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Mansell, Cecilia

  • Persona
  • 1909 - 29 Jun. 2004

Cecilia was born in Forth William, Ontario in 1909. Cif and her husband Jack built and operated Hillcrest Lodge at Alta Lake (Whistler) from 1944-1965. They had two sons together: Doug and Loyd. Her husband passed away in 1980.

Following the operation of Hillcrest, Cecilia kept herself busy with Woolworth's and volunteered at Expo '86, Science World, and the Red Cross Blood Services (from 1980 through 2000).

Trudeau, Pierre Elliott

  • Persona
  • 18 Oct. 1919 - 28 Sep. 2000

Pierre Trudeau was the 15th Prime Minister of Canada from 20 April 1968 to 4 June 1979, and again from 3 March 1980 to 30 June 1984. His personal motto was "Reason before passion," and he had a dramatic impact on the Canadian political scene of the time. He worked to preserve national unity and establish the Charter of Rights and Freedoms within Canada's Constitution.

Trudeau was born in Montreal to Charles-Émile Trudeau, a French Canadian businessman and lawyer, and Grace Elliot, who was of French and Scottish descent. His family became quite weathly by the time Pierre was in his teens and he sold his prosperous gas station to Imperial Oil. Pierre attended the Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf where he was affiliated with the ideas of Quebec nationalism.

In 1943, Trudeau graduated with a law degree at the Université de Montréal (U de M). During his studies he was conscripted into the Army, although he was discharged for lack of discipline. Following the war, he completed a master's degree in political economy at Harvard University's Graduate School of Public Administration. He also studied in Paris, and began pursuing a doctorate at the London School of Economics, although he did not finish his thesis.

While working as an associate professor of law at U de M, his views evolved and he became an opponent of Quebec nationalism. He was pursuaded to join the Liberal Party in 1965, and ran successfully for the Liberals in that election. Upon arrival in Ottawa, Trudeau was appointed as Prime Minister Lester Pearson's parliamentary secretary. Following this, he was appointed to Pearson's cabinet as Minister of Justice.

In 1967, Prime Minister Pearson announced his intention to step down, and Trudeau entered the race for the Liberal party leadership. In April 1968, Trudeau was sworn in first as Liberal leader and then as Prime Minister two weeks later, on the 20th.

On March 4th, 1971 Pierre married Margaret Sinclair, a woman thirty years his junior. This marriage later ended in divorce.

Trudeau's impact on the Canadian political system was wide-ranging, including the implementation of official bilingualism. After a political career that spanned fifteen years, Trudeau formally retired on June 30th of 1984.

After his retirement from politics, he joined a law firm in Montreal, and continued to occasionally intervene in political debate when he felt it necessary. He was devastated by the death of his youngest son, Michel, who was killed in an avalanche in November of 1998.

Pierre Trudeau passed away on September 28th of 2000, at the age of eighty.

Trudeau, Margaret

  • Persona
  • 10 Sep. 1948 -

Born Margaret Joan Sinclair, Margaret Trudeau is the former wife of the late Pierre Trudeau. She was born in Vancouver, British Columbia to Doris Kathleen and James Sinclair, who was a former Liberal member of the Parliament of Canada, and worked as Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

She attended Simon Fraser University (SFU), where she pursued studies in English Literature. When she was eighteen and vacationing in Hawaii she met Pierre, who was then Minister of Justice. He was taken with her, and began to pursue her.

After being elected Prime Minister in 1968, he astonished the county by marrying Margaret on March 4th, 1971, when she was only twenty-two years old. She converted to Roman Catholicism since Pierre was a Catholic. The couple proceeded to have three children: Justin, Alexandre and Michel.

Due to Pierre's constant work-related absences, their marriage began to deteriorate, and Margaret separated from Pierre in 1977. They officially divorced in 1984, and shortly after Margaret went on to marry Ottawa real-estate developer Fred Kemper, with whom she had two more children: Kyle and Alicia.

In 1998, her youngest son by Pierre, Michel, was killed in an avalanche at Kokanee Lake. Margaret suffered a mental breakdown which led to her second divorce. In 2000, when Pierre passed away, Margaret was at his bedside.

