When Vernon was Younger

The square dance clubs in the Vernon area held their first Square Dance Jamboree on July 10 and 11, 1959, and a most successful one it was.
As dancers were arriving in Vernon by July 9, an impromptu warm-up dance was held that evening at
Okanagan Landing.
Dancing on Friday evening, following a supper at the home of Mr. and Mrs. French and hosted by the Silver Stars, was in the Scout Hall.
During the evening, the dancers left the hall and danced for an hour on the Main street for the benefit of the many spectators and the press group for the Royal Tour.  Kalamalka Squares were the hosts for the hoe-down as well as the after party.
Saturday morning there was dancing in the streets, this time in a service station, on the route of the Royal Parade.
Later, callers and theirs wives were entertained at a luncheon held on the grounds of Mrs. Lincoln's home.
During the afternoon, an aqua duck party was held on the beach, where many braved the waffle-like footing to dance in the drink to qualify for their badges.
Buttons and Bows were the hosts to the callers and their wives at the dinner hour, while visiting dancers were entertained at the homes of  Vernon square dancers.
Saturday evening, fifty squares danced in the Vernon Civic Arena.  Les Boyer was M.C. of the evening, assisted by many guest callers.  The grand March was led by Ted and Betty Falacy, president couple of the Missoula, Montana Club and Leon and Kay Irvine, president couple of the Kalamalka Squares of Vernon.
Dancers came from as far distant points as Montana, Washington, Saskatchewan, the Caribou, Coast and Kootenays.
Mickey and Lena Mikaelsson of Prince Albert, Saskatchewan were presented with a plaque to honor the couple farthest from home.
An after party at the Sutherland Arms Hotel and a number of Idiot Parties gave the hardy souls among the dancers a big appetite for the chuchwagon breakfast at the Roundup on Sunday morning.
We feel our first jamboree was a huge success and thank everyone for their wholehearted support.
Monday, July 13, square dancers helped make the North Okanagan Regatta fun by dancing in the pavilion at Kinsmen's Beach.  Scotty Hitchman of Winfield was M.C. for the evening.
Original by-Verna Nelson

NOTE: The foregoing is copied verbatim, with some very minor exceptions from a page in the October,1959 issue of the Square Dancer, published by the Canadian Square Dance Association.

Penticton Jamboree in 1959

Bigger and better than ever - that's the only way to describe the Penticton Peach Festival and Square Dance Jamboree for 1959

There were more dancers each night; 56 squares at the warm-up dance on Wednesday evening; 90 squares on Thursday; 100 squares on Friday and nearly 180 squares on Saturday night.  They came from far and wide, from Pella, Iowa to Prince Rupert, from San Diego to Saskatoon.  There were plenty of first-rate callers to stand in front of an excellent orchestra and give forth of their best.

The weatherman must be a square dancer - he cooperated to the limit, providing nice sunny warm days and cool evenings.  The beach was just right in the afternoon and the dance floor fully air-conditioned and moonlit during the evenings.

There was dancing in the streets each morning during the week.  It was fun to dance a few, stand around in the shade of the Post Office and chat with old and new friends from all over the North American continent, then dance a few more before heading home for lunch.  Saturday afternoons were given over to the Aqua-ducks.  There were literally hundreds of dancers after their initiation into the Order of Ducks and Drakes on Friday afternoon as they splashed and romped in Lake Okanagan.  Jeane and Dick Cameron, the founders of the group were there to call the dances and take registrations.  On Saturday afternoon the first convention of the Aquaducks took place, at that time the 1,000th member was inducted into the order.  Dick Cameron, Jim Handry and Al Berry, who have been Drakes from away back were very unceremoniously tossed into the lake to ensure their eligibility.

Following the Saturday evening hoedown there was an after-party in the High School Auditorium.  After a delightful supper there was more square and round dancing until the wee small hours of the morning.  At this party the callers were presented with Participation Certificates by the Committee for their help in making the Jamboree such a success.

