Year in review: The most unusual stories of 2015

The Hume Hotel’s time capsule and old elevator make our list along with an iconic photo, a mystery boom, and a ship built in a garage.

The Tomfi

1. THE FOREVER BOAT: Most people who passed a green shed at the corner of Gore and Stanley streets in Nelson probably had no idea of the incredible thing inside: a 34-foot hand-built sailboat.

Don Kurylko and Sanda Laine finally completed it this year, dismantled the shed, and held a christening ceremony in their yard before trucking it to the Lower Mainland and sailing off into the proverbial sunset.

Officially it’s now the Tomfi, but neighborhood kids called it the Forever Boat.

2. THE MOST CANADIAN PHOTO EVER: Kaslo RCMP Cpl. Shaun Begg became an Internet sensation after playing pond hockey on a glacier in the Purcell Mountains clad in Red Serge. A photo by Rick Wiltse of Begg preparing to take a shot on goalie Mike Guttensohn was posted on Twitter and quickly went viral.

“You won’t find a prouder Mountie or a prouder Canadian,” Begg told the Star, just one of numerous media outlets that contacted him.

A few months later Begg was promoted to sergeant and transferred to Smithers, but the photo’s legacy lives on: Wiltse donated the image, entitled Mountie and the Goalie, to a couple of good causes. Prints are being sold to benefit Syrian refugees and help replace condensers at the Kaslo arena.

Go to kasloarena.ca/most-canadian-photo-ever for details on purchasing a copy.

3. THE BIG BOOM: Around 6 a.m. on June 6, people from Nelson to Salmo to Rossland heard a loud, rumbling noise. What was it? Seismologist Taimi Mulder said there was no earthquake activity but a meteorite remains a strong possibility.

Harry Popoff, who was fishing on Kootenay Lake near the Balfour ferry terminal with some friends at the time, said there was a blinding flash in the sky, although they didn’t hear the sound, possibly because their motor was running.

4. THE HUME’S UPS AND DOWNS: The Hume Hotel’s 86-year-old elevator, in which comedian Bob Hope once rode, was finally retired and replaced this year.

General manager Ryan Martin said they had been putting off the modernization for years but the maintenance company finally told him it was time to upgrade. The new elevator, however, retains the same feel.

“We splurged on heritage fixtures,” Martin said. “We didn’t want a clinical one with no character.”

5. THE HUME TIME CAPSULE: The Hume was also in the news this year because of a time capsule that Martin placed in a wall above a fireplace.

Included were a bottle of Kootenay Country Craft Distillery vodka, a six-pack of Nelson Brewing Company beer, a Hume menu, a copy of the Nelson Star, and a hand-written letter from Martin, who was inspired after discovering a ca. 1930s Nelson Brewing Company beer bottle in the wall during renovations.

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