Posts Written OnSeptember 2015

Teen para swimmer finds home – and family – in Killer Whales swimming club Since being discovered near a dumpster as an infant in China, Ian Ralston has had plenty of reason to feel he’s been left high and dry. But he may finally have found a home — and a family — in the water. Despite a debilitating and painful condition which makes even walking a daunting effort, the 15-year-old Carihi student has nonetheless found athletic success. One of the top para swimmers in B.C., Ralston is coming off a recent appearance in the Western Canada Summer Games and has his…

You don’t have to have a horse to ride here Childhood friends Susan Gosnell and Wanda Gust have come full circle. The pair met when they were around 12 years old while riding in the Vancouver Pony Club. Fast forward several years later and they’re still participating in the club, albeit in a much different capacity. While the event is the same, the setting is a bit different. Gosnell and Gust having been hosting their own Pony Club in Campbell River at their barn, Balance Equestrian Centre, on the former Shady Stables Property off Shetland Road. It’s a place where…

After nearly 20 years of working underground, to depths as far as 7,000 feet, Bob Shelley took a break to work on an offshore drilling rig for a couple years. The first day on the job, he was asked to go 150 feet into the air on a rope hoist to perform a hydraulic repair. “I said, ‘Sure,’” said Shelley. “But I said, ‘Hey man, if you don’t mind, take me up 40 or 50 feet, let me come down, I’ll shake it off and you can take me back up.’ “He said, ‘What do you mean? You scared of…

Local aquatic health science startup now the go-to source for fish biology information for many industries and organizations Jim Powell holds a Masters degree in smolt physiology and a Doctorate degree in neuroendocrinology – the study of the interaction between the nervous system and hormone production system and how those systems communicate with each other – which he received from his research into the spawning triggers for salmon and evolutionary mapping of spawning controls in their brain. So it’s safe to say he probably knows more about fish than just about anyone else in the area. About ten years ago, Powell…

Michelle White and Steve Ross have a serious case of the blues. And life has never been so sweet. Six years ago, White chose to chuck her career as a financial planner and leap into a life of organic farming despite having no experience or background in the, well, field. Now, however, she and Ross, her husband of eight years, have completed a successful third season of selling blueberries and putting smiles on faces from Ross Mountain Farm. “I had a moment where I had to decide what I wanted to do with the rest of my life,” White said…

After years of occupying temporary locations all over town, important social service will soon have a permanent home to call its own When local lawyer Brian Stamp read the headline in the October 3, 2013 Campbell River Mirror that read, “Time running out for Campbell River Hospice,” he knew he needed to help however he could. It was a perfect pairing. The Campbell River Hospice Society has helped thousands of area residents – free of charge – for almost three decades. It has done so while operating out of various temporary locations around town, providing grief/loss counselling, relaxation therapies, respite care and palliative…

For 40 years, Preston Jewellers has been one of the first storefronts to welcome visitors to Campbell River’s downtown core. Behind the blue awning and the glass windows on Shoppers Row is a subdued, climate-controlled store of treasures. Glass display cases gleam under pot lights, or glow with lights from within. Diamonds, gold bands, silver chains, all manner of beautiful jewellery glisten under the lights. Many a Campbell River family started here with the purchase of an engagement ring and then, later, wedding bands. Other life milestones were commemorated with the precious jewellery found in this store: graduations, birthdays, retirements…

As an airplane pilot, Roy Wharton was best known for losing his passengers before the plane landed. But they kept coming back for more. Wharton, 60, is co-founder and owner of Pacific Airsports Skydiving and patriarch of the ParaPacific Skydiving Club, both of which operate from a hangar at Campbell River Airport. Pacific Airsports provides a variety of opportunities for would-be skydivers, from single bucket list leap strapped to a professional tandem skydiver to a 20-jump solo certification course. What it doesn’t provide is a huge income. “I’m not in this business to make a pile of money,” said Wharton.…

Chief Billy Assu was always ahead of his time. The progressive leader of the Cape Mudge First Nation not only ensured a residential school was never built in his community but, under his leadership, the Cape Mudge Village was the first area on Quadra Island to have running water, electricity and indoor plumbing. “He was really progressive and that’s really reflected in this centre,” says Jodi Simkin, the executive director of the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre on Quadra Island. It’s at this centre that an exhibit dedicated to the life and times of Chief Billy Assu will open in the later…

Wayne Bell has always been one-of-a-kind. From a young age, he was undertaking physical feats that his older siblings and cousins would shy away from and he could perform First Nations traditional dances that he was never taught. So it was no surprise that by five-years-old, the boy from the Mamalilikulla Nation was discovering a lost art form. As a child, Bell was shifted around between both sets of grandparents to protect him from being taken away to a residential school. Until he was five, Bell lived with grandparents Henry Bell and Ada Kwa Nees, before moving in with his…