General Membership Meeting of the Vernon Placer Miners Club

Met April 4 2023 at the Hall at 1204 30th Ave, Vernon BC. Vice President Attila Vasarhelyi opened the meeting at 7:15 PM. Note-taker was Cal Olsson. There were 12 members in attendance. The minutes of the last meeting were read. Mike McKenzie moved the minutes be accepted as read , seconded by Rick Peterson , voted on, passed.

Correspondence: by Donna Smith

-None this month


Membership Report by Donna Smith.

– 25 families are currently paid up members in good standing.

– 14 Life timers in good standing

– 1 Honorary member in good standing.

-There is a common dues due date of October first. Dues are $20.00 per year per family, Oct. to Oct.

Treasurer’s Report by Donna Smith

Income………. $______________ Expenses………..$__________ Balance……..$_____________,

Moved to adopt by John Mcfarlane , seconded by Louie Yonkman passed.

Old Business Arising out of Last Meeting’s Minutes:

– Donna Smith has got in touch with local paper and they will put press release for the BC Open in the paper if she brings in samples of pictures and a bit of a write up to go in the paper, which she did.

-Still looking to get definite confirmation for somehow to get the panning tubs filled at the BC Open.

-Donna Smith got in touch with the Washington Gold Prospectors Club to ask what events they are planning that our members may want to attend. The contact person Mathew said they have an outing to Ellensburg ( location of famous Ellensburg blue agate ) as well as a May long weekend event. Mathew inquired what events we were having that their members might like to attend? Donna told him about the upcoming BC Open Gold Panning Championship we are holding. She also said she would ask Rick Peterson to get back to Mathew about other details and outings as well as Canadian rules.

-Donna also talked to James Douglas previously of Barkerville said he is no longer in Barkerville and Stewart Cawood is now in charge.

-Quesnel Tourism said there is a two day gold panning competition in Quenel on July 8 and 9 that we might like to attend. The following week is Billy Barker days, with games and events. This might be something things that we all could go and support each other in the competitions.

-Donna Smith she also talked to Ted Turner and found out he and Vi are not going to go in Lumby days parade this year but will likely be fishing instead.

-Terry Regier and his wife Cindy will show up and help out with the BC Open.

BC Open Comittee Report by Donna Smith,

BC Open World Gold Panning Championships to take place Saturday May 20, and Sunday may 21,2023. Set up on friday May19th.

-Donna has emailed out a tentative schedule for the BC Open Gold Panning events.

-BC Open Attendees to book their own sites at Enderby Riverside RV Park or make own arrangements for staying over; talk to Victoria. Note: the park is completely run now by the City of Enderby. Now is a good time to get it done while choices still available.

-The BC Open Steering Committtee will meet again before the event to see critical path is on track .

-Jerry is polishing up the gold nugget prizes for the BC Open.

We need volunteers for this year’s BC Open Gold Panning Championships. Please consider giving a hand to help?

New Business:

-Cal Olsson Moved we set aside time at the next May club meeting to cut out and paint the replica figures for the Bc Open’s Prospector/Miners display at the BC Open. Kim Creed will bring all supplies and tools needed to the meeting. Seconded by Rick Peterson. Discussed voted on and passed.

-Ken Montie moved we make a decision what to do with the firewood bundles he made up for us for the bannock baking contest, that are stored in the SeaCan, before the BCOpen on the May long weekend. Seconded by Cal Olsson. Discussed , agreed to by yeas affirmation.


-Kim Creed has volunteered to make up some chuckwagon booths to operate during the BC Open. They would provide drygoods for attendees if I heard right he’ll have some comic gold panning figures you can put your face in to get your picture took. Kim is an expert at this sort of thing so let’s give him all the support and encouragement we can.

-Louie Yonkman talked to Peter, Lions Club member who asked if we would like them to to be putting on Community pancake breakfast next to RV Park during BC Open. Louie replied Yes!

-outing to claim on the Kettle River June 2,3,4 for prospecting/ panning. All are welcome. Pick and shovel provided . Phone Rancid Crabtree at 250-766-4071 for details.


Cal Olsson brought in some figures made up by Kim Creed and also gave a report on what is planned for the BC Open display as described by Kim. Could be a lot of fun.

Social Convener’s Report by Donna Smith:

Best Wishes for a happy birthday for April 2023 go out to: Mike Bjerstadt and Vi Turner.