The wind-up breakfast on Sunday morning was a dandy chance to say goodbye to square dancers and callers with whom one had had such good fun and fellowship for three days.

To the members of the Peach City Promenaders Club goes the credit for the Jamboree - every member pitched in and did his or her job well, so that the whole festival went along smoothly and fun-producing. Congratulations for another good job well done.
Original by Rex North

NOTE: The foregoing is copied verbatim from a page in the October,1959 issue of the Square Dancer, published by the Canadian Square Dance Association



April 11th, 1999 a joint meeting of the Executives from the Stardusters Square Dance Club and Sun Country Squares met at the White Spot Restaurant to set some guidelines for an amalgamation of the two clubs.

It was agreed to draw up a draft constitution to be presented to a joint general  meeting on April 25th,1999 at the Schubert Center. Discussions were held regarding Dance Night Booking of hall, and Type of Dancing Offered. It was agreed our honorary members would receive letters in keeping with this honor. All members will receive a draft of the constitution.

An election of officers was held at the Joint General Meeting held at the Schubert Center April 25 1999.  These officers will serve the yet unnamed joint club.

President;          John / Val  Leesing 

Vice Pres;          Ann / Neil  Kelly

Secretary;          Yvonne  Quaedvlieg

Treasurer;          Genie / Dale French

The joint club will offer, Beginners, Mainstream and Plus.

The Club would be known as the "Vernon Square Dancers" in the interim and a color committee was established ( Joan Bourget, Nona Klassen and Lu Plumridge).

The first meeting of the Executive was held at John / Val Leesing's home May 6th 1999. Normal Club business was discussed, e.g. Caller and Cuer contracts, party nights, etc.

A general Meeting was held June 2nd and important items of business were New Club Name, Club Colors, etc. with 77 members in attendance.

STAR COUNTRY SQUARES was chosen by 56% of the members in attendance at the general Meeting.

Meeting of the Executive of the STAR COUNTRY SQUARES was held June 24th 1999 at the Schubert Center with a full complement of Committee  members from Stardusters and Sun Country as follows.

John / Val Leesing------Pres.               Rose Van Der Meer----Pres. Stardusters

Ann / Neil Kelly   -------Vice Pres.       Jake  Siebel  ------Past  Pres. Stardusters

Genie / Dale French ---Treasurer        Joan  Bourget----Color  Committee

Yvonne Quaedvlieg-----Secretary        Helen Sidney----Sunshine, Stardusters

Frank / Nona Klassen-Pres. Sun Country Squares Life members are Duke Procter,

 Kay and Walker Sanster ,Vella Golke and Grace Fuhr.

Club Badge and Club Banner Designs would be requested from members. Dance nights are Wednesday at the Eagles Hall with callers: Rene Bourget and Mike Rogers. Mainstream with half hour of Plus from 7:00-7:30 Cuers: Peter/Stella Tennant.
New Dancers will be Thursday evenings, caller: Rene Bourget, at Alexis Park School.

Executive meeting December 5th 1999 saw our new colors of Black back ground, with Fuchsia, Green and Purple appliqués; cost of initial skirts $15.00. A kit packaging work bee was established for ease of distribution of material. Clarification of Life Members and Honorary Members was established.

It was agreed to assume our new identity "STAR COUNTRY SQUARES" as of January 1st 2000. Our first official Executive Meeting was held January 23rd, 2000. Marilyn Osthiemer-Decorating: Janan/Jim Tidball-New Dance Coordinator: Ron/Gerda Piper and Grace/Dennis Patterson-Food Conveners: Alma Houchen-50/50: Helen Sidney/Joan Duggan-Sunshine: Yvonne Quaedvlieg-Historian: Bill/Vera Whitnack-O.S.R.D.A. rep: Anna Chute/Anita Erickson-Banner Construction:

 So here we are a brand new identity;  new badges in black with white engraving and a little multi-colored stone set into it.

Yvonne Quaedvlieg. (club historian.)

Webmaster: Rene Bourget, rlb@telus.net   

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