Comings & Goings On – The old bridge will be remembered in salvaged souvenirs

Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan's monthly column of community news and events in Spences Bridge.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Raise a glass of something and toast the Irish!


The big news is, of course, the removal of the bridge. It looks very strange not to see it there. There was a good crowd out last week to see the last two pieces taken out by the largest crane most of us have ever seen. It is sad to see this piece of history hauled away.

I understand it will be recycled; I’d love to know what its next life will look like. Many folks have purchased, by donation, a piece of rail, or a commemorative piece of concrete with a plaque stating the years of the bridge. Thanks so much to Steve Rice and the TNRD for having the idea, and for organizing it all. Thanks too to Arnie Oram for assisting with the delivery of the rails. The donations will go to the SBCC and the SBFD, thanks to all that have made donations. The SBCC has as piece of rail to go up at the hall. It will be nice to have a little bit of the history at the hall.


I mentioned it in last month’s column, but here’s a reminder – the Bridging to Literacy committee has engaged Richard Wagamese to come and speak in our communities. One of Canada’s foremost Indigenous authors and storytellers, Richard has been a professional writer since 1979. His impressive body of work includes six novels, a book of poetry and five non-fiction titles, including two memoirs and an anthology of his newspaper columns. Richard has been honoured with many, many awards recognizing his achievements in writing. Everyone is welcome to come and listen to Richard speak about his work.

There are two opportunities to catch Richard on March 19: at Ashcroft Secondary school at 1:30 and at 5 in Spences Bridge at Clemes Hall on Hwy 8. There will be light finger food snacks, (pot luck sandwiches, cookies, etc.) after the Spences Bridge talk.


If you’re interested in our town spring clean-up, meet at the Post Office on Saturday, March 28 at 10 am. This is our annual cleaning up of our highways and byways. We break off in pairs and take a stretch of road, and in two hours or so, and MANY bags of garbage later we have a litter free community!

Come join us for a little exercise, some visiting, and a great sense of accomplishment! We’ll gather for lunch when we’re finished and share a meal together as we pat each other on the back. Thanks to the TNRD for supplying the bags, vests, and picker-uppers.


Our TV society is very pleased to announce that we finally have CBC Kamloops and NOT CBC North! Yippee! Thanks so much to Jim Ryan and Alex Kinasewich for all their hard work and perseverance!


Plans are in place for a fantastic Easter Sunday celebration! Chocolate egg hunt, face painting, three legged races, sack races, and the favourite raw egg toss! This is a community event open to everyone – not just families; come for the picnic, wiener roast and join in the fun.


Don’t forget about our monthly bingo on the third Monday of the month. We have finally made the move into the 21st Century and bought paper bingo cards! Personally, I will miss the old cardboard sliders. Now I have to get a dabber I guess.

The bingo is picking up in popularity, so come on out and try your hand at winning. Early bird games start at 6:30, regular at 7. There are concession snacks available (sometimes Craig’s famous chili!)


I’m looking forward to the return of Zumba! We are very fortunate to have the skills of instructor Karen Savage shared with us now TWICE a week! Thanks to Karen for making the effort to come to us, we usually have to travel for everything, so this is great! Come dance your way to a fitter you – noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It’s more affordable if you pay in advance for four classes (and increases the chance you’ll go!) or pay a little bit more for drop in. Wear comfy clothes and runners – bring your water bottle.


Desert Daze details are beginning to fall into place; I am delighted to announce some of our confirmed musicians! Ashcroft favourites Spiritus Mundii, Nadine Davenport, John Kidder and Jennifer Ferguson are back, as well as the Spences Bridge favourite, Flat Busted. From Merritt, Bobby Garcia and the Six Strings (they were awesome at the Steelhead Shuffle), From Kamloops, Bluesfoot, and from Vancouver; bluegrass trio The Honky Tonk Dilettantes, and a four piece country band led by Warren Murfit. And that sweet girl Haley Hendryx is coming back!

We are awaiting confirmation from several other bands, so next month I will have more to announce – go “Like” Desert Daze on Face book, and follow to keep up on announcements and news! We are keeping our prices low for a weekend pass – so affordable!


The Farmer’s Flea Market that will start up on the May long weekend and every Sunday afterwards would love to get a few more folks to help manage a Sunday and help out the organizers. Many hands make light work and all that…More about the market next month.


Our last regular meeting had to be cancelled due to too many members sick, injured or otherwise.  We have rescheduled for Wednesday March 25 at 7pm. Check out our Face book page for updates, news and announcements. Comments and questions will be answered there, or you can contact me at

Mavourneen Varcoe-Ryan