Seventeen business people from the area participated in the first chamber breakfast for a number of years.
The guest speaker was Hazel Wadlegger and she spoke on the topic of “How to grow your own business.”
Hazel spoke from personal experience on how their business, now named Wadlegger Specialty Forest Products was started in the early 1960s when Joe moved to the North Thompson area and continues today under the ownership of their two sons, Sepp and Hans.
Hazel explained that in the beginning it was hard work, with many hours of repairing machinery after the usual work day so that the machine was able to work the next day. Most of the repairs were done by the family members and this meant lots of hours working into the night to be able to work the next day.
She also commented on the help of the community when the sawmill burned to the ground many years ago. It has enabled them to give back to many organizations in the way of donations to their causes.
After Hazel gave her business speech she was encouraged to tell her personal family history about how her family, the Ludtke’s, travelled from North Dakota about 1926, survived the fire that devasted the Upper Clearwater Valley that year and how they re-built homes and farms to live there for many years afterward.
The trip that now takes about 30 minutes was only travelled by horseback in those years. Everything that was required for living in the Upper Clearwater Valley was moved by pack horses and then by wagon. Now the road is paved, has new bridges, improved corners and leads to Wells Gray Provincial Park.
Many of the people attending the breakfast asked when the next breakfast was going to be. It will be on the third Thursday of May at a place to be determined closer to that date.