, will be documented this weekend by a film crew for CTV's Travel and Discovery series. Red Barn Productions will spend five hours at the heritage site June 4 filming and interviewing for the Agnes McVee segment. The account of McVee's dastardly deeds during the time she ran the 108 Hotel in the 1870s has undoubtedly been hugely embellished over time. She and her "husband" Jim, together with son-in-law Al Riley, are credited variously with anywhere from 10 to 56 murders of gold-carrying miners and the kidnapping and selling of young girls to guests. One of the many rumours has McVee burying a treasure of $150,000 in gold and coin in various caches on the grounds of the hotel which, at that time, was located across the highway from the present historical site. The hotel was torn down in 1892 and rebuilt across the road. Exactly when the McVee segment will air is not yet known, but it is certain to contain enough intrigue and speculation to satisfy the most ardent DaVinci Code fan. The publicity won't hurt the 108 Historical Site either as long as it doesn't lead to an invasion of metal detector-wielding treasure hunters riding excavators.

Display dedication

Still with the 108 Historical Site, Maryanne Rutledge, 100 Mile and District Historical Society chair, said the site is now open to visitors and will remain open until Labour Day or longer if the season is good. The dedication ceremony for the official opening of the Ainsworth logging exhibit is expected to take place on Canada Day (July 1) with David Ainsworth presiding.

Elvis returns

As announced in last week's CRD press release, the 108 Volunteer Fire Department's ice rescue unit has been recognized for its rescue of Elvis the Rottweiler. Last winter, the dog fell through the ice on 108 Lake and had to be rescued by the firefighters. Fire chief Lee Simpkins and the 14 member rescue crew will be making an overnight trip June 10 to the BCSPCA annual general meeting at the University of British Columbia where they will be presented with a 2006 BCSPCA Kevin Anderson Award of Heroism for their selfless act.

May 17, 2006

108 Ranch lagoons will stay as they are

When the Greenbelt Commission contracts out repair work on the 108 lakeside bridges this spring, there will be no dredging of the silted up channels that link the lagoons to the lake. The commission has opted to follow Ministry of the Environment habitat protection officer Roger Packham's recommendation that the lagoons be left as they are. Meanwhile, the bridges will see some temporary work done soon to repair dilapidated and missing railings. Bridge deckings are to be replaced at a later date.

Misty Pine Horse RidingPermission given

At its May 8 meeting, the Greenbelt Commission approved Misty Pines Pony Club's use of greenbelt lands in Walker Valley, subject to the club having adequate insurance. The commission meets on the second Monday of each month at the Lions den in the community hall. The meetings are open to the public.

Cassidy Mellott and Bella participated in Misty Pines Pony Club's Trotathon at the 108 Equestrian Centre on May 6. Riders collected pledges for their club and the event was deemed a great success.

Beach work

The grassy area by the main beach looks a lot neater since Peg Rosen, Ranch Community Association beaches chair, devoted many volunteer hours these past weekends, raking up leaves and disposing of bottles. To make the area even more attractive, the RCA will be removing old telephone pole barriers by the roadside and replacing them with posts as they have already done at the south end.

Firefighters wanted

Chief Lee Simpkins would like to see three or four additional volunteers to bring the local complement up to 25. There is a special need for volunteers whose schedule enables them to be on standby in the mornings and afternoons when the majority of firefighters have work commitments.

Upcoming events

June 11 is already circled on your calendar as Father's Day. It is also Airport Day at the 108 and the event is shaping up to be an exciting family event. Airport staff has lined up an appearance by the Search and Rescue Buffalo aircraft, helicopter and float plane rides, vintage warplanes, 108 firefighters demo and a vintage car display.

Winging it

Among the usual suspects that flock to the ranch at this time of year, a few exotic types have been recorded. A flock of migrating Bonaparte gulls have dropped in for some R & R on 108 Lake before proceeding north. Among the multi-colored variety, a few evening grosbeaks and a pair of western tanagers have been spotted at lakeside bird feeders. Keeping everyone in check, the resident bald eagle and an osprey have been buzzing the ducks and the spawning coarse fish on both lakes. From the Walker Valley spotters come reports of a pair of immature bald eagles patrolling the north end and sightings of brilliant yellow goldfinches. Someone reported a dodo, but it turned out to be a collie with one of those plastic collars.

