DINTY MOORE MEMORIAL BENCH

The following memorial/obituary written by Samantha Agtarap is taken from the Globe and Mail…as your trip around the Chain takes you to the final campsite at Sandy Lake’s western end, there is a beautifully situated memorial bench placed to face the setting sun and overlooking the lake and Mount Tinsdale.  The bench was placed in memory of Dinty Moore.  Who was this person?  Reading the following will clearly explain just why this memorial couldn’t have been placed in a better location.

Family man, master canoeist, skilled woodworker, explorer. Born June 1, 1921, in Burnaby, B.C.; died Dec. 16, 2013, in Merritt, B.C., of old age, aged 92.

William Moore, the sixth of seven children, was nicknamed Dinty by his older siblings after a can of Dinty Moore beef stew. The name stuck throughout his life, and to many he was known only as Dinty.

He grew up on the shores of Deer Lake in Burnaby, B.C., on a farm in a house that is now known as the Hart House Restaurant. Burnaby was mainly farmland then, and he would tell his grandchildren stories of childhood adventures such as riding his horse, Pal, or hiking up Burnaby Mountain to ski down on planks of wood.

As a young boy, Dinty was attempting to rescue his airplane from a tree when he fell and injured his right eye. He never regained full sight in that eye and his grandchildren knew the perils of running and jumping with sticks.

In 1945, he saw his future wife, Joan Sievenpiper, walking by the house he was roofing; he whistled at her, then walked her home. She was on her way to her family’s summer home on the south side of Deer Lake. That started a cross-lake courtship by canoe. He would joke that you could see the grooves in the lake from his canoe crossing it so often.

Dinty and Joan married in 1946. As a wedding gift, her father gave them a piece of waterfront land on Deer Lake. They built their home themselves and filled it with four adventurous girls. Their door was always open and their home was often filled with friends, relatives – and wild animals rescued by their daughters.

Dinty’s passions included canoeing and building canoes. He and his friends travelled some of the great rivers of British Columbia, including the Peace River before it was dammed. He told stories of encountering moose and bear and of finding dinosaur fossils. He also took his young daughters and nieces around the Bowron Lake circuit many times. Perhaps his coolest adventure, at least to his grandkids, was his role as a stunt double for Oliver Reed in the 1966 movie The Trap, canoeing rapids on the Thompson, Fraser and Chilliwack rivers.

Dinty and Joan were founding members of the Dogwood Canoe Club in Burnaby. He wanted to share his love of canoeing and the outdoors, and taught canoeing basics and safety. He also kept watch over Deer Lake, winter and summer, even performing the occasional rescue.

He taught his grandchildren to paddle a canoe, and where to find the best blueberries, huckleberries and crayfish. He showed us where the beavers lived and how to watch them quietly. He also taught us how to use tools safely, along with slingshots and BB guns.

A talented woodworker, he built canoes and furniture in his spare time. He designed a rowing attachment for the beautiful Chestnut canoes he sold. He made racing oars from yellow cedar. He made many beds, toys and bookcases for his children and grandchildren (one great-granddaughter sleeps in the bed he made for her mother).

Dinty was never ever one to sit still long. After he closed Moore Sales, a canoe and outdoor equipment store, and retired, he put his inventive mind to work for the B.C. Arthritis Society, making gadgets and modifications for everyday items to help people with arthritis.

He enjoyed word puzzles, fires in the fireplace, his workshop, curling and cribbage (he was a cut-throat crib player). He loved life, and nature, and nurtured that love in his children and grandchildren. Every canoe we paddle will carry him with it.

Samantha Agtarap is one of Dinty’s eight grandchildren.

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BRO’S ON THE BOWRON 2015

 

Ten fellows, average age 55, all experienced paddlers, the 19th year in a row that members of this group have paddled the Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit on this same Victoria Day weekend. Four tandem canoes, one solo canoe and one kayak. Most had paddled on the Chain multiple times, for one it was a brand new experience.

May 2015, a very early spring, the Chain had opened (as in being ice free) at least 4 weeks earlier than in recent memory. There was virtually no snow on the ground, the trails and campgrounds were nice and dry. Much of the birdlife that would normally be present on the Chain at this time of year had already passed through….heading north.
Gorgeous short sleeves and shorts weather, cool at nights. In five days, just one great hour-long rain downpour, to keep us paddlers honest.

The Chain was busy, there seem to be more “shoulder season” paddlers. Was the early spring the drawing card or are paddlers simply looking for a “different” type of paddling experience? A group of Italians, a couple training for the 750 km. Yukon River Quest race taking place in a month, two old buddies from Seattle fulfilling a bucket list dream
dating back to 1985, two young fellows looking very fit and lean who weren’t too interested in visiting and talking, they “had to be back at work on Tuesday”.

We used to do the Circuit in four days, now we take the better part of
five. Can we blame this on global warming or does it have something to do with age?

