In early days it took dedicated community members to provide recreational facilities in the Lake Country area. The following except is from the manuscript, The Autobiography of Harold David Butterworth of Oyama,1 where Butterworth documents the making of an outdoor skating rink by members of the Oyama Community Club. The rink was opened on January 22nd in 1948.2
“[W]hile on the Community Club Executive, we sponsored the construction of an outdoor skating rink in a secluded area, protected from wind and daytime sunshine. This was on the Ellison property just above the location that Clayton Schmidt built his home.
Vernon Ellison, Jack Stephen, Al Smith and myself were a Committee of four who took on this project. I used the Ranch tractor and a 1 yard scraper to do most of the leveling and excavating of the area, and we developed an ice rink with a width of 40 feet and length of 180 feet.
Along the north side of the rink we built a 60 foot long Clubhouse with a lounge with stone fireplace, canteen concession, changing room and a music and broadcasting room in the loft of the building. For some reason, Jack Stephen and myself took on the operation of the rink and with some hard [work] to get volunteer help, looked after snow removal and flooding after each night of operation.
This was a very successful operation and we operated on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday nights, even hiring a bus to bring people from Vernon for public skating. However, after about 4 years and the difficulty of getting voluntary help, we turned it over to some local people, and it gradually went into disrepair. Some years ago the building burnt down, but I believe the fireplace is still standing.”1
1 Butterworth, Harold David. The Autobiography of Harold David Butterworth of Oyama. This manuscript is available at the Lake Country Museum and Archives. It is also available online on this website.
Photographs from the Harley Smith Collection are available at the Lake Country Museum and Archives.