Gerry Morrison has put his back in jeopardy,  hoping he’s up and his usual rambunctious self soon!

Ken Montie won the 50/50 draw $24.50.

Donna Smith would like to welcome back Merv Mathers. Past president.  He has been missed.

Vice President Attila Vasarhelyi adjourned the meeting at 8:35 PM.

Political Liaison and Information Committee. Report by Rick Peterson

Rick read us a list of questions that the BCPMA President is going to take up with the Mines ministry bureaucrats in Kamloops on April 3 and get back to us on them. Get in touch with Rick at xxx-xxx-xxxx or email for any questions,

Kamloops Meeting Topics

1. Updated application statis.

2. Map training course possible dates.

3. Key issues surrounding applications.

4. Fall training session.

5. Getting Geo tiff URL on tenure maps showing high, medium, and low arch potential

6. Single point of contact and bundling

7. First Nations sharing PFR and Annual Summary reports

8. Fast tract testing permits

As secretary of VPMA I’ve recorded some of the questions and comments I’ve heard from our members and other local placer miners and claim holders. As you know we have a range of placer gold and gem miners/prospectors with interests in this area.

9. ? Why do all of the mines ministry bureaucrats, from the deputy ministers on down to the lowliest inspector have none or little real placer prospecting/mining experience?

Whoever makes up the appointee’s job description leaves any real prospecting /mining out of the job description. It makes it impossible for those who really have placer claims and do prospecting /mining to communicate with the bureaucrats on a realistic basis. It takes ‘equity’ completely out of the communication and thus renders the regulation unfair.

Would it not be better if ministry appointees be required to have owned a placer claim, at any of the levels, so they had to put in the reports etc. After doing the prospecting/ mining work. Then they would have hands on knowledge of what the people they were regulating were up against. A minimum of 5 yrs experience would be good. This is a case of more is better.

10. ? Why did none of the Prospecting/mines ministry regulators show up at the 2022 Annual General Meeting of the BCPMA? They were invited.

This is very suspicious that they are hesitant to meet face to face, that their ignorance might be revealed. I’m not going to mention any names because that only hurts people but there was a local placer prospector /miner who asked a mines ministry bureaucrat about tailings sediment plumes. Specifically what do the fish do when the river runs silty during the spring floods or when there are landslides into the rivers tributaries. He was told by the bureaucrat that the fish all swim down to the ocean and wait till the water clears and then all the fish swim back up the rivers and streams ?!?

11 ? CBC radio announced that the federal government offered funds to British Columbia and Alberta for cleaning up old mine sites; what did the prospecting/mines ministry do with the money?

Around this time a claim owner from out of province was buzzed repeatedly by a helicopter full of mines ministry bureaucrats who landed and scared him severely, while working on his claim. Also at this time a mines ministry operation was set up in Lumby that was harassing claim holders. Somehow these bureaucrats had got hold of two brand new trucks , On one of their operations they passed Cherryville and a miner there saw them go by and followed them at a distance. He said they went to an open space at Bruer Creek on the Kettle River. They took two new drones out of the vehicle; assembled them and were trying them out. It seems the harassment was to force claim holders to tear down structures and remove old equipment that was put on the claim before the present tenure holder acquired it: all at no reimbursement to the present claim holder. Prospecting and /or mining is costly enough in time and resources without that. If someone is doing something illegal charge them so they get their day in court; not this intimidation stuff.

12 ? Why won’t the prospecting/mining ministry bureaucrats treat claim holders, prospectors, and miners decently?

The bureaucrats often treat claim holders, prospectors, and miners like their deadly enemy to be snuffed out. There is a mines ministry bureaucrat that was on leave for at least 5 years, who is now back at it; all on the ratepayer’s nickel. It’s nice that the bureaucrats have compassion for their own kind, but how about a little for the ones they regulate? Claim holders, prospectors and miners are ratepayers and BC citizens too.

The laws enacted are supposed to be enacted for the common good.; where is the old bureaucratic idea of being a public servant?

13 ? Why do the official regulations have to be written in both English and ‘patois’ (french)?

It is very difficult to get the same meaning when translating from one language to the other. Its already hard enough to translate the ‘legalese’ into plain English. For all practical purposes English is the official language of Canada anyways.