Among those in the picture is Lloyd Ryder, Bob Cousins, Howie Brunless, Gordon Cameron , Bob Choate, Ken Baker.
In 1955, while attending the Banff School of Advanced Management, Rolf Hougen along with John Powell, President of P. Lawson travel, also a student, developed a plan to organize an overseas business, educational charter flight to visit fellow students in Japan. Later, Hong Kong and China were added to the itinerary. The project was endorsed enthusiastically by Senator Cameron, Banff School Founder. He became the tour leader.
In April 1966, 132 delegates boarded a Canadian Pacific Air Charter for Tokyo.
From the Whitehorse Star, April 7, 1966
Yukoners to the Orient
Six Whitehorse residents take off April 12th from Vancouver with 126 other Western Canadians on a charter flight which will take them to the Orient.
Mr. and Mrs. Rolf Hougen, Dr. and Mrs. Aubrey Tanner, Jim Smith and Robert Campbell are the Yukoners who will board the special GPA EC 8 flight arranged following last year's Advance Management Course at Banff School of Fine Arts.
First stops is Tokyo where the businessmen will attend a special seminar arranged by the Canadian Trade Commissioner there. That evening a reception will be held at the Canadian Embassy for the visitors.
Visits to manufacturing plants and other points of interest have been arranged for the business executives, while the ladies do some sight-seeing on their own.
"The group will travel to Osaka to attend the Trade Fair in that city, returning later to Tokyo.
On April 22nd the group travels to Hong Kong then takes a train from Sumchun to Canton for four days in Communist China. They will be visiting the People's Commune and other points of interest there before flying back to Vancouver May third.
M.P. Alvin Hamilton, former Minister of Northern Affairs commended Mr. Hougen during his most recent visit to Whitehorse, for his initiative in organizing the tour for the Canadian group, and stressed the importance of the Pacific markets for Canadian products.
In Japan visits were made to the factories of Nikon, Sony and Yamaha Piano. Osaka International Trade Fair was attended after journeying there by the Express Train after 6 days of touring Japan.
The group flew the 1950 miles to Hong Kong. In all of our stops there were briefings by the High Commissioners or Ambassadors. Entertainment was organized by our hosts, every hour of every day was scheduled.
When leaving Hong Kong for Canton, China, it was necessary to walk across the bridge from the Hong Kong train to the Chinese train that took the group the 90 miles to Canton. Bilboards proclaimed "Down With The American Imperialists" and other anti west slogans.
There are strange things done in the midnight sun. But perhaps none stranger or more spectacular than back in the June of 1966 when the old sternwheeler the SS Klondike made her final voyage.
Back in the the summer of 1966, the Klondike sat in the shipyards alongside the Whitehorse and the Casca, aging rusting hulks of the once proud fleet of boats which plied the Yukon River. But this old boat would begin a new life on June 10th of that year.
Kunze and Olsen Construction had been contracted by the federal government to move the boat through the streets of Whitehorse to its present site at the end of Second Avenue. But how to move a 13 hundred ton, 210 foot long sternwheeler? No problem. Chuck Morgan had the answer. Chuck was in charge of the project. He designed a cradle of steel beams to be fitted underneath the falt bottom boat. Then he placed large wooden planks in front, attached heavy steel cables to the ship and pulled it along with three TD 24 Caterpillars.
The boat wasn’t about to get any parking tickets. It moved at a snails pace. But move it did… down First Avenue to Taylor and Drury’s car dealership, across their parking lot to Second Avenue and along Second to the final resting site. It arrived safe and sound on July 16th, 1966.
There were many oddities in this project. To insure the boat and its cradle would move smoothly, Palmolive soap was spread over the wooden pads. The workers used so much soap that the whole town prayed that it wouldn’t rain or Whitehorse would have been the cleanest capital in the world. The steel girders used as the cradle came from the Peace River bridge which had collapsed in 1958. Hydro lines had to be taken down so the ship’s smoke stack could move safely through the streets.
A classic picture shows the Klondike parked at the corner of First and Main beside the old Taylor and Drury department store… a stop sign in clear view. The movers obviously obeyed the law. An informal ceremony was held on the deck of the Klondike on July 16th. Mayor Howard Firth presented Captain Chuck Morgan wit a gold miniature of the sternwheeler and, thanks to the work of Ed Jacobs, the old riverboat whistle blew once again.
The Klondike has become a major tourist attraction over the years as millions of dollars have been spent to ensure the boat looks like it did back in the 50s when it plied the river from Whitehorse to Dawson.
So next time you pass by or visit the Klondike, think back to that warm July day in 1966 with the boat parked on First Avenue and the townsfolk praying for clear skies.
A CKRW Yukon Nugget by Les McLaughlin.