FIFA’s World Cup captures global interest every four years. It might be the center of attention in Brazil this week, but in downtown Vancouver tomorrow, the B.C. Wholesale Lumber Association (BCWLA) Lumberman of the Year Dinner/Roast will not be upstaged by World Cups.. or Stanley Cups. This splashing evening at the prestigious Terminal City Club in honor of 2014 Lumberman of the Year Bill Barnett is the 34th Annual BCWLA Roast. A full list of Lumberman of the Year recipients is available here at the BCWLA website.
I’ve learned that the idea to have a Lumberman of the Year Dinner/Roast was the brainchild of a PR committee that was formed inside the B.C. Wholesale Lumber Association. Ernie Harder and Duthie Welsford were on that original PR committee that teed up the Annual Lumberman of the Year idea. Ernie was the first MC, when Phil Tindle at Ralph S. Plant was roasted in 1980 (see images from that First Annual BCWLA Lumberman of the Year Roast at bottom). He went on to be a roaster at close to 20 of them. “I recall how the original discussions around shaping that event were concerned with ensuring that it would be a ‘classy’ event, aligned with the right image we wanted to reinforce about B.C. Wholesalers,” says Ernie. “In those days we were very much trying to reaffirm the significance of B.C. Wholesalers, communicate their value in the performance of the wholesale function in the distribution chain of forest industry products, and enhance goodwill within the industry. Early on it was thought that we should alternate naming somebody from the wholesale segment and the mill segment of the industry. Then, it spread out to lend wider appeal, and selection from among distinguished industry leadership, e.g. Mike Apsey, Don Lanskail, David Emerson. Jack Hetherington has been a longtime key guy in shaping the event; he certainly deserves credit – and the blame – for introducing bagpipes!”
Tomorrow’s Roast Program 2014 tells us that BCWLA President Chris Sainas will open the festivities before turning things over to Roast Master Jack Hetherington and scheduled roasters Tom Casey, Andy McGibbon, and Ernie Harder. I rummaged through a box of my dad’s old cassette tapes and discovered his live musical offerings from some of the earliest roasts. These recordings are archived below: