Vernon man’s trophy find uncovers mysterious local history

Jeff Moore hopes to uncover the story behind the Silver Star Challenge Trophy

A Vernon resident uncovered a piece of forgotten local history when he discovered the Silver Star Challenge Cup, dated 1939-56, in a second-hand shop in the Caribou region of B.C. (Jeff Moore photo)

A Vernon resident uncovered a piece of forgotten local history when he discovered the Silver Star Challenge Cup, dated 1939-56, in a second-hand shop in the Caribou region of B.C. (Jeff Moore photo)

A Vernon man appears to have discovered a piece of forgotten local history when he came across a trophy from a mysterious skiing competition on Silver Star Mountain, which dates back more than 80 years.

Jeff Moore was looking through the wares of a second-hand store in the Cariboo region of B.C. when the friend he was with pointed out an old, slightly battered trophy sitting on a bench among an abundance of tools.

“I walked back and picked it up and went ‘oh my God,’” Moore said. “It was that kind of moment.”

Engraved on the silver cup are the words “Silver Star Challenge Trophy — Okanagan Valley Men’s Open Slalom.” Around its base are plates engraved with winners of an annual competition dated from 1939 to 1956.

“I was vibrating,” Moore said, recalling the moment. “I’ve been hunting through second-hand shops for the last 40 years and I finally found something that I’m not going to give away.”

But since his discovery, Moore’s research into the cup has turned up more questions than answers.

READ MORE: ‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

“There is no record of this cup on the Internet, on any of the SilverStar museum websites,” he said. “It seems to have fallen off the face of the earth in 1956.

Moore says the oldest plate (1939) had been polished to show the names of the recipients: Walter and Rees Powell from Summerland.

“I don’t know how that happened, if they had a tie or whatever, but both brothers are mentioned on there,” he said.

Moore later found out the owner of the store had acquired the cup along with a box of other trophies from a museum in Sicamous, and he plans to follow up again with the previous owners to see if he can piece together the history behind the artifact.

Moore says the cup ultimately belongs in a museum, but hopes to uncover more of the mystery first.

“I hope we find out more about it, because if it goes into a museum there’s got to be a story.”

A historical write-up by the Sovereign Lake Nordic Club may offer a hint as to the cup’s origins.

The City of Vernon donated a log cabin at Vernon Lake (now known as Sovereign Lake) to the Silver Star Ski Club in 1939. That same year, the Ski Club organized the first annual Okanagan Valley Championship on Birnie Range. It was a four-part event consisting of cross-country skiing, slalom, downhill and jumping, and was “a great success with 1,500 spectators and 75 competitors.”

Whatever the story is behind the Silver Star Challenge Trophy, Moore figures it must have been part of some boisterous celebrations — judging by its crooked shape if nothing else.

“I think this thing’s been to a few parties over the years,” he laughed.

READ MORE: B.C. First Nation reunited with artifact 13 years after found in Williams Lake


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

historical artifacts

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvia Showers of Lumby is one of the 35 artists featured at Artsolutely, the 15th annual sale at the Vernon Community Arts Centre on daily Nov. 28-Dec. 24. (Contributed)
Artsolutely makes shopping local easy in Vernon

15th annual event features 35 artists and runs for 27 days

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
Interior Health reports 70 new cases overnight

The total number of cases in the region is now at 1,426

Cranbrook business and property owners are encouraged to flush their water lines ahead of reopening. All it takes is running the cold water tap for several minutes. (Cranbrook Townsman file)
UPDATE: Water advisory issued on Westside

Westshore Estates leak repair causes need to flush system

St. James Anglican Church, Armstrong, B.C. (Google Maps).
Prayer at Spallumcheen, Armstrong council meetings a violation of religious neutrality: study

New study found 23 municipalities held prayer sessions at inaugural meetings in 2018, in violation of a Supreme Court decision

Mighty Mouse Daycare is set to open Dec. 1 at #8, 2601 Hwy. 6, in Vernon. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
New Vernon daycare focuses on independence

Mighty Mouse Daycare set to open doors in Highway 6 location Dec. 1

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Central Okanagan Public Schools administration office in Kelowna. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed in 5 more Central Okanagan schools

All people who tested positive for the virus are self isolating at home

Penticton Law Courts
Bail hearing for Penticton man charged with sex assault, forcible confinement

Robert Sauve is facing more than 10 criminal charges

Revelstoke RCMP warn of scam after two people targeted in one day. (Black Press file photo)
Revelstoke RCMP warn of scammer pulling at heart strings

Two people in Revelstoke targeted in one day by person posing as a loved one

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
RCMP investigate suspected arson at Shuswap hunting camp

Suspicious fire took place by Scotch Creek forest service road on Oct. 24

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

A worker at Kelowna Airport has tested positive for COVID-19. (File)
Kelowna airport worker tests positive for COVID-19

Individual, who works as a screener, was asked to self-isolate, at which time they tested positive

An assault charge has been filed after a 10-year-old boy was allegedly struck with a watermelon at a Shuswap campsite in August . (File photo)
Alberta woman facing assault charge after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Shuswap campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Most Read