Banff Springs Hotel Staff Reunion Website

 

1960's

 

 

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!

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

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: bwis@iinet.net.au



 

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