Denise and Peter Shular have spent most of the last six decades living in and around the Golden area.
Peter was originally from Saskatchewan and ended up coming to live in Golden in 1956.
“I went to an employment office and was asked if I wanted to work at a sawmill in B.C. I was only a 21-year-old kid but I decided to come here and that was it,” Peter said.
During the winter the Big Bend highway would close and Peter would move on to his other jobs. One of his other summer jobs was working for Denise’s father who constructed houses.
Peter was also a barber and worked at a shop in Golden for a number of years and shared a point of view on what happened with hair in the 1970s.
“In 1971 long hair came in and I guess people were doing what the Beetles were. So one guy who was working for the other barbershop went to work for highways and I went back to plywood plant,” he said laughing.
Denise and Peter met when he was living near one of the girls who Denise went to school with, and they were married on Dec. 6, 1958.
Her father came to Golden to build the old court house which still stands in Golden near Sobey’s. Her father was also involved with the construction of the school that used to stand where Lady Grey Elementary now stands.
Denise was still a student when the school burned down and had to attend classes in the Golden Civic Centre.
“It was cold. I just remember that winter being the coldest. We were in the basement,” she said.
Other than living in Edmonton for a year the couple has been in the area ever since their marriage.
“I don’t really count the year in Edmonton. When we are away it doesn’t feel like we were away for a year,” he said.
The first house they bought in Golden cost them $6,000.
“That same property is now worth $200,000 to $300,000,” Peter said.
Peter was a well known hockey referee and ball umpire over the years.
He explained that being a referee took him as far away as Japan and Europe over the years. He also met stars like Johnny Bower and refereed future stars Scott and Rob Niedermayer in minor hockey in Cranbrook.
“I never thought it would be like that. I enjoyed it and it was something to do,” he said. “I like to help the kids out and that was the important part.”
Denise was in the local drama club and was one of the original members of the arts council, along with many other volunteering positions over the years.
“I enjoyed drama. When you are in a really small town like this you get to do everything. Act, build the set, make the costumes, work backstage and perform on stage,” she said.
Denise added that she still enjoys going out to watch shows in town. The couple always enjoyed being able to give something back to the community.
Denise also said that Peter’s family (he is the youngest of 11 children) all gave their time to help support whatever community they have lived in.
“It is partially the way you are raised because it is important to give back. You don’t think about it, you just do,” she said.
Denise added that her father was always involved on different boards and this was something she started doing long ago when she got involved in town.