John Thomson's I Didn't Know That!
Jun 28, 2012 / 8:00 am
Barry Urness was my friend for many years. Now he is gone, and so quickly. What a great man who will be thoroughly missed from this community.
He was everywhere doing everything to help make the project he was working on better. He never slowed down. What a man!
We both belonged to a group called the Romeo’s (Retired old men eating out). We met once a month on the first Thursday for lunch and we discussed whatever. It was a good group. We lost our leader Ron Evans in November of last year.
Kelowna will miss his calm yet energetic approach to everything.
Rest my friend, you were a giant.
On the success of a Vancouver-based jockey Mario Gutierrez riding I'll Have Another to Kentucky Derby and Preakness victories this year, a British Columbia-owned horse rode by a British Columbia jockey captured the 153rd Queen’s Plate at Woodbine on Sunday. This was a million dollar race and the first race of the Canadian Triple Crown.
Justin Stein was aboard Wally and Terry Leong's Straits of Dover for a wire-to-wire trip for not only the owner’s first Queen’s Plate win, but also the 32-year-old jockey from New Westminster, B.C. maiden win in the big race.
This was the horse’s 4th win on the Polytrack since moving from Hastings Park in Vancouver.
The Leong’s, well-known Kelowna residents, had said they would never enter a horse in The Queen’s Plate again. That was after their first time in nine years ago when they ran Illusive Force. The couple moved Straits of Dover to Woodbine in Toronto and a new trainer, and the rest is history. They will be back on their Canyon Farms here in Kelowna, located in the South Mission, where they have lived for years.
We have quite a racing community here in Kelowna, with Chuck Fipke, R.J. Bennett and Wally Leong - all with a number of racehorses.
Sidebar: I remembered the night we were told by the RCMP that it was time to clear out because of the Kelowna Mountain fire and I was the last to leave. Down the mountain came from Barnaby came the race horses with their handlers leading the way to get them away from what could be the fire zone.
They were the Leong horses.
Rumours and Things
We understand that the International Airport in Kelowna will be announcing at any moment that a second U.S. based carrier will be operating out of the airport here. They will schedule a daily flight to San Francisco, Los Angeles and return. For years there has been talk of another U.S. connection and now it’s about to come true.
Dennis Graham has sold his liquor store in the Pheasant & Quail to the Heartland Group and they in turn are moving the store to the old Rogers Video building next to Save-On- Foods in the Mission. This is their tenth store. Predictions are this will be a very successful location.
They’re going 24 hrs. a day in the old Cooper Foods bldg in the Mission Shopping Centre to get the new Urban Fair open for business. The original schedule said next week it would open after an extensive makeover, but from what I can gather it will now be the end of the month. I also believe that the fancy restaurant will be delayed about three weeks. It is looking very good.
Fifty thousand square feet of retail space in The Ponds new neighborhood set aside for retail space has been sold to a Kelowna development group. The group is looking for an anchor grocery retailer.
- The Upper Mission certainly has grown over the last few years. I can remember buying a pizza downtown on Leon, good pizzas, and wrapping it in newspapers and driving home to the lower mission. We didn’t have any pizza spots. We didn’t have any restaurants.
I have to tell you abut this if you’re looking for an electrician. I have been trying to get an electrician to my house for weeks. It’s like the boom years there when it was too busy to answer their phones. I had one who has done work for me before but they don’t even return calls.
Then I found Harvey Electric. Dwayne Harvey is a busy man and so is his company, but he fit in the job I wanted done, got me into the schedule and it was all completed.
Sent one of his staff and it was done and completed one morning. Very good to deal with.
There is a lot happening at Walmart these days, as they get ready for the onslaught that is expected from the opening of the Target Canada stores next year.
Loblaw Cos Ltd., the country’s largest grocer, dominates the Canadian retail market with more than $38 billion in sales. Walmart comes next, followed by Costco, Sobeys and Shoppers Drug Mart.
By the end of 2013, Walmart is expected to have 375 stores in Canada. This market represents nearly $11 billion in sales for the Walmart head office, which is about 2.5 per cent of the total sales.
This is to inform seniors that the Zellers Kelowna event in July will be the store’s last before liquidation. They not only have senior’s day discounts on the Monday but will also run them on the Tuesday as well. So their last Seniors Day will be a bit of a bonus senior’s day.
They have also just reduced their hours slightly on the weekend. 9-6 on Saturday and 10-5 on Sundays. Still open 9am - 9pm Monday to Fridays.
I am not sure that the general public realizes just how this restaurant has been important to the seniors of Kelowna. The last day of operation for the restaurant will be July 7th. The restaurant is planning some sort of appreciation event on the weekend of the 30th of June and 1st of July.
I went into the restaurant last week with my wife and it was busy. I was told I had to try their Denver Sandwich before they closed the café. The sandwich was terrific.
I did realize what a big place this had become.
We still have no word on what the plans are for Zellers West Kelowna store.
At the moment Zellers headquarters is not talking about what they will be doing with the stores that are left from the Target Canada deal.
I received a phone call from a good friend of mine who was up in Kamloops for the day and he wanted me to know that gasoline for his car was $1.11.9 in the city.
Explain that one to me?
Read more John Thomson articles
- John Thomson's I Didn't Know That! May 23
- John Thomson's I Didn't Know That! May 16
- John Thomson's I Didn't Know That! May 9
- John Thomson's I Didn't Know That! May 2
(Click for RSS instructions.)