May 3, 2006

Players take advantage of courts

Tennis has been under way at the 108 courts for some weeks now. Tuesdays are designated Ladies' Night, with play getting going at 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays are given over to mixed play, with novices meeting at 4:30 p.m. followed by mixed doubles at 5:30 p.m. A Men's Night is a possibility also if numbers warrant. Anyone interested should phone Barrie Bolton at 791-6450. The club is looking forward to having Eric Bojeson, former 108 resident and coach at York University, give a clinic here sometime in June. Bojeson is the number two ranked player in his age class in Canada. Other Tennis Club contacts are Shirley Carter at 791-6220, Cindi Thompson at 396-4950 and Marilyn Bergen at 791-6417.


While 108 runners Tracey Moore and Carol Campbell will have just returned from competing in the Big Sur Marathon in California, 108 Ski Shop owner, Gunnar Rasmussen, who now lives in Burnaby, will be preparing for his next event after placing second in his age class in the Vancouver Sun Run. Rasmussen, 64, completed the 10-kilometre event in an outstanding 41 minutes 27 seconds.

Lions vehicle saleNew Lions slate

The 108 big cats elected a new slate of directors at their April 20th meeting. Bill Bailey assumes the 108 Lions Club presidential role with Nick Theoret becoming vice-president. Past president is Eamon McArdle, Janet Herrick takes on secretary duties and Dave Simkins the treasurer's role. The official installation of officers takes place later in June.

Dale Ohrling was one of the many vendors at the 108 Lions' Buy and Sell April 23 at the 108 Community Hall.

Book fair

The Mile 108 Elementary School conducted another successful Book Fair between April 24 and 27. Money raised will go toward purchasing books and other items for the library. Parent Advisory Council members assisted with the sales and money collection.


The Lions Club holds its first flea market of the season Sunday, May 14 at the 108 Community Hall. Come and get fleaced (joking). Since it's Mother's Day, there are free pancakes for mothers.

Bird stuff

The cranes that return to the Walker Valley year after year to nest and produce one or two young reportedly have returned and departed. Nothing unusual in this. They follow the same pattern of coming and going each year before getting down to business. The question this year is the effect last year's logging will have on their choice of a home, and whether they will indeed be back?'

April 19, 2006

The ice is out

The result cannot be verified until the good ship Lion is hauled out of the water, but it would appear that Lois White, of 108 Mile, came nearest to estimating the time the bucket went down and the flag went up. The flag was spotted waving in the breeze at 10:10 a.m., Saturday, April 8. Lois' guess was 11:20 a.m.

Hisako Arai (left) was one of the people at the Chris Harris Gallery for the April 7 launch of Kathleen Cook Waldron's new children's book, Roundup at the Palace.


The 108 Greenbelt Commission has obtained permission to haul away some dilapidated docks on the site of the old seaplane base on Tatton Lake. After cleaning up the site, the commision will install a gate to control access to the area. In other greenbelt news, the commissioners elected not to allow BC Hydro contractors to take out as many trees in some areas of the ranch as the crews had originally marked for removal. The commission decided that some of the designated trees did not present a danger to hydro lines.

April 5, 2006

Hungry beetle making it a busy time at 108 Mile

Add to the timber thinned out for fire hazard reduction purposes the cutting on individual lots of trees infected with mountain pine beetle and 108 Mile is rapidly losing much of its tree cover. BC Hydro is the latest entry in the cutting wars. For the past few weeks BC Hydro contractors have been active alongside roads, cutting down trees that were either rotted and/or deemed to be in danger of falling onto hydro lines. One area visibly affected by the cutting is that stretch of Telqua Drive starting at the Mile 108 Elementary School and continuing past the Cariboo Christian Life Fellowship church. Presumably the logging is necessary; the trees would have been considerably smaller when the hydro lines were strung there, but the result is a shocker nevertheless. A spokesperson for BC Hydro could not be reached at this time. Attempting to contact a human at the corporation, a flak-catcher who might be able to answer questions about the contract, proved to be a touch-tone nightmare. "Press eight to give up and admit defeat. Press nine to run the maze all over again."

