Telling Our Stories:
Story telling is the Shuswap
way of passing our history
to the next generations
In 1972 the Williams Lake Band started its first band administration. I was the first Band manager. There was no administration office when I began. There were no files, no phones, no nothing. The only building the band owned at that time, other than the church and the dance hall, was the old day school. That was the only building that could possibly be used as an office at that time. However, it just so happened that Frank and Elsie Michel were living in there at that time. A house was being built for them, so it would be a few months before they could vacate the school. Until then I operated out of one of rooms in my house.
The school was finally vacated in 1973 or 74 and we began the process of setting up office. The Mission was still in operation at that time. I think we managed to get them to donate some office furniture- a desk and chair and possibly a filing cabinet. I think we also got D.I.A. to donate some furniture – a desk and chairs and some other items. We finally had an office. We were set up in the living quarters of the school. At about the same time, I think, our first kindergarten was opened in the classroom and basement part of the building. The first teacher was a lady from the Onward Ranch, her name was Paula Grewar. The kids just loved her.
I hired Isabelle (Bob) Stobie to do the bookkeeping for the Band. She was the very first Band staff, other than myself. We got along really well at the new office. We learned together how to keep the books and manage the finances of the Band. Within a couple of years, through all kinds of ingenuity I was able to get financing together to begin constructing the second Band office.