Jester’s service speaks volumes

Monday marks Family Day, as well as Vernon Winter Carnival jester jopo's 50th birthday

Birthday greetings aren’t normally the stuff of editorials but on this auspicious occasion it certainly seems appropriate, if not in order.

You see the Carnival jester, jopo, is turning 50. The late Bill Allum, who was a founding father of this very newspaper and its first general manager, was also the original jopo, a perfect legacy for a genial, giving gentleman.

So it’s very fitting that we wish the blue-and-white mascot that has so well represented one of Western Canada’s biggest and best carnivals many happy returns.

And seeing how jopo, and now jopette who joined the ranks in 1968, can’t speak for themselves in the tradition of mime, it falls on us to sing their praises.

Thanks to all the volunteers who have donned the blue and white over the years and brought many a smile to North Okanagan residents, young and old alike.

And if you want to thank them yourself, there’s a 50th birthday party at the Halina Senior’s Centre on Monday from 4 to 7 p.m.

Past and present jopos are expected at the event which is free and features games, snacks, jopo trivia, and a birthday cake that may or may not feature a blue-and-white theme.

According to this year’s Carnival book, Marian Maynard designed jopo’s costume and 12-year-old Tina Wunderli, in a contest in 1966, gave us the name that has stood the test of time, with a lowercase ‘j’ of course.

So we salute all involved over five decades and raise 50 silent cheers for the mascot that has quietly served the Carnival so well for so long.