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Gentina, Thierry

  • FR-GT001
  • Persona
  • 1968-

Thierry Gentina is a French retired alpine ski racer. He was born in France in 1968, and competed on the FIS World Cup circuit between 1986 and 1996. His best result was placing 10th in the Super G at Val d'Isere in 1992.

Genschorek, Herman William

  • CA-BC-GH003
  • Persona
  • October 7, 1922 - January 24, 2012

Herman William Genschorek was a mountaineer from British Columbia who made several first ascents. He was born to parents Hermann Genschorek and Julianna Beutler in Vancouver on October 7, 1922. Herman was active in the Alpine Club of Canada, and completed several first ascents, including Mt. Payne in 1950 (with Jack Bussell, Ian Kay, Alan Melville, and Walt Sparling), Canadian Border Peak on August 27, 1950 (with Alan Melville, Fred Rogers, and Walt Sparling), and Mt. Rexford in July 1951 (with Walt Sparling). Herman was leading an Alpine Club hiking excursion to Mt. Seymour when he first met his English wife-to-be, June (nee Handford), a nurse and one of the hikers. Within six short weeks, they were engaged, eventually marrying in September of 1957 in Whitehorse, YT. During this time in Whitehorse, Herman was working for Porky's Men's Wear. After a brief stint in Edmonton, the couple returned to Whitehorse, where they settled for 11 years, living in a small trailer under financial strain. However, they persevered and built their own log-cabin, living an adventurous life in the great outdoors. When they started a family, June left her job at Whitehorse General Hospital to raise her six children (Elizabeth, Sylvia, Roberta, Charlotte, Roland, and Pamela) full-time. Along the way, the growing family moved from town to town within BC, eventually returning to Vancouver, where June resumed her nursing career at Sunny Hill Hospital (an extended care facility for children) where she worked until May of 1991. In October of 1991, retired, June and Herman relocated to Westbank, BC, where they continued to live an active outdoor lifestyle, still hiking, camping, and skiing. Herman's wife, June, passed away on August 2, 2009, and Herman passed away on January 24, 2012.

Gemmill, Pat

  • CA-BC-GP002
  • Persona
  • fl. 1990s-

Pat Gemmill is a web designer, entrepreneur, cultural centre director, and curator/archivist in British Columbia. He was the curator and archivist for the Whistler Museum and Archives Society from the late 1990s to early 2000s. Belonging to the Archives Association of British Columbia (AABC) during this time, he redesigned their website By 2004, he was director of the Langham Cultural Centre in Kaslo, BC. By 2009, he was an entrepreneur who accepted the Small Businesses BC Going Global award for his business, Pics Canada of Kaslo, in Kaslo, BC.

Gellis, Jen

  • CA-BC-GJ003
  • Persona
  • fl. 1990s-

Jen Gellis is an occupational therapist (who specializes in working with children) and an artist based in Vancouver. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2000 at UBC and also holds a Masters of Applied Arts in Design from Emily Carr University in 2009. Jen began her OT career working in acute care, moving onto school-aged therapy, and then to Sunny Hill Health Centre (2003 to 2017) in the areas of complex pediatric seating and mobility, eating, drinking and swallowing skills and acute rehabilitation. Jen has also provided direct therapy treatment as an OT with Sleepdreams OT (2013 to 2018) and WonderKids OT (2016 to 2020), working with children and youth with a variety of diagnoses. Her work with Access Therapists, since 2016, includes complex wheelchair seating and mobility consultation with adult clients with a variety of needs and conditions including developmental disabilities and other neurological conditions. Jen has a passion for universal design, medical assistive design, technology, and children's play spaces. Through an art competition for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) selected Gellis to create a unique, highly textured wall or place that would appeal to young children, drawing them in to see, touch, and hear the features of the wall as a piece of public art. The base of the wall is embedded with colourful leaf ceramics that were created through a children’s art workshop staged by Gellis. She has also designed a small outdoor play area as a public art project in North Vancouver. Jen also likes to ride her bike everywhere and spend time in the outdoors with her young family.

Geddes, Peter

  • AU-GP001
  • Persona
  • fl. 1960s-[2020s?]

