Jaylene Bourdon and Paige Hilland from the Salmon Arm Women’s Shelter were happy to receive a cheque from Gordon Peach with BC Hydro Power Pioneers, Annemarie Johnson with BC Hydro Salmon Arm and Bill Fish with Glenn Power Contractors. (Contributed)

BC Hydro’s Power Pioneers become well-bonded and generous bunch

Former hydro employees meet regularly to socialize, learn and donate.

By Leah Blain


Rod Haddad spent 35 years working for BC Hydro. They were good years and his career gave him an opportunity to appreciate many areas of the province.

“I started in 1964 in Mara. From Mara I moved to Prince George, then to Terrace, Prince Rupert and then Salmon Arm. Then we moved to Chetwynd, Clearwater, Burns Lake, 100 Mile House and then back to Salmon Arm. I managed to work it out so that I could come here to retire.”

Retirement only meant the he was finished work, but the friendships continued. Once a month the local retired BC Hydro employees, BC Hydro Power Pioneers, get together for lunch. It’s about socializing and keeping in touch, said Rod, but, in a way, they use the time to continue learning and giving back to the community.

“We try to have a guest speaker every month. This month I’ve got a driver instructor coming. In May we’ve got someone coming to talk about recycling. I’ve got someone lined up every month until Christmas.”

Around that time the group’s focus transforms into a high-voltage focus of giving and Rod is clearly proud of their track record.

Read more: Small new charge on BC Hydro bills goes toward new crisis fund

Read more: Secwepemc and BC Hydro celebrate relationship agreement

“We (the Power Pioneers) started doing food hampers about 20 years ago. The BC Hydro office used to do it and they asked us if we could take it over. It transitioned from from them to us.”

They chose, all those years ago, that the local women’s shelter would be their focus.

“It’s probably where the people needed the most help.”

The women’s shelters in Revelstoke and Salmon Arm would give the group a letter describing the age of the mother and children along with their sizes and what they would like.

“The group is so generous, it would blow your mind. They bought so much stuff. If one kid wanted pyjamas, they all got pyjamas. We had some members who really did enjoy going out to buy stuff. One year we heard there was a lady who liked arts and crafts – she got a lot of stuff.”

This past Christmas was a little different. Together with BC Hydro District staff in Salmon Arm and Revelstoke and Glenn Powers Contractors, they donated cash.

“Our members are older and it was taking a lot of space and work to put them together so we decided to go with cash and gift certificates. We raised $1,610 for the Salmon Arm Women’s Shelter and $805 for the Revelstoke Women’s Shelter. We didn’t do any fundraising, it was just out of their pockets.”

Although the winter season is gone the memory of their Christmas giving is still strong for Rod.

“It goes to the heart, it really does. It gives you a good feeling to help other people.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

#Salmon ArmBCHydro

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Salmon Arm Silverbacks meet Snakes in BCHL simulated conference final

BCHL turns to video game and players from remaining teams to crown a simulated league playoff winner

Okanagan Spirits donating free sanitizer to those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

The Okanagan distillery has ceased spirits operations and has produced over 3,000 litres of sanitizer since March 26

Second million-dollar lotto ticket sold in Vernon

Same thing happened on March 7; somebody won Guaranteed Match Number prize

WATCH: Coldstream producer treats neighbours to live music from safe distance

Neighbours practiced social distancing as Jeff Johnson played songs from his front steps

Salmon Arm mayor supports parking solution for hungry truckers

Alternative to Highway 1 suggested for drivers wanting access to McDonald’s

First responders continue to rally in support of health care workers in Kelowna

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters for the second night in a row

Evening world update: U.S. restrictions extended 30 days; NY deaths near 1,000

Comprehensive world update, with the latest developments in the COVID-19 crisis

‘It’s up to us: Recently-returned B.C. couple urges Canadians to take COVID-19 seriously

Garrett Kucher and Tory Apostoliuk make it home after almost a week of lockdown in Spain

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

Canada will make sure masks sent by China meet quality standards: Trudeau

Chinese Embassy tweeted that China was sending 30,000 medical masks along with gowns, gloves and goggles

B.C. issues guidelines about distancing, reusable bags to grocery stores amid COVID-19

Hand sanitizer and markers to keep lines two metres are apart are needed, province says

Vehicle goes up in smoke in Okanagan garage

Fire department on-scene in 200 block of Poplar Point Drive near Knox Mountain in Kelowna

COSAR rescues two lost hikers from Okanagan Mountain Park

Two male hikers were overdue from a hike they left for on the morning of March 28

Most Read