The Caribou Observer, Announcement of Camps on Bowen Island

From the Cariboo Observer from Quesnel via the Provincial Library in Victoria. Entered into the Provincial Library in December 1963. Originally printed Thursday, May 30, 1963.

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CNIB Field Workers Attend Meeting Here

Success and progress were the key notes of reports presented at the annual meeting of the Quesnel Chapter, Canadian National Institute for the Blind held Tuesday in the Billy Barker Inn.

Chairman Frank Burns reported an excellent fund-raising drive last season had yielded close to $1,000, and went on to outline the events at the last provincial convention of the group. “It is an experience that I hope you all can share at some time, because you will come away as I did at the ability of these handicapped people.”

Monday, Mr. Burns conducted Ray Sewell and Alex Grant, both totally blind, around local elementary schools where they spoke to 1,000 children on eye care.

The two men are field secretaries for CNIB and make regular visits throughout the province calling on local associations and upon blind persons in each area.

Mr. Sewell, who has succeeded Mr. Grant as field representative for this district, gave the meeting a report on the new vacation lodge for the blind which has been built at Bowen Island.

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The new holiday centre can accommodate 44 guests and provide facilities for swimming at a protected beach, promenades, patios and a fragrant garden. Plats are especially selected for their perfume so that they may be enjoyed by the sightless visitors.

Each holiday period lasts 12 days and the cost, in the case of a blind pensioner is only $18.

During the winter months it is planned to use the lodge as a training school for newly blind persons. Over 100 persons are blinded in B.C. each year, said Mr. Sewell.

Speaking of his own case, Ray Sewell offered this advice to others: “If I had worn a seatbelt on that fateful night seven years ago, I would have my sight today.” He was returning from a dance at Campbell River when his car left the road as a result of mechanical failure, and he was thrown out. For weeks he was only semi-conscious and remained permanently blind.

Now, as a result of training by the CNIB, Mr. Sewell is leading an active life as a field worker for the Institute.

Plans for the group’s annual fund-raising drive are to be announced later.