Banff Springs Hotel Staff Reunion Website






Larry Silverberg - Summer 1960 - Houseman

I worked as a houseman for the Summer.  My immediate supervisor was Gerry Tilson and his boss was Mrs. Mcauley (I think). I lived with 5 or 6 other guys in a log cabin away from regular staff quarters, in the woods. I seem to recall that the cabin was built for Sir John A Mcdonald for his honeymoon. My cabin mates were Gerry McIntyre, Dave Dalgetti, Ray Sewell, Ken Jensen and Robert and Roger Ste Marie. I'd love to hear from them and any others.


Bob Cessford - Summer 1960 - Night Audit

The staff of that esteemed section of 6 or 7 started work around 11pm each night to do the audit of the day's take and provide desk clerk services for any night arrivals. We were quartered in the staff annex below the hotel.

In the early days at the start of the summer season, the audit duties were onerous as the hotel staff were usually green (as were we) and many hours were spent reconciling meal checks between the kitchen and the dining room cash registers. For some reason the waitresses frequently did NOT check their pockets when going off-shift! We would have to determine the serial numbers of missing meal checks, look up the waitress name and confront her during the night...what fun.

As time passed, we got more proficient (or waitresses' memories improved) and the night audit duties typically lasted only an hour or so and the routine was for all to retire for the night to our rooms, except for ONE lucky person to take on the desk clerk duty.

I remember the "perk" for the desk clerk of the night was a nice soft nap on the manager's office rug!  It seemed perfect, I think it felt like 4 inches of wool pile!


Jean Pierre Soler – Dining Room – 1962. 

Hi I was a member of the dinning room staff in 1962....needless to say I have lost contact with nearly all of them. I understand that a Reunion is being planned. When I attended BSH in Summer of 1962 I was going to Sir George Williams University in Montreal. I now live in Cochrane AB, a mere 45 minutes from Banff.


John Higginson – Houseman – 1962.

I was a houseman in 1962. Now that i've reached my dotage I wonder what has happened to all these people that I spent many good times with. Realistically, I know that a few may no longer be with us.

So, what happened in '62? Well, I believe that was the year Phil's Pancake House opened just down the road  - too bad I couldn't afford to eat there.  The BHS staff put on "MacBreth" (or "Where the Hot Winds Blow"), ostensibly written by Silvio Bastiani, for three nights at the Banff Avenue Auditorium. Who can forget Peggy Mahon's rendition of "Steam Heat" presaging her career in entertainment?  Choreography was by "Stormin' Norman" Demers and the housekeeping department was well represented in the production. Inspired by jealousy of the traditional Busboys' Bash, the housemen organized a fantastic party in the chalet at the top of the chairlift on Mount Norquay. Two things I remember: the steepness of the slope leading off the chairlift, and the appearance of two bighorn mountain goats just outside the chalet at the height of the festivities.
A hitch-hiking trip to Jasper which began at the end of my overnight shift on Public Spaces. Every time we got a ride I kept falling asleep. Which was probably good 'cuz it meant I was awake when we got to Jasper and we could marvel over their stories of bears wandering into the staff quarters. I'm pretty sure '62 was the summer when Jim Bodel and I hitched to Takaka Falls and hiked from there to Emerald Lake  -real mountain country, this.
And the girls!  I'm a backward small-town boy and I had never seen so many beautiful women in one place before. I fell in love with every one but of course was too shy to meet many of them. The chambermaids were secreted away in the maid's quarters on the 8th (higher?) floor of the hotel and the only chance a houseman had of getting near them was to be assigned to raise or lower the rooftop flag morning and night. There were rumours about maids sunbathing on the roof but sadly I cannot verify that.  In any case I'd like to say hello after all these years to any alumnae who might remember me. I met Ann Garwood and Isabelle Gibb on the train from the east. Then there's the aforementioned Katie Grover and her buddy Jill Hawkins from England, Jane Sanderson (you missed the big photo!), Carol Sorjonnen, Liz Crack, Pat Patterson, Alida Muller, Mary Park(?) who became a lifeguard, Suzanne, Helen & Sally parlourmaids, one of my favorite girls Sue Matthewson from Montreal, Pat Demarais, the Folies girls Linda Lamorre and Diane Ducharme, Jan McPhail, Carolyn Younger, glamorous Ursula Babler, Eleanor Truax, Ginny Adams, elevator operator Moira Peterkin (in the Beanery one day the irrepressible Paddy McMahon announced that the doormen had voted her the possessor of the nicest ass). Another chambermaid that I can't find in the photo is Christie C. I can't remember your last name, Christie but I do recall going on a canoe party with you on the Bow River and investigating a suspicious noise on the dark shore. Whatever it was made so much racket leaving the area that we suspected it may have been a bear. Sincere apologies to those whose names I have forgotten to inscribe here.


