Last Day with Jane

My escorted tour of the Island continued Monday when Jane Rees and her grandkids gave me a lift to Nanaimo. I’m not sure if their trip to a craft supply store was planned before I showed up on their doorstep but I was happy for the ride nonetheless. I was even happier when I got a chance to sample some local oysters at The Shipyard near Maple Bay. Four large Fanny Bay Oysters were pan fried in corn meal and served with chipotle mayo.

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We made a second stop at a hauntingly beautiful church on the Comiaken Reserve. “Butter Church”, as it was called when it was built in 1870, is a former Roman Catholic church that sits empty at the end of a short, steep path.

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I couldn’t find any signage on site but I later read that it was constructed by the Roman Catholic church in 1870. Labourers were paid by the sale of butter churned by the priest, hence its nickname. “The missionaries were intent on gaining a following here, but by 1880, the church had been abandoned, a symbol of the moment of contact between European religion and Native Indian tribes on Vancouver Island,” read the account.

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I spent Tuesday morning and early afternoon poking around Nanaimo, wrote an earlier blog entry over lunch, then made my way back to the Curling Club. Jane and I had been there Monday when a group of about 20 young guys (and one girl) were about 80 hours into a game of road hockey. Yes, 80 hours, with only about an hour of rest every eight hours.

If they managed to make it to 5:17 p.m. on Tuesday they would be assured a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as having played the longest continuous game of road hockey. The folks at Guinness lay down very strict rules regarding the number of players and substitute players, rest breaks, etc. Guinness also requires a video tape of the entire game with a time-stamp.

I returned Tuesday at about 4:30 p.m. to find the boys very weary but still playing. As the clocked ticked down to 5:17 p.m., and they surpassed 105 hours of continuous play, they actually appeared to get their second wind – or as a local radio announcer surmised, perhaps their 15th wind.

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And how do Vancouver Island boys keep up their energy during 105 hour games of street hockey? Red Bull? Rock Star, perhaps?

Would you believe slices of watermelon, Mr. Freezes, bottled water, and big trays of Nanaimo Bars? With just minutes left in the game and several trays untouched, one of the moms started passing them around. Most of the 200 or so people in attendance enjoyed a little slice of buttery, chocolatey heaven while the boys decided to play for another hour. You know, just to make it a little bit tougher for anyone taking a shot at this amazing record, minus Nanaimo Bars, of course.

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