If you’ve ever been to a Golden Rockets game, you’ve seen Don Howe. He’s the quiet volunteer who rings the buzzer, helps with the nets, and even drives the bus on road trips.
“I saw in some advertising that they need board members for the Rockets. So a buddy and I got on the board,” said Howe, who moved to Golden with his family in 1966.
“My family moved up here. My dad was a CPR agent in Lytton, and he had a better job offer up here, so we moved in June of ’66.”
Shortly after coming to the Columbia Valley, Howe left high school to pursue a job offer at LP. He has been working there ever since. But it is his volunteer work with the Rockets that he enjoys more than anything.
“I started driving the bus, which was an old school bus. Then they got the Greyhound, so I had to get my air ticket to drive it. And I’ve been driving for 10 or 12 years now,” he said. “This year we’ve only had one bad night of road conditions, other than that it’s been pretty good. But the bus has good tires on it. And the boys, they keep you awake. They watch TV, and they like it nice and loud.
“Sometimes we’re still coming back at 2, 3, 4 in the morning, depending on where you’re going. Our trip to Kelowna and Summerland, we’ll probably get back at about 4 or 5 our time, because you lose an hour coming back.”
Howe was never a huge fan before volunteering, but has been fortunate enough to watch the team grow over the years.
“I really enjoy it. And I do the net, and blow the horn, do all kinds of things. It’s a lot of fun. I hope we make it to the second round of the playoffs this year, it will be the first time since I’ve been part of the organization. That would be great,” he said.
Hockey keeps him busy in the winter, but Howe has a different hobby to occupy his time in the summer.
“I’ve got a Gold Wing motorcycle that I drive in the summer. We went to Whitehorse this year on the motorcycles, me and the girlfriend, and a friend and his wife. It took two weeks. I’ll never do it again, not in two weeks. It will be a month at least,” said Howe.
“Every year we take the first two weeks of August and we go on a trip. We’ve been to the island four times, down to the States three times. We travel on the bikes, and tent most of the time. It’s a lot of fun.”
Since coming to Golden in ’66, Howe has never left, and is still proud to call this community home.
“I like Golden, it’s a small community, very friendly. When you walk down the street everyone says hi whether they know you or not,” he said.
“There’s been big changes in my 45 or so years here. It’s gotten bigger, but it’s still a very friendly town. It’s a good town to live in.”