The Revelstoke Rod & Gun Club honoured the best fishermen and hunters at their Saturday banquet, but they reserved a special honour for long-time volunteer and club member Vera Aura.
Vera Aura and her late husband Johnny opened Johnny’s Tackle in 1964 and the fishing and hunting supplies store has been a Revelstoke fixture ever since.
Revelstoke Rod & Gun Club secretary Gail Ferguson delivered a speech in honour of Aura to the well-over 400 people in attendance on Saturday night. Ferguson said Aura was planning to retire soon, and this banquet may be her last as the operator of the store.
She thanked Aura for all her years of service, including selling tickets for the annual awards banquet for about 30 years.
“Vera’s is also a place where we head when we’ve lost our husband’s favourite fish hook and pray the whole way down Victoria Road that she has one hanging on the wall,” Ferguson said. “If by chance she doesn’t, she’ll order one in to make sure we can replace it. Not that this has ever happened to me personally, but I have heard it happens to some wives,” Ferguson joked.
“Earlier this year, Vera shared with me that she’s thinking of retiring sometime probably in the not too distant future and taking some well deserved time for herself,” Ferguson told the audience. “Not knowing when that might happen, we would have been negligent had we not as a club taken this opportunity to very publicly thank Vera for all the work over the years she has done for us.”
Ferguson continued: “Vera, my master ticket seller, thank you so much for being our source of fishing supplies and fishing stories. Thank you for weighing all those hundreds of fish. Thank you for the thousands of memberships you have sold for us and also for the tens of thousands of banquet tickets you have sold with a “have a good time” wish. Thank you for always giving us a great deal, even when we don’t expect it, and thank you for just being the wonderful, generous person that you are.”
Several dignitaries sat at the head table, including Mayor David Raven and MP David Wilks. In a short speech Wilks predicted that the federal gun registry would “be gone in three weeks.”
Several sportsmen and sportswomen had standout seasons, taking home several trophies.
In the junior fishing category, Matt Cadden took home the Harley Foat Memorial Trophy for the largest fish caught by a junior.
Mel Martens cleaned up in the Ladies fishing category, taking home three trophies including Largest Fish. Martens also won 1st place Black Bear.
Ken Howe took the Art Davis Memorial Trophy for the Largest Fish Caught in Trout Lake. He also won 1st and 2nd place Rainbow.
Keith Frederiksen swept the Senior Men’s fishing category, taking home four firsts.
Dawson Caponero took 1st place Grizzly Bear and 2nd Place Whitetail, behind Jordan Howe.
Kyle Buhler won Hunter Sportsman of the Year for his efforts, including 1st Place Goat and 1st Place Black Bear.
The complete list of award winners is as follows:
2nd place rainbow: Matt Cadden – 2 lb 15 oz (Lorne Taylor Memorial Trophy Largest Rainbow Arrow Lakes)
1st place rainbow: Jordan Howe – 6 lb 2 oz
2nd place dolly: Charlie Keates – 14 lb 3 oz
1st place dolly: Matt Cadden – 15 lb 2 oz (Harley Foat Memorial Largest Fish Caught by Junior)
1st place dolly: Mel Martens – 8 lb 9 oz
2nd place dolly: Mel Martens – 5 lb 5 oz
Ladies sport fish derby, largest fish: Mel Martens – 8 lb 9 oz dolly
1st place rainbow: Ken Howe – 15 lb 2 oz
2nd place rainbow: Ken Howe – 8 lb 1 oz
Art Davis Memorial Largest Fish Caught Trout Lake: Ken Howe
1st place Kokanee: Adam Fujino – 3 lb 2 oz
2nd place dolly: Peter Bernacki – 14 lb 2 oz
1st place dolly: Jerry Olsen – 18 lb 3 oz
Fish Senior Men
1st place dolly: Keith Frederiksen – 23 lb 2 oz (Art Davis Memorial Trophy Largest Fish Caught; Seniors Largest Fish; Hiebert/Mair Memorial Largest Dolly)
2nd place dolly: Keith Frederiksen – 21 lb 2 oz
1st place grizzly bear: Dawson Caponero – 19 1/8
2nd place whitetail: Dawson Caponero – 54
1st place whitetail: Jordan Howe – 76 6/8
1st place black bear: Mel Martens – 16 3/8
1st place black bear: Kyle Buhler – 17 6/8
2nd place whitetail: Colin Macrae – 112 3/8
1st place whitetail: Mitch Roggensack – 126 2/8
2nd place mule deer: Mitch Roggensack – 146 4/8
1st place mule deer: Don Munroe – 147 7/8 (Lorne Taylor Memorial)
1st place moose: John Bafaro – 82 6/8 (Bruno Dicaire Memorial Award for largest moose)
1st place goat: Kyle Buhler – 46 6/8
Hunter Sportsman of the Year: Kyle Buhler