On January 28, 1973 The Beefeater band played for Schmocky ’73 put on annually by the Kinsmen Rehabilitation Foundation of British Columbia. Besides a lot of Vancouver’s local entertainers and personalities it featured Rich Little, Karen Magnussen, Barry & Louise Soper, Toni Sinclair and the Dal Richards Orchestra. The Beefeaters and the White Spot Pipe Band put on the Half Time Show at intermission.
The band left on April 19, 1973 from Sea Tac Airport bound for Honolulu on a Northwest Orient Airlines, Boeing 747 for a 11-day Hawaiian Tour. Half their time was spent on the island of Oahu and the other half was spent on the island of Hawaii. The band participated in the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hilo, Hawaii.
On arrival in Honolulu, there was a traditional flower lei greeting and then they were whisked off to the Reef Hotel on the beach of Waikiki. They stayed there for four days. They spent their time playing, enjoying Honolulu and the many attractions of the island of Oahu.
They had the choice of several tours from which to choose; the Pearl Harbour Cruise was one. That evening they had the option to have dinner at Chuck’s Outrigger Hotel Luau. The next day they could participate in a City-Punchbowl Tour which was a tour of Honolulu. and Waikiki. Another tour they could take was the Oceanic-Sea Life Tour. It was a trip to Sea Life Park to see the world’s largest exhibit of marine life. Another tour was the Circle Island Tour. This tour visited Oahu’s most scenic attractions. A Night in the South Pacific was another with a trip to the Polynesian Cultural Centre where they could see authentic reproductions of six villages” Tongan, Hawaiian, Tahitian, Fijian, Maori and Samoan.
On the 23rd of April, they flew by Aloha Airlines to the big islnad of hawaii, arriving at the city of Hilo. Here they got down to helping the Hawaiians commemorate the memory of their Merrie Monarch, King Kalakaua. Elected in 1874, he was a big spender. He was the first king to travel around the world and the first monarch of any countryto visit the United States. His love of luxury increased Hawaii’s national debt seven-fold during the ten years of his reign, and the Merrie Monarch Festival lives up to his reputation of lavish Hawaiian fun, music and colorful parades.
ABOVE: Chaperones Anne Grassi and Greta Jewall
My Band Years (continued)
1973 Hawaiian Tour
– We had a morning or an afternoon off as soon as we arrived in Honolulu. All of us went to the beach to swim, play in the water, sun ourselves and just relax. Of course most of us had never been to Hawaii and didn’t have a clue about the sun and how quickly you could burn. I was so sunburned I wasn’t able to expose my skin to the sun for the rest of the trip. I don’t think the room I was in was air conditioned either.
– On the big island of Hawaii near Hilo we were playing a concert for an elementary school and there was an earthquake. It seemed quite strong to me as I recall a lot of the children were quite scared.
Some other random notes from my time with the band.
– Parade day where we are all eating breakfast together and some of the senior members are telling us to be sure to put lots of salt on our breakfast of eggs and bacon so we do not get dehydrated.
– Participating in a gala for the Queen and Prince Phillip at the Pacific Coliseum and I was the section leader for the trombones. Mr.Olson arranged us and I was at the end of the line. I decided to reverse the line so that I could sit beside my then girlfriend. The Queen, Prince Phillip and their entourage enter and walk right beside the band. Prince Phillip stops and speaks to Art Smith at the end of the trombones and don’t you know the next day there is a picture in the Vancouver Sun of him talking to Art and they have also printed a short interview with Art. That could have been me.
– Taking trombone lessons at the Band office on East Broadway with Ted Lazenby, trombonist with the Symphony and having to repeat over and over and over a certain musical repetition. His eyes would be closed and he would only say “again”, “again” like a scene out of Whiplash the movie.
– Performing at the 1st home game of the Vancouver Canucks in the Pacific Coliseum on October 9, 1970.
– The Arcadian Hall on Main Street where we had a lot of our practices. It was an old dance hall from the early 1900’s. After practice I would walk up to Broadway and Main to catch the bus home. If there was time some of us would grab a quick bite to eat at the Aristocratic coffee shop on the corner.
All in all it was a great experience and I feel privileged to have been a participant. It is definitely something I will always cherish.
Jamie Croil (continued)
In 1973, the entire first trumpet section couldn’t go on the planned trip to Hawaii that summer. They had to work to make money for university in the fall. Mr. Olson auditioned all the remaining trumpets and bumped me up 10 positions to be right behind Ross Noble and Ken Olson. Mr.(Gordon) Olson said to my mom, “I can’t believe how much Jamie has improved.” My original audition had not been very good so I had started in the band way down on third chair. In Hilo, Hawaii we marched in a big parade. At the end of the parade we were just sweating and ridiculously hot because of our wool uniforms. When we got back to the bus we begged the driver to turn the air conditioning right up. A couple of days later we were setting up in a courtyard at an elementary school getting ready to play a concert. All of a sudden we heard this rumbling and we could see the houses in the distance going up and down in waves. I remembered what my mom always said to do in case of an earthquake,” Go stand in a wide open space or in a door frame.” The next thing we knew there were four waves passing one at a time underneath us and we rose up and down with each wave. It was only seconds before some US Navy jets flew past heading toward the source of the earthquake. We found out later that we were 36 miles from the epicenter of a 6.8 magnitude earthquake. It was felt in Vancouver. The next morning we boys had to walk 40 minutes from the barracks where we were staying to get breakfast because there were no vehicles allowed on the damaged roads. The girls stayed in a seaside hotel with a beach and a pool.