Canadian Youth Hostel Association Plaque Ceremony

Today Parks Canada and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada held an unveiling ceremony of a plaque in honour of the first youth hostel in Canada that was in Bragg Creek in 1933. I was lucky to be invited to attend. I go back 51 years with the hostel association as a member and as a hostel (houseparent) manager.

The people in this photo with the plaque have a long history with the hostel association too. On the left of the plaque are Sharon Kelly (nee McLennan), Tom Galeski, Lynda Galeski (nee McLennan). They often went to Ribbon Creek Hostel as teenagers when I was manager there as part of the Bragg Creek Junior Forest Wardens program. The program was run by Jackie McLennan, (now 87 with the big hat) and her late husband. Avril Derbyshire (in the light blue jacket) was the first houseparent (manager) of the new West Bragg Creek Hostel that was built by volunteers, but unfortunately burned down. The event today was an unexpected pleasure. It was wonderful to visit with Avril whom I rarely see,  but still exchange Christmas cards with; to visit with Sharon whom I have not seen since she was a teenager, and Tom & Lynda who I do see two or three times a year. (They hiked the Chilkoot Trail with me in 2003). All these people live in Bragg Creek. The McLennan family have a long history of living in Bragg Creek. I was also privileged to meet Liz Ferguson of the hostel association in Edmonton and others.

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