Barlee made history with NDP breakthrough win

Historian Bill Barlee made history with win in provincial by-election.

Dear Editor:

Commendations on your Page 3 item June 28 on Bill Barlee.

From the ‘70s through the ‘80s, visiting on weekends with George and Norma Ryga at their Caldwell Road home, I often witnessed high-scoring, highly competitive games of Scrabble between George and neighbour Bill Barlee.

From their acquaintance and friendship and from Bill’s Canada West came 12 radio drama scripts by George, under the banner title Miners, Gentlemen and other Hard Cases.

CBC Radio Vancouver assigned direction of the series to the then-retired Esse Ljungh who had pioneered radio drama for the corporation in Toronto, but was now living in Victoria.

I had the pleasure and privilege of recording the many songs (which laced George’s scripts) with five-string banjo strumming, during a two-day studio stint with Ljungh.

More than a decade later I landed, now retired myself, at Summerland’s Legion Village March 1, 1988.

Next thing I know another retirement precipitated a by-election right here and the NDP chose Bill Barlee over Jake Kimberley as their candidate.

As you reported, Bill defeated three others for the legislative seat in Victoria.

From recording history for decades to making history, his win marked the beginning of the end for B.C.’s Social Credit government and eventually the party too.

A second NDP by-election win in the Cariboo was another nail-in-the-coffin for Premier Bill Vander Zalm, and later, his successor, Rita Johnston.

So, if our next general election is called in 2013 it will have been 25 years since Barlee’s breakthrough.

Remember those adages about history repeating itself and the risk attending those who ignore it?

Dick Clements

Summerland

 

Just Posted

Albas takes on mortgage changes in town hall

Conservative MP mostly echoed chamber of commerce concerns but sparred with one attendee on details

Okanagan losing battle to preserve wetlands

Political will called for to create and enforce mitigation standards

Princeton woman who forged husband’s will gets house arrest

Judge says Odelle Simmons did not benefit from her crime

South Okanagan curling team sweeps into BC Games

Team consisting of Summerland and Penticton players qualifies for the BC Games

Interior Health managers voice discontent

Negative comments about work culture aimed at CEO Chris Mazurkewich.

OK Falls pot shop vandalized a week after opening

Windows were smashed Wednesday evening and spray paint called the owner a “goof” and a “pedo”

High-end whisky seized in B.C. bar raids

Raids end in seizures at Victoria, Nanaimo and Vancouver whisky joints

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

It’s all in the black for Roots & Blues

While they didn’t rake in the dough, the 2017 event made a modest profit

Las Vegas shooter acted alone, exact motive still undetermined: Sheriff

Stephen Paddock was behind the gunfire that killed 58 people including two Canadians

Botox, bomb shelters, and the blues: one year into Trump presidency

A look into life in Washington since Trump’s inauguration

Albas takes on mortgage changes in town hall

Conservative MP mostly echoed chamber of commerce concerns but sparred with one attendee on details

Christopher Garnier appealing murder conviction in death of off-duty cop

Jury found Garnier guilty in December, rejecting his claim she died accidentally during rough sex

Most Read