Vanderhoof Celebrates Local Heroes
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.”