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The History of the HWTC (BT) - Bob Tapp

This unique 'company' operated in the cabin area in the 1950's and early 60's with the head office at the 'Ladies and Escorts' beer parlour at the Olympic Hotel in North Vancouver. Directors paid their dues in 10 cent glasses of beer, and the company's mission statement was simple: We are not a public company and it's nobody's business what business we are doing being in business."

The physical plant for the business was started when Bert Baker {Challenger Inn) located some hand crank, battery operated telephones at a closed mine, and a directors' assessment bought the galvanized steel wire and climbing spurs. Utilizing the spurs to climb trees, enthusiastic cabin owners strung a single line from Mel Leslie's Sky Tavern to John Halstead's Rock Mount Manor with branches at Bob Tapp's Red Pony Taproom, Pete Cherry's Ranger Station, John Eaves, Bert Baker's and Pete Berntzen's Viking, Jack Rockandel's Staggering Arms and others. Bert Baker ran Norm Deacon's tows in the Hollyburn area, so the line was extended to Westlake, allowing them to discuss the operation of the eight tows.

With an interconnect at the Ranger Station it was possible to reach the outside world. Bert Baker and his companions called Sun Valley to make reservations one year, and another time it was used to save a heart attack victim, but mostly it was used to call a friend to bring another bottle to the party when supplies were running low, or to find out where the dance was.

On several occasions a fire call was made. In 1957 a group were having coffee one Sunday when the long ring told of disaster - a fire near the Main Trail across from Ron Glover's Zoo. The unfortunate owner. Jack Rockandel, provided the first opportunity for many to meet and become life long friends as a result of helping him rebuild on the site of his present cabin.

Some time later, the careless use of white gas caused a porch wall fire at the Tapp's, and John Eaves, who was on the telephone, shouted "Fire" and jumped out of the window in his bare feet. Fortunately, the group on the end of the line were volunteer firemen - Bert and John from West Van and Jim from Richmond. Like all eager firemen, they arrived with axes and chopped out the flaming wall, and with a few shovels full of snow put out the embers. Greta Tapp, while a little scorched, took the roast out of the oven and finished cooking it with Jackie Baker at the Challenger Inn.

When Chuck Eadie left his snow cat (a jeep with tracks & skis) on the mountain, it became the Hollyburn Taxi - a phone call would give door to door service for those who didn't want to couldn't) walk home.

Those were the days my friends!