July 13, 1994
25 Years Ago
First person to shoot the chute: Aside the majesty of the descending white water of the falls, the concrete log ramp stands ignored and redundent. Its era is over. No longer do countless tons of maple and pine logs shoot down the water slide to awaiting lumberjacks below.
But Esprit Rafting leader Jim Coffey had always appreciated the concrete ramp’s utilitarian charms.
A veteran kayaker who has paddled many of the world’s great rivers, Jim wanted to be the first to take a boat down the log chute and accompanying gorge. That was before New Zealander Peter Gordon signed on as a new guide at Esprit. After freeing a jammed log that was interfering with the run, Gordon, Coffey and a support crew made their way to the chute site. Peter placed his kayak in the water and waited for the green light. A safety man at the top of the bridge checked to make sure everyone was ready and gave the word.
Less than 12 seconds after leaving the top, Peter Gordon became the first kayaker to shoot the Coulonge Chutes.
“That was amazing,” he said grinning hugely, all tension gone, “let’s do it again.”
Homecoming fever fills the Bay: “There was a fever on or something,” says Cletus Ferrigan. “I never saw such enthusiasm in Campbell’s Bay. It was scary.”
Proceeds from the festival were to go toward installing air conditioning in the 15-year-old hall, the event raised more than enough for that.
About 1,000 people turned out for Friday night’s dance in the hall and even more than that on Saturday.
Dr. Wilbert Keon showed heart by taking part in the ball game, playing for the Hometown Heroes Tournament at the R.A. Centre celebrations.
One of the high points of the weekend occurred when Mr. Ferrigan accepted an invitation from his son to take in the airplane rides that were being offered at the riverfront. When he left, the finals of the Hometown Heroes old-timers ball tournament were underway, with Shawville up 2-1 over Campbell’s Bay.
By the time Mr. Ferrigan touched down, the tables had turned and the Bay had forged ahead to take the final 6-5.
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