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October 27, 2017 5:05 pm

Vanderhoof Celebrates Local Heroes

Thursday, June 15, 2017 @ 12:02 PM

Vanderhoof, B.C.- While Canada  celebrates  its 150th birthday,  Vanderhoof B.C.  is  doing its part  in  celebrating its  history and its heroes.

“A community’s history  is more than shovels” says  Barb Penner,  who  believes in  celebrating the  people  who  helped form Vanderhoof  prior to and  since the community was  incorporated in 1926.

One of those  people  to be celebrated is Ken Clay.

Clay, now 80 years old,  lives in  the Okanagan.  He  had played  on the Vanderhoof Bears hockey team and later  for the P.G. Mohawks and his claim to fame is the  invention of the hockey  visor.   The saying is, “necessity is the mother of invention”  and  that was true in Clay’s case , as he  took a high stick in the left eye  during a game in the early 60’s.  He lost the sight in  his left eye   and  created the  visor  to protect  himself from further harm.

Clay  will be the special guest  at a meet and greet this evening at the Village Inn  from 5 to 8 pm.  Penner   says Clay is  in the region visiting family in Ft. St. James  “I thought  Ken Clay’s invention of the hockey visor   was very significant”  so  when contacted by Clay, she  decided to  put together  this evening’s event  so  members of the community and some of his  former team mates  could  get  together.

“It’s going to be a meet and greet  from 5-6  and people can sign a guest book for him” says Penner.

Clay was also a businessman in Vanderhoof, operating the Texaco gas station,  his wife had her own business  as well .

Clay is not the only  home town hero Penner  thinks should be honoured in a new museum,   others are:  author Rich Hobson, First Nations  healers Sophie Thomas and Mary John and  songwriter  Jim Vallance.

For Penner,  it’s the stories about  the people who made Vanderhoof happen that will make a new museum  special “If you just  have a building  filled with a lot of old stuff,  well, you can see that anywhere.”





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