West Coast Canadian Insulator Swap

Maple Ridge, BC

September 14, 1997

By Mark Lauckner

The 4th annual Canadian west coast insulator swap meet took place at the home of Tom Bond in Maple Ridge, BC on Sunday. There were 20 people participating this year which was fairly consistent with previous years of 18, etc. This event was organized because of a need to bring the Pacific area Canadian collectors together for an outing. There are numerous new active collectors in the region, many of which have not yet made the foray down to the big US insulator shows. This event gives them the opportunity to meet each other and some of the more seasoned collectors. The information that is exchanged at this event is intense and usually more significant than the caliber of pieces which trade hands.

This year the following notable pieces were snatched up by eager collectors: EC&M, amber 42's, cobalt signals, coloured HG beehives, numerous Canadian purples, a multitude of fresh-picked CD 143's, some McMickings, Canadian 133's, porcelain, and lots of other goodies. There are currently two different railway lines dropping poles in BC, so there were lots of fresh-picked items there.

The night before the event Tom Bond told me he really wanted a CD 133 BGM in purple to ad to his specialty collection of 133's. The day of the show Russell Paton pulled into the driveway with a box of goodies, and there was the BGM jewel, quickly snatched away by Tom.

Last year it monsooned the whole weekend and we huddled under tarps on the soaking wet grass. We vowed never to have this event outdoors again! On Sunday morning this time we moved all the tables and stuff under the canopy of a huge cedar tree. The ground around the tree was still dry after a couple days of rain. This year there was a 5-hour break in the rain on Sunday afternoon, from noon to 5. This was precisely the time and duration of the swap meet! We roasted 2 dozen huge corn which I brought back from Lillooet after visiting Al & Pam Dreyer, and there was a multitude of expensive Scandinavian wieners and even tofu wieners which were devoured by the carnivores unknowingly after the supply of the real thing had diminished.

It was a sad moment when we passed around the clip board for folks to fill out their addresses on for notification of next year's event. As it looks at this time, there will be no CIC magazine next year in which to advertise the event. We decided on the date too late in August this year for notification of the event in the US magazines.

Bob Scafe of Fort Langley BC and Gary Taylor of Lillooet BC both brought along friends to the event who made it quite clear to everyone that they didn't collect and would never collect those silly little glass things. By the end of the day they both were involved in the stories, had looked over all the offerings, and had acquired their own little boxes full of insulators which they wrapped carefully in paper before they left. Peer pressure or what! Welcome to this crazy hobby both of you! Al & Pam Dreyer of Lillooet BC left for the long drive home around 4:00. About 20 minutes later they reappeared with a car behind them. They stopped at a junk store down the road and there they met a guy rummaging through a box of insulators. They informed him that there was indeed an organized hobby, and there was an annual event happening at that very moment a couple miles away! They escorted him back to the swap meet...

A good time was had by all and the weather was amazingly cooperative!

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Last updated Monday, September 22, 1997