Lauren Hounslow - 1962-1965 - Dining Room and Golf Clubhouse

I was sad to see someone say people had not kept in touch. I am still in touch with a number of people from those 1960s days but would love at this stage of my life to reconnect with more. Some I have kept in touch with I knew at U of M as well but some I met there in the Canadian Rockies and shared various adventures with. I was there for 4 summers, 1962 to 1965 in the years when the hotel was only open in the summer and we would go out “early” to polish things up and get ready for the season. I remember polishing silver sugar bowls, creamers and cutlery for hours on end in the chill of the as yet unopened castle. I ended up, like many, moving to Alberta because I had found my spiritual home in the Rockies. I rather wish I had been as brave as Moberg and stayed over 50 years but I had a degree to get and things to accomplish so I (foolishly) got back on that train. I worked in the Alhambra dining room and in my last summer at the golf clubhouse. I now live in sight of the Rockies at Cochrane Alberta and get to visit Banff, Lake Louise and Canmore regularly. Canmore is now a vibrant and attractive community. 


Brenda Letcher (nee Moore-my sister and I both worked there, we are identical twins) – 1962-1965.  

I worked at the springs from 1962-1965....2 years as lifeguard (Wolfgang and Gerry as supervisors) , doorman for year three and finally bellhop for the last year. (Sam McCauley was boss those  two years) .During the latter years David Mooberg (Moo) was on staff and worked with the service department as doorman? I understand that he has taken over Sam McCauleys old job and maybe he haunts the hotel. I am in the picture of the bell staff with the mountains  as background (1964) and still recognize many of my fellow workers. It would be interesting to hear from other staff members after all these years... and still alive. My bucket list still includes a stay at the hotel that I had so many happy youthful experiences.  


Mary Lynne Dewhurst - Summer 1966 - Kitchen Staff

I was one of the many university students from Eastern Canada, in my case Montreal, who worked at the hotel.  I was part of the main kitchen staff and worked in the salad room with Yvonne and Lynn and roomed with Alison and Judy. I would very much like to hear from my former co-workers and roommates and anyone else who was a member of the kitchen staff that Summer. You can contact me C/O this website to get my email address. 


Bernd Wisniewski - Chef - 1966/1967

I worked  there as a chef under Bill Einarson. I was relieving chef for all chef de parties in both years. We had a kitchen photo that was taken in the usual spot overlooking the Bow Valley but I lost it. I was in contact with Charly Wendt pastry chef for a bit but lost contact as he moved to Mexico. I live in Australia now. Would be great to hear from all others.


Len Jacobs 1966 - Dining Room Staff

Worked as a Waiter in the 2 Main Dining Rooms.   Below is a picture of all of the Staff from the Dining Rooms. Turned 18, 3 days before left for Banff.


Bernd Wisniewski - 1966 - Kitchen Staff

I was a swingcook, and at least once a week I was relieving Gardemanager. I live in Melbourne. I'd love to see that photo taken of the kitchen staff overlooking the Bow Valley, if any one has it.  Would thoroughly enjoy talking to you Mary Lynne Dewhurst, as we would have worked together same summer. Contact if you like:


Diane Reed and Michael Taylor - Waitress and Kitchen Tray Washer - 1967/1968

We met as university students employed for the summer at Banff. I worked in the diningroom as a waitress and Mike was studying at UBC. After two summers working together, we married and worked for one year with CUSO in West Africa. Then we moved to Sydney Australia. We still live in Sydney and have four grown children all living in Australia. This year is our 40th wedding anniversary so we thought we might have another family trip back to Canada and include a visit to BSH at the same time. I roomed with Wendy Page, Sandy Edwards and Marge Pips. We were all from Quebec and met on the long train trip to Banff. Would love to hear from my old room mates. 


Pat King - Golf Caddie/ Course Marshall/ Golf Course Starter - Summers 1969, 1970, 1971.

I went to school back East, as did the vast majority of summer employees. I started in '69 as a golf caddie, promoted quite quickly to course marshal, and was golf course starter by the middle of summer '69. I returned for '70 and '71 as starter both times. What wonderful memories!

While working there, I had absolutely no conception that I possibly had the best summer job in all of Canada. We made great money, were able to golf on a beautiful course, and met many terrific people from all across the country, as well as foreign guests who I was subsequently able to visit overseas. Utopia for sure. I met one of my best friends in life while working at BSH.

I live in Calgary and frequently hike around Banff. Whenever I go into the townsite, I still remember the 20 cent beer drafts at the Cascade, served by Doug, who kept score when we had a "draft contests" against the bellhops!