In 2006, Margaret announced that she suffers from Bipolar Disorder and that she will write a book on the subject, to be published in 2010.

Michalik, Imre

  • Persona

Imre Michalik was a photographer. According to online records, he worked as an adventure photographer, often photographing rock climbing. In addition, there seems to be a link between him and a film titled "Adventure Bound."

Lunney, Gar

  • Persona

Gar Lunney worked for the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada's Still Photography Division, which existed from 1939 until 1984.

Established as a branch of the NFB, the Still Photography Division, as its name implied, documented Canadian life through still photographs. Within a decade of its creation, the division employed six full-time photographers, some of whom travelled though British Columbia on assignment. Gar was one of these photographers.

The division and its successor actively circulated these photographs through travelling exhibits.

McConkey, Jim

  • Persona
  • 12 Jun. 1926 -

Jim McConkey was once described by the legendary Austrian skier, Ernst Hinterseer, as the "Best all-round skier in the world." There is no doubt that he was one of the first of the "extreme skiers" honing his considerable skills in the 1960s.

Wilhelmsen, Franz

  • Persona
  • 7 Oct. 1918 - 30 Apr. 1998

Franz Wilhelmsen was born in Trondheim, Norway on 7 October 1918. Decades later he would achieve his place in Canadian ski history as founding father of Canada's largest and best known ski resort, Whistler Mountain in British Columbia.

Franz first set foot in Canada in 1940, shortly after the outbreak of WWII, when he found himself stationed in Toronto while on a training mission with the Royal Norwegian Air Force. It was here that he met and married Annette Seagram. Following the war, the couple returned to Norway for a year before they settled in Vancouver, British Columbia. Franz tried his hand at several pursuits, none of which challenged his talents, energy or enthusiasm.

In 1960, the VIII Olympic Winter Games were held in California's Squaw Valley. The Canadian representative on the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) suggested that is a suitable site could be found near Vancouver, the province would be in a position to host a future games. Wilhelmsen had finally found his challenge. A group of Vancouver businessmen led by Wilhelmsen formed the Garibaldi Olympic Development Association (GODA). Its objectives were to have Whistler Mountain, located in the northern end of Garibaldi park, serve as the site for the 1968 Olympic Winter Games and to promote development of that area of the park for both summer and winter use.

On 21 November 1960, several of the same businessmen incorporated Garibaldi Lifts Ltd. with Wilhelmsen elected to serve as its first president. Wilhelmsen would go on to hold this title for the following twenty years. Willy Schaefler, designer of Squaw Valley's Olympic runs and an authority on ski terrain development was hired to analyze Whistler's development potential. His feasibility report confirmed the expectations; Whistler's terrain was ideal for all levels of skiers. The potential viability of Whistler was further confirmed by the fact that skiing as a recreational activity was becoming increasingly important and that the Vancouver area's population was growing.

The study recommended that the mountain's north face be developed initially as the slope was more amenable to the installation of lifts. British Columbia's government rejected the location as the slopes on the north side had already been staked by mining claims. Garibaldi Lifts Ltd. was obliged to move its terrain development focus to the southwest, Creekside as it is known today.

Developing the mountain would prove to be a challenge. At that time there was no infrastructure: no roads, water system, or power. However, the government of British Columbia did commit itself to constructing a highway from Squamish to the area if the capital necessary for lifts and other infrastructure was raised.

After Garibaldi Lifts Ltd. managed to secure sufficient capital through public investment, the enormous task of construction began in May 1964. By the end of 1965, the original resort was ready. This included a four-passenger gondola, a double chairlift, two t-bar lifts, a base lodge, a mid-mountain lift station and a warming hut on the summit. Six runs were available. On 15 February 1966, Whistler Mountain was officially opened to the public. The Greater Vancouver Tourist Bureau declared Franz Wilhelmsen its "man of the year."

Franz's contribution was instrumental in both the founding and the successful survival of Whistler Mountain as it grew into one of the world's leading resorts. He remained president of Garibaldi Lifts until 1983. Franz was awarded the Queen's Medal in 1977, inducted into the British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame in 1988, and was a recipient of the prestigious W.A.C. Bennett Award given to those who have made a major contribution to sport in the province of British Columbia.

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