Alberni to host best car show in a century

Satch Willis is collecting memorabilia—as well as cars and trucks—for a two-day centennial car show being held in Alberni on Aug.4-5.

Port Alberni's Satch Willis is collecting memorabilia for a special car show to be held on Homecoming Weekend

Port Alberni's Satch Willis is collecting memorabilia for a special car show to be held on Homecoming Weekend

Every car has a story, says enthusiast Satch Willis. Port Alberni’s fascination with the automobile spans 100 years, and there are some good stories to be found.

Willis is collecting memorabilia—as well as cars and trucks—for a special two-day centennial car show, to be held Aug. 4–5 in the AV Multiplex parking lot, concurrently with the city’s centennial homecoming celebration at Bob Dailey Stadium.

Nearly a century ago Port Alberni’s first mayor, Arthur Waterhouse, owned a 1913 Buick McLaughlin. Volunteers with the Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society vehicle have kept it in pristine condition, and the Buick is still on display.

Another distinctive car, a REO the Fifth, played a bit part in the city’s history too, when Thomas Wilby and Jack Haney drove it from Halifax to Victoria in 1912. The duo stopped in Port Alberni, the furthest they could travel west at the time, and Wilby wrote about the experience.

Willis is looking for more recent history too, like photos from the famous hill climbs, drag races, off-road races and auto clubs. “Port Alberni’s always been known as ‘car town’,” he said.

Willis is putting together a two-day car show that he would like to see span the century. “Bring what you’ve got,” he said. “There are so many cars in this Valley that are tucked away. I don’t care if it’s on a trailer, bring it out.”

The categories are wide open: soapbox cars, sports cars, racing cars, hotrods, and because it’s celebrating a century, early-model cars would be most welcome, he said.

Vehicles will be displayed outside in the multiplex parking lot (security will be available).

There will be space in Glenwood Centre for memorabilia and photos that show the city’s automotive history. “I want to collect—borrow—as much paraphernalia about the car clubs, car shows, hill climbs, gymkhanas, drag races, motorcycle and off-road racing events that we have had over the years,” Willis said.

There is no entry fee, but Willis asks car owners to please pre-register by calling him at 250-723-6162 or e-mail satchnsandra@shaw.ca. Car owners will receive a commemorative centennial plaque for displaying their vehicles, but there is no prize money.

The car show is just one part of the homecoming events planned for Aug. 3–6, when Port Alberni will truly celebrate its centennial.

A welcome event is tentatively planned at the chamber of commerce visitors’ centre for Friday, Aug. 3. On Saturday, Aug. 4, the day begins in South Port with puddle duck races off Harbour Quay, the farmers’ market, artists’ demonstrations at the Rollin Art Centre and other galleries on Argyle Street.

At noon, people can switch to Bob Dailey Stadium for entertainment, crafters and artisans’ booths, a kid zone, and the car show at the AV Multiplex parking lot.

There is also a bike and wagon decorating contest for kids, sponsored by Harbourview Collision. “We want every type of transportation that will hold a baby or a kid,” organizer Darlene Coulson said. Materials for decorating bikes and wagons will be available at the kid zone, and there will be prizes for everyone who enters, she said.

Entertainment continues on Sunday, also at Bob Dailey Stadium. The Timebenders will feature 50 years of music, and the chamber will judge its beard and bonnet contest. A family picnic at McLean Mill National Historic Site and half-price train rides will fill the day on Monday, Aug. 6.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

AW Neill Elementary School in Port Alberni. (NEWS FILE PHOTO)
SD70 chooses new name for AW Neill School in Port Alberni

New name honours Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples’ connection to region

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

Ron MacDonald fields questions at a news conference in Halifax on Sept. 27, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Finding ‘comfortable’ indigenous monitor tough task in Tofino-area shooting death

Julian Jones case hampered by difficulty finding a civilian comfortable with privacy protocols

Port Alberni RCMP officer in command Insp. Eric Rochette presents longtime community policing volunteer Louie Aumair with a OIC appreciation certificate. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni RCMP honour longtime volunteer

First responders receive support from broader community

The Dock+ is located on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN / Alberni Valley News)
PROGRESS 2021: Port Alberni’s food hub still growing a year later

The Dock hopes to open a retail store on Alberni’s busy waterfront

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read