Peter Geddes is an Australian journalist, photographer, miner, shop owner, and documentary filmmaker. He and his wife, Joan, were born in Melbourne, Australia. They sailed on a ship to Europe in 1960 and got married in the Ealing Registry office in London, England. Six months later, they took another ship to Canada, where Peter worked as a journalist and photographer in Toronto, ON. In Canada, the couple had five daughters, including a set of twins. They moved, along with their family, to Lasqueti Island on Canada’s West coast where they took up a "hippie" lifestyle: no electricity, shops, or neighbours, living on oysters, salmon, wild sheep, deer, cherries, and apples. A couple of years later, in the mid-1960s, the family moved to Whistler (then known as Alta Lake), where Peter managed the ski shop at Whistler Mountain. In summer, he left the area to mine, following the 120-car ore trains cautiously descending the mountains to ensure they didn’t set fire to the valuable forests. In 1973, after several cold winters, the family moved back to Australia, to Bellingen, NSW. They opened The Good Food Shop on Hyde Street in Bellingen, which was a town seeing an influx of "hippie" culture. Peter recorded much of this culture on Super 8 Kodachrome film, which he later turned into a documentary titled "Bellingen the Promised Land", which premiered in 2020.

Geddes, Laurie

  • CA-BC-GL003
  • Persona
  • fl. 1960s-

Laurie Geddes was a pupil at Alta Lake School, the first school in Whistler, in the 1960s and early 1970s. She was the daughter of Peter and Joan Geddes, who moved to Whistler in the mid-1960s and left the valley in the early 1970s. Her sister was named Alison.

Geddes, Alison

  • CA-BC-GA010
  • Persona
  • fl. 1960s-

Alison Geddes was a pupil at Alta Lake School, the first school in Whistler, in the 1960s and early 1970s. She was the daughter of Peter and Joan Geddes, who moved to Whistler in the mid-1960s and left the valley in the early 1970s. Her sister was named Laurie.

Gebhart, Len

  • CA-BC-GL002
  • Persona
  • fl. 1980s-

Len Gebhart lived in Squamish in the 1980s and 1990s, and was the [son?] of Howard and Betty Gebhart and [grandson?] of Alf and Bessie Gebhart. He was married to Marlene Gebhart.

Gebhart, Alfred "Alf"

  • CA-BC-GA002
  • Persona
  • 1889 - March 24, 1979

Alf Gebhart was the owner of Rainbow Lumber Mill Company, a logging company which operated between Nita Lake and Alta Lake in the 1940s and 1950s. Alf first moved to the Whistler valley in ~1931, and bought a logging company and land from Jaswan Singh in 1937 at 21 Mile Creek. In the mid-1940s, he bought more land, between Nita Lake and Alta Lake, from the Pacific Great Eastern Railway. He built a house there, which later became the first Toad Hall, a haven for ski bums in the 1960s and 1970s. Nita Creek is also known as Gebhart’s Creek, named after Alf. Alf was married to Bessie Gebhart, with whom he had a son, Howard Gebhart. In 1945, after Howard returned from fighting in World War II, he began working with his father, and they moved the mill closer to the South end of Alta Lake. In 1951, the mill caught fire, but they rebuilt it by 1952. The mill produced railroad ties for the Pacific Great Eastern Railway, sending out several cars per day full of ties. In 1952, Howard moved into his parents' house with his wife, Betty. In 1962, Tyrol Lodge bought ten acres off Alf Gebhart on the Northwest end of Nita Lake. In the early 1960s, Alf sold his property with the house on it to Charles Hillman, of Vancouver. Alf passed away at age 90 on March 24, 1979, two years after his son, Howard.

Gebhart, Howard

  • CA-BC-GH002
  • Persona
  • fl. 1920s-1977

Howard Gebhart was a logger, pilot, and railway worker for the Pacific Great Eastern Railway who lived in the Whistler area during the 1950s and 1960s. He was born to parents Alf and Bessie Gebhart, who operated Rainbow Lumber Mill Company, a logging outfit, where Nita Creek meets Nita Lake during the 1940s and 1950s. Howard was one of the first pupils at the Alta Lake School, the first school in the Whistler area. In 1942, he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force to fight in World War II. Upon his return from the war in 1945, he began working with his father's logging company, and they moved the mill to the South end of Alta Lake. By 1952, Howard and his wife, Betty Gebhart, had moved into his parents' house near Nita Creek, the house which later became Toad Hall, a ski bum cabin during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1960, Howard Gebhart paralyzes his legs falling off a frosted log while shooting at ducks. He passed away in 1977.

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