The Nelson Electric Tramway Society was recognized for Hospitality Tourism Excellence.

Volunteers keep history alive

Tramway society honoured with tourism excellence award.

When the Nelson Electric Tramway Society was recognized for Hospitality Tourism Excellence last week, the crowd gathered at the Chamber of Commerce AGM stood to honour the volunteers there to accept their award.

It touched 91-year-old Walt Laurie, tramway society president, who spoke proudly about the organization keeping history alive in Nelson thanks to the 65 volunteers.

“All these years we’ve run the streetcar, you hear people say how much they appreciate it.” He said of the crowd giving a standing ovation, “that really did it for me. I was very pleased over the evening.”

About 16,000 people step foot on Streetcar 23 in a season. Greeted by a crew of drivers that puts in 1,800 volunteer hours between May to October, visitors travel lakeside from the park to the front of the Prestige Lakeside Resort.

Until 1949, that 107-year-old trolley car made its way around the community of Nelson and Charlie Bunce, who still works maintaining the car, was a young teen skipping school to play real life train. Bunce was there to accept the Chamber award along side Laurie and Bill Randall.

Wanting to keep this history alive, Streetcar 23 was put back on its tracks in 1994. And maintenance crews put in 3,600 volunteer hours gathering at the lakeside barn every Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Laurie has been involved with the effort for 16 years.

“I like to honour those people who had the foresight to get the streetcar going again,” he said.

Chris Holland is one of the younger folks coming out to the barn and getting hooked on the trolley experience. In his fifth year, he sees the crew’s confidence in the Streetcar potential growing. Wanting to be an attraction year round, they’re building a museum so a restored Birney car and many treasures of the past can be displayed.

“This is a big boost for the beautiful volunteer team effort that Nelson provides,” he said of the honour. “It’s just a great big wonderful pat on the back by the Chamber and people of Nelson for the hard work we’ve done.

Just Posted

Slocan Valley added to communities on flooding evac alert

Kootenay Lake is expected to reach flooding level in Nelson by Friday

UPDATED: Hwy 3 west of Creston remains closed due to mudslide

A detour is available on the Kootenay Lake Ferry, but commuters could see wait times

COLUMN: Making a wildlife smart community

David White writes how property owners can avoid conflict with nature

Police searching for Nelson man

Brent Mickelson hasn’t been heard from since February

Local police recognized for work

Eight officers were honoured for removing impaired drivers

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

B.C. tech company will power Uber Elevate

Moli and Uber announce research and development partnership.

UPDATE: Woman dies in ocean accident near Tofino hours before daughter’s wedding

“We are so thankful to everyone who helped our mom.”

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Defence minister thanks troops for B.C. flood relief work

Harjit Sajjan says not only was military response quick, support from locals has been ‘tremendous’

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Most Read