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Rocky Mountain Ramblers Association


1968 was a year of Centennial Trail construction and Rambler weddings. However the year started less happily. Fred deVries broke both bones in his lower leg on a ski trip to Kimberley on February 4th when his safety binding failed to release. He returned to Calgary by ambulance, the cost of which was covered by the club insurance, which we had in those days.

The first Ramblers wedding of the year was on May 4 when Betty Lewington and Albert Kaiser were married. On September 7 two couples were united. Our secretary, Jannis Allan wed Douglas Hare in Calgary, while Marj Soice and Howard Anderson were married in Lethbridge.

In midsummer Brian Crummy lead the first summer camp to Mt. Robson. From base camp at Berg Lake, Tom Thurston, Jack Carter and Robin Smith did a four day backpack on the north Boundary Trail of Jasper National Park. Three others, Brian Crummy, Rob Ashburner and Jamic Mackie, climbed Mt. Rearguard. While returning across Robson Glacier, Brian and Rob each fell into a crevasse, but since the trio was roped together, both escaped without injury.

Meanwhile Ramblers devoted many person-days of labour to complete the Mt. Allan Centennial Trail. Albert Kaiser was probably the most enthusiastic leader of the work parties that summer in the absence of Wally Drew, who was in the Arctic. Henk Oliemans made the big signs for each end of the trail and the summit of Mt. Allan. On September 14 and 15, 1968 we made a big effort to complete the construction but not the marking of the trail over Mt. Allan and show it to forestry officials. That effort is described under Memorable trips.

In May the new, revised edition of the Leaders Manual was completed and distributed to all leaders and the club library. 1968 saw our membership reach a record of 96. 83 members met on Saturday evening October 19, 1968 for the AGM banquet and dance. Thanks went to Peter Gillingham and Lesley Jackson for organizing this gala affair. Honorary life memberships were awarded to Tommy and Ruth Thurston for their many years of taking care of and repairing our large supply of club equipment. The silver pin was awarded to Albert Kaiser. An extraordinary resolution to establish Life Memberships for $50 and Family Life Memberships for $75 was approved. Finally came elections with Brian Crummy elected Chairman; Howard Anderson, Vice-Chairman; Sandy MacCalman, Treasurer; Cathy Shires, Secretary. Josie Zewiec, Peter Gillingham, Wally Drew and Daphne Smith were elected Members-at-large. Later Tom Thurston, Roger Woodgate and Henk Oliemans were appointed to round out the executive. Roger was replaced by Robin Smith late in the year. This was the year that Sandy Vair finally returned from the R.M.R.A. executive after 14 years of service.

"Blast-off for 1969" was the name given to the New Years. Party organized by Josie Zewiec and Daphne Smith for 56 Ramblers.


The Centennial Trail over Mt. Allan was finally completed in 1969. Prior to that Sandy MacCalman moved to the United Kingdom and Albert Kaiser replaced him as Treasurer and Quita Doornik wed Wally Mills.

Henk Oliemans took charge of the trail that summer since Wally Drew spent most of the summer and fall in the Arctic. With the twinning of the Trans-Canada Highway through the Deadman Flats area the north end of the trail and the sign had to be relocated. This involved pages of correspondence by Henk and government officials and made a very busy summer for him and also his wife, Ruth, who typed the letters. Others active in leading work parties that summer were Sandy Vair and Rolf Pallat. By August the trail was completed and ready for the official opening. It was discovered that summer that about 1/3 of the summit sign on Mt. Allan, which had been carried up with considerable effort and erected with ceremony, had been devoured by the pika which lived in the summit cairn. The remainder of the sign satisfied that rodent's appetite over the next two winters.

The summer's week long backpack in 1969, led by Jack Carter, went into the Pipestone Pass-Siffleur River - Clearwater Pass area. Another long weekend trip was a bench mark one. Brian Crummy, Al Samek, Josie Zewiece, Art Borron and Mel Lanner took the boat from Waterton townsite to Goat Haunt in Glacier Park, Montana, and then backpacked to Stoney Indian Lake. From there they made a successful ascent of Mt. Cleveland, the highest peak in Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park.

By September 1969 club membership stood at 108, exceeding 100 for the first time. During the 1968/69 fiscal year, Brian Crummy, Ray Marriner and Albert Kaiser rewrote the by-laws of the Association. The new by-laws were adopted by the Ramblers at the A.G.M. giving the club a more up-to-date constitution. Also in 1969, the A.G.M. was held at a regular Wednesday evening meeting for the first time, rather than in conjunction with the annual banquet and dance. As a result fewer members attended to elect the new executive. Robin Smith was elected President; Jim Bell, Vice-President; Cathy Shires, Secretary; and Wally Mills, Treasurer. Members-at-large elected were Judy Woodgate, Peter Gillingham, Jack Carter and Laslo Jamniszky. You will note that this is the first time that the terms "President" and "Vice-President" were used rather than the previous "Chairman" and "Vice-Chairman". Wally Drew, Peter Gillingham and Judy Woodgate also continued on the executive.

The Ramblers tried a new publicity venture when on November 19 the club organized a movie night at the Jubilee Auditorium. The following movies were shown: "Mountains, Mountains", "Ski the Outer Limits" and finally, "The Old Man of Hoy". The club sold 386 tickets at $2 each and gave away some free tickets for publicity. From all this we made a profit of $5 on the venture. The Ramblers did get considerable publicity out of it. The venture was the brainstorm of Robin Smith.

Frank Stanley joined the club in 1969 and soon began looking after the coffee and other refreshments served during our meetings, a duty he has attended to faithfully ever since.