Society hikes Memorial Mountain

Trek up Spallumcheen mountain commemorates township birthday, Remembrance Day

Armstrong Spallumcheen Trails Society member Peter Rotzetter (second from right) addresses hikers on a special jaunt up Memorial Mountain atthe end of October. (Photo submitted)

Armstrong Spallumcheen Trails Society member Peter Rotzetter (second from right) addresses hikers on a special jaunt up Memorial Mountain atthe end of October. (Photo submitted)

A hike close to Remembrance Day in Spallumcheen took place on an aptly named hillside.

The Armstrong Spallumcheen Trails Society, in conjunction with the Township of Spallumcheen’s 125th birthday, hosted a special hike at the end of October to Memorial Mountain.

“Not many people are aware that an old trail does exist part way up the mountain starting at the end of Upper Mcleod Road,” said Peter Rotzetter with the trails society.

“The trail will take one on a lovely hike through the trees and provide probably one of the best views of our fair Spallumcheen Valley and city (Armstrong).

“It continues up the hillside on the north side of Fortune Creek and takes approximately 90 minutes to complete the round trip. Ultimately, a trail will exist to the top of the mountain but has not yet come to fruition.”

Memorial Mountain, said Rotzetter, was named in 1998 as a result of the efforts of three Second World War veterans, Vern Flatekval, Matt Hassen and Vic Polickek.

They wanted to commemorate all of the soldiers from Armstrong-Spallumcheen who lost their lives in that war.

“It was appropriate that this event was held just prior to Remembrance Day,” said Rotzetter.

“A stone cross by the cenotaph in Memorial Park (in Armstrong) points to the mountain.”

About 40 avid hikers took part in the hike and enjoyed a great morning. The fog lifted and the sun came out allowing beautiful views of Armstrong.

“We could see the Canadian flag at the park through binoculars,” said Rotzetter.

Some Royal Canadian Legion members, including president Ken Brandel, accompanied the group and Spallumcheen Councillors Christine Fraser and Joe Van Tienhoven also took part in the event.

A flag was hoisted and O Canada was sung by all. A song was played that was written by John Spearn (johnspearn.ca) in 2009, specifically for the mountain and the connection to the war.

Those of a more adventurous spirit continued up the trail, capably led by Sheilagh Bigsby, and returned via an old access road. After the hike everyone was invited to the legion to enjoy refreshments, soup and a bun.

“Our sincere thanks to the Township of Spallumcheen, the Armstrong Royal Canadian Legion branch, and those who participated in the event,” said Rotzetter.

Funding support was provided by the Government of Canada under Canadian Heritage and through the Building Communities and Arts and Heritage program.