Mounties return to Golden to honour former landlady

Several retired mounties who served at Golden in the early 1960s returned to the community Aug. 8 to 9 to honour their former landlady.

(Back Left) Sgt. John Dixon

Clay Stacey

submitted

Several retired mounties who served at Golden in the early 1960s returned to the community Aug. 8 to 9 to honour their former landlady. Also attending the reunion was former Golden Star reporter Clayton Stacey.

The group met at Glacier Mountaineer Lodge to pay tribute to long-time Golden resident, Pat Franson.

Mrs. Franson and her late-husband, Len, owned a rooming house where the RCMP members and reporter stayed more than five decades ago.

“It was a gathering that was long overdue,” said reunion co-organizer Ted Brecknell of Salmon Arm who left the RCMP in the mid-1960s to become a lawyer and later a judge.

“Pat was more like a mother to us than a landlady . . . and we decided after all these years to return ‘home’ to give her our thanks,” added Stacey.

The ex-mounties and reporter, along with  their  spouses, came from as far away as Orillia, On., Holden, Ab., Regina, Kelowna, Vernon, Coquitlam, White Rock,  and Salmon Arm. Among the mounties were Jack McGregor of Holden, Ab., Monty Peters, Coquitlam; and Derek O’Donnell, Vernon.

Also, there were Bill Phillips, Kelowna; John Dixon, White Rock; and Clyde Yorke from Orillia, On. It was the first time in close to 50 years that some of the mounties had seen each other.

Golden was more than a place of work for four of them. It’s where they met and married their spouses. Brecknell married the late Bertha Richards; Phillips wed Donna Bath; Yorke married Nelda Hanson; and O’Donnell was united with Linda McErvel.

Stacey, who owns a seniors’ publication in Saskatchewan, helped co-organize the reunion.

“The credit goes to Mrs. Franson – known by everyone simply as ‘Pat’ – for suggesting the idea,” said Stacey.

“During a phone chat in mid-2011, she said it would be nice if ‘her boys’ could once again get together in Golden . . . and we merely followed through.”

The retired reporter, editor, and publisher said Golden will always be special in the minds and hearts of those who worked there so long ago. “We spent a lot of time (during the reunion) reminiscing about our months and years in Golden – both on and off the job – and there was a lot of laughter and fond memories.”

But the focus was on Pat.

“Her coffee pot was always on, and the cookie jar was always full,” said Dixon. “We were treated like one of the Franson family . . . which was very important to us.”

The former sergeant added: “When one of us came down with the flu, Pat would deliver chicken noodle soup right to our room. She really looked after us.”

Also at the reunion were Pat and Len’s four children – Gord, Sharon, Terry, and Tami. “They were always such polite kids. They looked upon us like we were their older brothers. They were very special to us.”

After leaving Golden, five of the mounties were eventually promoted to the rank of staff-sergeant while others became sergeants, and corporals.

Three of them – Peters, Dixon, and Yorke – were posted in the RCMP’s commercial crime section. A special plaque bearing the RCMP crest and an inscription calling Pat “the world’s great landlady” was presented to her “from the boys of the 60s”.

“I am overwhelmed,” she responded.

Unable to attend the reunion for health and other reasons were former Golden mounties Gerry Tilley, Don Marchand, Ken Davis, Mike Morhun and Len Giles. Plans are already underway for the group to meet again next year in Kelowna.

 

Just Posted

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

Business Profile: Miller brings nearly 30 years of experience to Golden Home Building Centre

Are you thinking of starting a project around the house, fixing something… Continue reading

Bacchus Books hosts Gerritt Shumyk March 25

A cozy venue, nestled in the heart of downtown Golden, hosts musicians… Continue reading

Isaac Tetrault brings home karate trophy, Golden competitors win medals

Submitted Golden Shotokan Karate travelled to Port Moody on March 9 for… Continue reading

VIDEO: RCMP reveal five kids hit in deadly B.C. crash

The children range in age from six to 17.

British Columbians are paying more for booze but also broccoli

Victoria’s inflation was 2.3 per cent, a tick above Vancouver’s of 2.2 per cent

UPDATED: Three dead in Surrey crash: police

Single-vehicle crash occurred around 10:30 a.m., police remain on-scene

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Is it a homicide? B.C. woman dies in hospital, seven months after being shot

Stepfather think Chilliwack case should now be a homicide, but IHIT has not confirmed anything

Coroner’s inquest announced for Victoria teen’s overdose death

Elliot Eurchuk was 16 years old when he died of an opioid overdose at his Oak Bay home

Military officer accused of sexual misconduct, drunkenness in B.C., Alberta

Warrant Officer Jarvis Kevin Malone is charged under the National Defence Act

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

Harbour Air to convert to all-electric seaplanes

Seaplane company to modify fleet with a 750-horsepower electric motor

Most Read