When Lytton resident Bernie Fandrich decided to build a pond in the front yard of his acreage near town, he had no idea that the decision would result in a photograph of his being included in a souvenir booklet produced by the Canadian Museum of History to accompany a hockey exhibit which toured the country this year and ends on October 9.
Fandrich—who has always loved water features—decided to build the 60-foot by 80-foot pond in 2009. “I have water rights on a small creek,” he explains, “so I diverted some of that to create the pond.” He got a permit so that he could stock the pond with rainbow trout and allow people to fly-fish (catch and release only). “It’s fun to watch the kids fish for them,” he says, adding that in the early days there was competition for the fish from osprey.
He has some spawners now, which spawn in a gravel bed that Fandrich put in. “I spend a lot of time watching them. It’s lots of fun to watch them cruise around. The dragonfly nymphs go to the bullrushes before emerging as dragonflies, and the fish seem to know that. They’ll swim over and bump the bullrushes to dislodge the nymphs.”
In summer the eight-foot-deep pond is also a good place to cool off. When the pond—which has been dubbed Lake Bernard—freezes, friends and family play pond hockey on it. “The kids bring skates, and we’ll have 10 to 15 people playing.” Every year there is a large New Year’s celebration, which includes hockey on the pond; and it was at the 2010 celebration that Fandrich snapped the shot that caught the attention of the Canadian Museum of History.
“I developed, and used to run, the Lytton Chamber of Commerce website,” explains Fandrich, who is currently president of the Chamber. “I used a lot of my own photographs on the site, because I had access to them.” One of them was of the pond hockey game; and almost two years ago, when photographs were being considered for the museum’s booklet, the picture caught the eye of someone involved in the search.
Fandrich got an email explaining the nature of the request. “They said they were interested in using it, and wanted some more information. There were lots of emails.” He was originally told they were interested in using the picture in the display itself, but “then they backtracked on that. I was interested in sharing the picture, but up until the last minute they still didn’t know if it would make the display or the booklet.”
As far as Fandrich knows, his picture is the only one in the booklet not taken by a professional photographer. To order a copy of the booklet, called Hockey, go to https://www.historymuseum.ca/boutique/product/hockey/.