This was a great group to travel with. Safety was always the priority, we chose to follow the shorelines, not only because they are the most visually interesting but also, given the very cold water, dry land would be much closer for a self rescue in the event of a capsize. We had no problems.

This was the first time that we didn’t run the Chute at the end of Isaac;…there was a wicked strainer blocking about 7/8th of the way across the river, right at the Roller Coaster. We were concerned about the safety of less experienced paddlers who might not know to scout downstream for hazards, so phoned in our concerns from the new emergency radiophone located on the Cariboo River. We learned later that they got the message, even though we couldn’t really hear anyone at our end of the “line“.

We were broken down into 5 cooking groups, lots of pasta, everything from hard core meat and potatoes with lots of veggies to instant meals with fancy names, eaten right out of the bag. There was lots of sharing, especially the appies and the treats. We drank gallons of water, the five litre gravity water filter bag was a godsend. The support that this paddler received from the others was definitely welcomed and appreciated.

The new Park Operator had his crews out early, even before the official season opening. They had done a good job of clearing the portage trails, the winter had been hard on trees. Some campsites had blowdown that had already been bucked into firewood blocks — nice! We noticed that a new canoe rest had already been constructed on the portage trail to Kibbee Lake to replace a derelict one .

The canoeing was better than special. This old paddler had never gone solo before, it turned out to be all and more than I had ever hoped for. Day three, I left the campsite located just past Betty Wendle on Isaac Lake an hour before everyone else. I knew the others would catch up with me before too long. The water was like glass, at times there was a slight tail wind, the sun was shining and the reflections of the snow-capped mountains on the lake water appeared like an arrow pointing my way. I was floating, not on the water but rather in a manner that seemed to be three feet above the water. It was very emotional, the rhythm of the song Un Canadien Errant perfectly matched the cadence of my paddle strokes but rather than feeling “lost” as the words of this song suggest, I knew I was exactly where I wanted to be.
We left McCleary Lake and paddled the Cariboo River in mid afternoon, being careful to keep to the inside on the corners to avoid the log jams and strainers that tend to be located on the outside of the corners. The river dramatically opens up to Lanezi Lake, almost without warning. “WOW” erupted from behind me, “WOW” I heard it again…..I mentioned that one of our group was paddling the Chain for the first time and he couldn’t contain himself when he saw the incredible beauty spread out before us. I believe that we all felt it, the panorama is absolutely breathtaking, the snow-capped mountains and the aquamarine silt laden water.

There were signs of moose everywhere…that’s a good thing, but we didn’t see any of them, perhaps the cows were secreted away giving birth to their calves….that’s also a good thing. At the end of Lanezi Lake, just at the entrance to the Cariboo River leading to Sandy Lake and high up on a rock outcrop there is a carving…. “Reed Morris Ohio 1926”. 1928 was the year that the “inside” of the Chain became a game preserve, eliminating any big game hunting. Floyd DeWitte Reed was a partner of big game outfitter Frank Kibbe. Just around the corner from this rock carving, on Sandy lake is the site of a cabin that is indicated on Thomas McCabe’s 1925 map of the Chain as “belonging to Reed, formerly belonging to Kibbe”. Is it possible that Morris was just one last American hunter from Ohio, guided by Floyd Reed on one last big game hunt, a year before this area became a game preserve?

What’s not to like about this trip! The Bowron is a Wilderness Canoeing Paradise, it would be a sad, sad shame to see anything happen that would compromise this place which is truly unique in the world. Those of us who consider the Bowron to be in our own back yard and who choose to paddle these waters in the summer and to ski, snowshoe and travel by dog team over these same waters in the winter have a vested interest in the Bowron and a willingness to keep it special.
UN CANADIEN ERRANT

Un Canadien Errant (A wandering Canadian,)
Banni de ses foyers, (banned from his hearths,)
Parcourait en pleurant (travelled while crying)
Des pays etrangers. (in foreign lands.)
Parcourait en pleurant (travelled while crying)
Des pays etrangers. (in foreign lands.)

Un jour, triste et pensif, (One day, sad and pensive,)
Assis au bord des flots, (sitting by the flowing waters,)
Au courant fugitif (to the fleeing current)
Il adressa ces mots: (he addressed these words:)
Au courant fugitif (to the fleeing current)
Il adressa ces mots: (he addressed these words:)

“Si tu vois mon pays, (If you see my country,)
Mon pays malheureux, (my unhappy country,)
Va dire a mes amis (go tell my friends)
Que je me souviens d’eux. (that I remember them.)
Va dire a mes amis (go tell my friends)
Que je me souviens d’eux. (that I remember them.)

O jours si pleins d’appas, (O days so full of charms,)
Vous etes disparus… (you have vanished…)
Et ma patrie, helas! (And my native land, alas!)
Je ne la verrai plus. (I will see it no more.)
Et ma patrie, helas! (And my native land, alas!)
Je ne la verrai plus. (I will see it no more.)