This Week in Historical past, 1967: Scandal hits the Solar Salmon Derby, winner winds up in jail

This Week in Historical past, 1967: Scandal hits the Solar Salmon Derby, winner winds up in jail

Breadcrumb Path Hyperlinks Sports activities Information Annual custom lasted for 45 years and drew hundreds

Annual custom lasted for 45 years and drew hundreds of individuals

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The entrance web page of the Aug. 21, 1967 Vancouver Solar featured the beaming winner of The Vancouver Solar’s Free Salmon Derby, holding up the 37-pound, eight-ounce Chinook that took high prize.

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As per normal with the annual occasion, reporter Dave Ablett wrote up the story as what outdated newspaper varieties name a “shiny,” conserving issues gentle and humorous.

“You wouldn’t imagine who beat B.C.’s finest fishermen to win The Solar’s Centennial Salmon Derby,” mentioned Ablett. “A Newfie!”

“‘Ye can guess I’m an excellent fisherman,’ mentioned David Chafe, the 31-year-old Newfoundland expatriate who received the derby. ‘Ye simply higher imagine it.’”

“The ocean-green B.C. anglers believed,” Ablett wrote. “However the disgrace of it! The ignominy! As any seasoned B.C. fisherman will swear on a stack of Fortunate Louise, a Newfie needs to be up fairly early within the morning to outsmart a B.C. Chinook and a B.C. fisherman on the similar time.”

However not all people believed. On Aug. 25, West Vancouver police issued a warrant for Chafe’s arrest.

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“The warrant alleges Chafe defrauded The Solar of a 17-foot Hourston Glascraft boat and an 80-horsepower outboard motor valued at $3,500,” mentioned a Solar story.

“It alleges Chafe perpetrated the fraud ‘by presenting a 37-pound fish and claiming first prize when the truth is he had not caught the mentioned fish in accordance with the established guidelines of The Vancouver Solar Free Salmon Derby.’”

An investigation had been launched by The Solar on Aug. 21 into “mysterious circumstances surrounding the successful entry.” Chafe was arrested Aug. 28 and was launched after posting $500 bail Aug. 31.

On Dec. 21 Chafe pleaded responsible to a cost of defrauding Pacific Press of his winnings. He admitted he had bought the Chinook at a industrial fish dock.

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On Jan. 11, 1968, Chafe was sentenced to 6 months in jail for fraud by Justice of the Peace Alfred Watts.

His lawyer, John Motiuk, unsuccessfully argued that Chafe hadn’t supposed to promote the boat and engine “for revenue,” however “wished to play a prank and was compelled to proceed with it when he received first prize and was given publicity.”

The front page of the Aug. 21, 1967 Vancouver Sun, with the photo and story on winner David Chafe. After an investigation it turned out Chafe had purchased the winning fish, and he was arrested and eventually sentenced to six months in jail for fraud.
The entrance web page of the Aug. 21, 1967 Vancouver Solar, with the photograph and story on winner David Chafe. After an investigation it turned out Chafe had bought the successful fish, and he was arrested and ultimately sentenced to 6 months in jail for fraud.

Nevertheless it turned out this was not Chafe’s first run-in with the legislation. A Province story mentioned he had been “given suspended sentences on false pretences in 1966, and served two months and two months concurrent for false pretences in 1967.”

The brand new winner was Bob Thornber, who had caught a 31-pound fish.

An estimated 11,400 individuals had ventured into Howe Sound for the Solar Salmon Derby, an extremely fashionable occasion that ran for 45 years.

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The primary derby was held on Sept. 15, 1940 and the final on July 29, 1984, however the occasion was normally held in August. It was at all times on a Sunday.

About 400 boats participated within the first derby, the place winner Frank Hallow received with a 16 ½ pound fish. He took dwelling $100. The story was on web page 10 — the entrance web page was dominated with information of the Battle of Britain, which was raging on the time.

The final Solar Salmon Derby was received by Dave Perrin with a 24 pound, three ounce catch. Perrin had been fishing 5 years however had by no means caught a salmon earlier than his successful entry.

The derby was nonetheless fashionable within the 80s — 1,800 boats had been within the 1984 derby. However salmon shares had dwindled, and on June 11, 1985 Solar editor Bruce Larsen mentioned the paper was cancelling the occasion that yr, “with appreciable remorse.” It by no means got here again.

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The Solar used the $15,000 that may have been spent on the derby to “provide salmon egg incubators to Decrease Mainland faculties.”

There had been a little bit of a kerfuffle with the 1966 Salmon Derby as properly. The most important fish was caught by 15-year-old Colin Bull, who reeled in a 29 pound, eight ounce Chinook. However he was disqualified as a result of he was an worker of The Solar — he had been a sub-manager of a newspaper service station for 2 months.

First prize then went to 19-year-old Jim Dixon. However Solar writer Stu Keate determined to provide Bull a reproduction of the “16-foot hardtop boat with an 80 horsepower motor” as a result of the rule barring staff from competing was not marketed that yr.

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An undated Ralph Bower picture of a Vancouver Sun salmon derby weigh in at Horseshoe Bay. The wharf cat turned up to select his salmon.
An undated Ralph Bower image of a Vancouver Solar salmon derby weigh in at Horseshoe Bay. The wharf cat turned as much as choose his salmon.
Rennie Marr, 13, won second prize in the 1957 Vancouver Sun Salmon Derby with this 29-pound monster king salmon just minutes after starting to fish. Photo ran July 25, 1958. Brian Kent/Vancouver Sun
Rennie Marr, 13, received second prize within the 1957 Vancouver Solar Salmon Derby with this 29-pound monster king salmon simply minutes after beginning to fish. Picture ran July 25, 1958. Brian Kent/Vancouver Solar Vancouver Solar
The winner of the first Vancouver Sun Salmon Derby on Sept. 15, 1940. Frank Hallow won $100 after he caught a 16-pound fish. Note that he’s celebrating with a smoke in his left hand.
The winner of the primary Vancouver Solar Salmon Derby on Sept. 15, 1940. Frank Hallow received $100 after he caught a 16-pound fish. Be aware that he’s celebrating with a smoke in his left hand.
The Vancouver Sun Outdoors editor Lee Straight at the Sun Salmon Derby, undated.
The Vancouver Solar Outside editor Lee Straight on the Solar Salmon Derby, undated. Vancouver Solar
The Vancouver Sun’s Sam Cromie (left) presenting a boat to Tom Hawes, champion of the Sun Salmon Derby at Horseshoe Bay in 1951. Photo published Feb. 18, 1957.
The Vancouver Solar’s Sam Cromie (left) presenting a ship to Tom Hawes, champion of the Solar Salmon Derby at Horseshoe Bay in 1951. Picture printed Feb. 18, 1957. Vancouver Solar

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