HISTORY OF THE FRASER VALLEY EXPLORERS.
In May of 1993 a letter was sent out to Winnebago owners interested in starting a travel club.
The meeting was held at Otto Mobiles in Cloverdale and hosted by the Winnebago Western Reps. Charles and Carol Townsend. Dick & Nellie Kootstra were the instigators of this meeting.
Of the many couples attending, nine decided that this might be a good idea. These nine couples were:
Jim & Ellen Brodie*
Jim and Joan Field
Gordon & Iris Kilpatrick
Dick and Nellie Kootstra
Eugene & Amie Leong
Harold & Doreen Nordan
Jack & Lillian O’Brien
John and Ruth Rens.*
* These two are remaining active members
Fraser Valley Explorers was the name chosen for this group and Charles and Carol Townsend swore in the new officers on May 21,1993. President was John Rens, Vice president was Dick Kootstra and the Treasurer was Jim Brodie and Jack O’Brien was the first wagonmaster. We later made a motion that anyone who joined within the first year would be considered a charter member and this included Bob Kimmel & Joyce Gentner.
The first camp out on June 11,1993 was held at the Sasquatch RV Park in Harrison Hot Springs and was attended by four couples. This is when we began the tradition of pancake breakfasts and potluck dinners. Another tradition that has developed is Don Adam’s Seafood Chowder which he prepares at all our potlucks. Following this initial outing our attendance and membership gradually increased so that in 1994 we had 19 member couples. . We now have a membership of 56 which includes 11 U.S. members. Our average attendance at a campout is now between 15 – 20.
In February, 1996 we had our first newsletter with Joyce Gentner editor. Our newsletter has had a number of different editors since then and each one has added his or her little touches. With the age of computers we now have coloured pictures of interest to the club.
The club has hosted two rallies the first in 1998 and then again in 2000. Because we don’t have large fairgrounds we were able to negotiate the use of school grounds in Abbotsford, B.C. These rallies were attended by well over 100 coaches and were well received by all those attending. We did find it too exhausting to put on these rallies with just the one chapter so we then joined The North West Regional Rally and have been participating with that group.
Over the years we have enjoyed numerous caravans that were hosted by Rens & Wassennaar’s including the South Cascade Loop and Vancouver Island. Our wagonmaster plans outings from March to October and then over the winter months we enjoy luncheons and a Christmas Party. At least one member of our chapter has attended the GNR every year and in 2007 & 2011 we had large caravans attending. Our chapter makes an effort to attend many of the state rallies in the U.S. and many have attended one or more of the WIT Caravans and Rallies.
History compiled by Ruth Rens and Ellen Brodie.