Parade float commemorated Forest Service’s 100th anniversary

On July 1, some 35 B.C. Forest Service staff members, spouses and children of staff, retirees and special guests participated in the annual Canada Day Parade in downtown Revelstoke. Despite the predicted cool and showery weather, the sun made an appearance and it stayed dry throughout the entire parade. The entourage was led by Andrew Davies and Kurt Huettmeyer each carrying large flags depicting the B.C Forest Service oval and the Canadian flag. Immediately following the flag bearers, the 1928 K-26 Model B Ford Pick-up truck from the Discovery Center in Duncan, courtesy of John Flanagan, Wildfire Management Branch, Victoria, drove the parade route. It was driven by Trent Moniuk, whose father Rod is a long time B.C. Forest Service employee located in Kamloops. The passenger was none other than George Benwell, a retired member of the B.C. Forest Service (1955-1979) who was the Honorary ‘Forestry Float Marshall’ for the day. Following the antique truck, the forestry float consisted of a 5 ton flat deck truck driven by Brad Faucett towing a large culvert trailer. The flat deck was decked out in 100th Anniversary signs and held numerous Forest Service staff and their children who supplied the roving members on the street with tree seedlings, balloons, candy, centenary stickers and general enthusiasm. The trailer depicted a scene reminiscent of days gone by; an old ranger station adjacent a dock by the lake with plenty of trees and a tired old logger in the corner. For something a little different, Diane Millar and Melanie Plett toured around the entourage on antique bicycles supplied by the Discovery Center. Rudy Bowolin’s 1932 Ford pick-up truck followed close by honking his horn at anyone he caught sight of. Smokey the Bear made an appearance at the parade and was steadfastly played by Riley Dickson, whose mother worked with the Fire Suppression Crew in Revelstoke 1976-1982. Smokey and his assistant, Simon Lavelle, whose father Kevin is with the B.C. Forest Service in Revelstoke, were followed by Wildfire Management – North Columbia Fire Zone’s Tank truck which was decked out in balloons and birthday decorations. Despite the parade rules regarding no spraying of water on the crowds, the occasional well-known individual was kept wet and cool during the passage of the tank truck! Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves in a fitting tribute to the 100th Anniversary of the B.C Forest Service! Photo courtesy of the BC Forest Service