Collections Manager/Associate Director, Museum at Campbell River
Who remembers the distinctive sound of roller skates on the wooden floor of the gymnasium in the old community hall in Campbell River?
Or better yet the spectacular Roller Follies?
Long before the days of ice skating at the arena or inline skating along the Seawalk, the Campbell River Roller Skating Club offered roller skating classes to the children of Campbell River.
Iris Millmore, an experienced skater from Britain, was instrumental in establishing this club in Campbell River in 1963.
Millmore had the distinction of having won a Bronze medal for roller skating in Britain.
A group of early C.R. Roller Skating club students are featured in this clipping from the Campbell River Courier newspaper. (See Image 1)
As well as offering lessons to budding skaters the club would hold an annual event to showcase their skating abilities. Known as the “Roller Follies”, it was highly anticipated and parents and relatives would fill the bleachers at the hall in expectancy of the performance.
The following excerpt from the Campbell River Courier newspaper of 1967 describes one of these popular shows:
Roller Show Big Hit Here
“The annual Roller Follies presented by the Campbell River Skating Club was held last Friday and Saturday nights, with capacity audiences enjoying the two hour show.
With Centennial Year as the theme, skaters paid tribute to each of the provinces, with appropriate numbers and costumes.
Over 100 youngsters participated in the show, and great credit is due to the staff who created a delightful evening of entertainment.
Solos by Mrs. Frankie Millmore, Brenda Millmore, and a skating duet by Cheryl Stapley and Elizabeth McKenzie were greatly appreciated by the crowd.”
Although Iris Millmore left Campbell River in 1967, the club continued on until the mid 1970s. In 1991, club members held a reunion and in recognition of that event, put together a club scrapbook full of newspaper clippings and photographs. This scrapbook, along with Iris Millmore’s roller skates were recently donated to the Museum and Archives of the Museum at Campbell River.