When I permanently moved out west in 1972, I worked that first summer for John Pawluk, who at one time owned the Rimrock. Yet another contact for me and a great friend,  and I met him while I was a starter at the BSH course.  



Chuck Leuw – 1969-1971. Boiler Washer, Maintenance Electrician.

I was very pleased to find the website, and sad in some way that no one
from the 1960's has found it yet.

I started working at the BSH in January 1969, worked there until September
1969, came back in January 1970 until September 1970, back in December
1970, and then finally left in August 1971 if my memory serves me
correctly. I started as a boiler washer for 3 months in 1969, then as a
maintenance electrician after that. Nothing could compare to working at the
hotel in the winter time, no tourists, and walking through the huge
building all by oneself - left to explore and imagine. Not too mention I
was responsible for fixing all things electrical as well as the
elevators. That meant I could go anywhere in the hotel, anytime. Banff and
the hotel was so peaceful during this time you can only imagine. Then of
course the summer came, and the 950+/- staff out of the 10,000 applicants
vying for the $37 per week jobs, plus tips, and including room and
board. If they stayed the summer, they got there train fare paid back,
otherwise they were on the hook to get back home. Hence they sought always
to employ people from down east, and in some of the more menial jobs, they
always had the people from Digby, Nova Scotia. That is another story.

The guest room did exist at one time, but having walked through the hotel
so many times and in all the nooks and crannies, there really wasn't a room
like that left. There were some interesting spots, and one could say
rooms, that were only accessible by climbing through a wall panel located in
one of the fire stairs. You wouldn't know of these areas unless you were
made aware of them. I also remember being able to crawl between the floors
above the lobby foyer. The bellman's room was only accessible by the
service elevator.

I lived in Chateau Ramsey, which was the small building beside the upper
Annex, and where the Hotel Manager, Cliff Watson lived. Following Cliff's
departure. Pat Fitt, VP CP Hotels, took over for a short stint to clean the
place up - he was known as Mr. Clean - a very stern, impeccably dressed,
gentlemen who I had the good fortune to run into when he was in mid-80's in
Calgary back in the late 90's. I left shortly after Ivor Petrak assumed the
helm of the hotel. I worked directly for the Chief, Dave Riddoch who sadly
passed away in December 2003.

One of the good fortunes of having worked in the maintenance area was that
many of the staff had worked at the hotel for as many as 30 years before I
had arrived, and so I worked with a very interesting group of characters
who had a lot of the history of the hotel. I wish I could remember all the
stories. I was close with Sam McAuley - the BSH resident 'ghost' - who had
always said he would haunt the hotel. Sam could tell stories that I wish
now I had recorded. Although, the current head bellman, Mo, who has worked
at the hotel since 1966 as I recall, told me that he started the ghost
story. I guess I'd like to think that Sam still walks the halls. I also
have fond memories of Ralph the garbage man. He was one of the kindest
people you could ever possibly meet, and the most trustworthy. I could
have given Ralph a hundred million dollars to watch and the dust would be
on the currency when you got back regardless of time.

There are so many stories and wonderful events and people. It truly was
one of the more memorable times of my life, and if I could turn back the
hands of time, I would do it all over again.

I am currently in Australia, have been since September 1999, but the
mountains always seem to have this calling for me, more so than the sea.



Debora Miscione – Laundry – 1969.

My twin sister and I worked in the Laundry in the summer of 1969.  I had no idea how hot it was to work on the mangle machines and I still have nightmares where I'm folding hot towels over-and-over again.  There definitely was a never ending supply of dirty sheets and towels. 

Our room was on the 2nd floor of the Annex.  At first, I got lost many times walking the tunnel from the Annex to the netherworld on the other side of the door going into the main lobby.  Fortunately, I soon caught on and could navigate it in my sleep. 

We had great parties especially the toga parties hosted by the laundry workers. I remember the food in the staff cafeteria left a lot to be desired and I think some of it was recycled from the hotel restaurant. 

Working at the BSH was one of the best summers I've ever spent.  The food was crummy, the pay lousy, but the people were great and I have fond memories of many of them.  I still live in southern Ontario and unfortunately have never returned to Banff or anywhere out west.  Definitely on my bucket list though.





In Memory and Vale:

Gerry Tilson - 1960s

Hi. My name is Christine Tilson, Gerry's daughter. My dad's name was Gerry Tilson and he worked at the hotel in the early 60's. Anyways I was looking through the website and saw a few people who mentioned my dad; it just made me happy to know people remember him. :) He passed away April 27 2011. And just seeing his name mentioned on your page meant a lot to me. Thank you.