It’s a long way from Shropshire, England to the Cariboo wilderness, even in this day and age; so picture what arrival here must been like for war bride Irene Jasper in 1946. Imagine the culture shock – when she got her first sighting of Meldrum Creek.
Irene Jasper landed, suitcase in hand, feet first, ready or not, into western rural life. Two years later (1948) she married Delmer Jasper & moved to Riske Creek. Delmer worked for highways & ran a small ranch. Irene had 8 children; Carol, Marge, Mary (d), Noreen, Wesley, Pat, Mike & Leland (16 grandchildren/17 great/grandchildren).
She still found the spare time to volunteer. She learned about the sport of rodeo as husband Delmer, was a rodeo competitor. Soon, as a way to participate/help out, Irene took up a stopwatch. In the 1970’s Irene began timing at the Williams Lake Stampede with Dionne Allison/Terry Crosina; the trio, great friends – timed together for many years.
Delmer passed away in 1991 & Irene moved to Williams Lake. In 1992, she retired after twenty years as a school custodian (19 years//Riske Creek – 1 year/Kwaleen).
Since her retirement, Irene has given much of her time – as a valued Stampede volunteer. For the last 18 years she has been attending the regular Monday night Stampede work bees; cleaning toilets/bathrooms, sweeping, washing walls/windows & scrubbing/scraping bleachers.
Ask her about the ‘stubborn sticking properties of old pigeon poop’ and you’ll hear a quiet voice, with an English accent pronounce, “Something shall have to be done about this!”
Then there is the painting – Irene has painted – miles and miles of board fences; which are now pipe fences – hours and hours of painting (the bleachers too).
Over the years Irene has become a great fan of rodeo; her children & grandchildren compete in amateur/high school/college rodeo – two of her sons are likely to be in the rodeo arena working as pickup men. For 18 years she has traveled to the Canadian Finals Rodeo in Edmonton on Willie Crosina’s Rodeo Tour.
Thank you to a very valued Williams Lake Stampede volunteer! We appreciate your contribution.
– Liz Twan