Lee Simkins takes over as the new 108 Mile fire chief. Fires already

Recently retired Fire Chief Ian Henderson was hoping that the last month of his mandate would be a quiet one: it wasn't. Firefighters have been called out on a number of occasions in recent weeks. Most of this activity has involved grass burning that got away. Henderson warned that the cover is considerably drier than people might expect after the winter snows, and advised that cautionary measures be taken before attempting to burn off old grass and garden debris. In addition to the spate of grass fires, the department attended a mobile home fireat 103 Mile Lake Road and backed up the 100 Mile department on a couple of mutual aid call-outs.

Lee Simkins takes over as the new 108 Mile fire chief.

Last gasp

Effective April 7, puffers at the Friday night bingo sessions cease lighting up theirs and their neighbouring players' lives. In an attempt to retain the current volunteers and attract more to help run the sessions, organizers have resorted to the smoking ban for a three-month trial period. 108 Mile was the last holdout of smoking at bingo in the area. To ease the puffers into the new reality, organizers have extended the intermission from five minutes to ten. The sessions will also have a new start time of 7 p.m.


The 108 Greenbelt Commission has received approval in principle to hire a seven-person crew to continue its fire reduction program. At the same time, Commission Chair Graham Allison said that the job of cleaning up the woodcut by the BC Hydro contractor will fall to the commission. Once the wood has been piled, the public will have access to that which is not on private land, but must contact the commission chair before removing any of it.

Feeding time

The 108 Lions Club has built itself a mobile concession trailer that will be available to provide concession facilities for groups, clubs, weddings and the like. Phone any Lions Club member to book. The Leo's first "vehicle" Buy and Sell of the year will take place April 23 in the community hall parking lot. A vehicle in this instance refers to anything with wheels: autos, ATVs, lawnmowers, tractors, but probably not tanks nor jumbo jets.

Beach gate

Peg Rosen, of the Ranch Community Association, advised that the access gate to the Main Beach has been closed and will remain that way until the end of the month to allow the road, which was newly graded last year, a chanceto dry out.

After a break of a few months, we are once again receiving reports from the 100 Mile Free Press

March 22, 2006

Quick response helps contain fire

Chilcotin Crescent residents Jane and Neil Duncan are thanking their lucky stars for alert neighbours and fast-acting firefighters.The Duncans came within minutes of losing their lakeside home, Friday morning March 10 in a fire that started in an adjoining hobby shop. When the 108 Mile firefighters pulled into the driveway, the fire was beginning to spread to the home itself, causing windows to break and scorching the siding. Thanks to neighbour Graham Leslie, who spotted the smoke and called 911, and to the quick response of the local fire detachment, the blaze was contained to the shop and its contents. What is left of the building will be demolished. Lost in the fire were props for the 100 Mile Musical Theatre Co.'s upcoming musical Once Upon a Mattress. Months of construction by set constructors Walt Sherry and Ruth Tupman were reduced to ashes. On learning of this, group members put out an appeal for assistance to rebuild the sets. The result, Neil Duncan acknowledged, was "overwhelming". With a 'the play must go on' kind of resolve school shop teachers and others volunteered to assume the task of duplicating what was lost and have it ready for opening night March 29. The Duncans added that Telus' Al Richmond hooked them up with temporary phone service. Retiring Chief Ian Henderson commented that he hoped "there would be no more fires between now and March 31" when he hands over the reins to his successor. At this point, the cause of the blaze has not been determined.

Author Harold Rhenisch (left) and Tom Godin, the illustrator, hosted a book launch
Author Harold Rhenisch (left) and Tom Godin, the illustrator, hosted a book launch for their new joint project, Winging Home: a Palette of Birds, at the Chris Harris Studio Gallery, 105 Mile in early March.

Previous years

With the print edition of the newsletter discontinued (as a cost-saving measure), we thank Maddi Newman of KeyBoard Graphic Design for her many years' work as editor, producing a newsletter we were all proud of.

The print version of the 108-er is distributed from the following locations (available while copies last) :
  • 108 Supermarket
  • 108 Post Office
  • Hair Flair
  • Heritage Site Gift Store
  • 108 Cafe
  • Hair Flair
  • Heritage Thyme restaurant
  • The Post House
  • Rac Trac Gas
  • The Hills
  • Action Fitness
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