Ian and Wendy Clay – A Love for Travel and Nature

Ian and Wendy Clay lived, worked and ‘played’ in Salmon Arm and area for 30 years where they were loyal and hard-working volunteers whose legacy lives on. Both grew up in Victoria and agreed years ago to return after retirement, so moved back in 2017.

Ian worked with the BC Forest Service (1987 to 2011) as a Forest Technician, first in Salmon Arm, then in Vernon, spending much of each year outdoors doing field work. In Salmon Arm he spent considerable time volunteering with trail building activities.

In the early 90’s Ian helped build and co-ordinate volunteers in constructing a trail network in Little Mountain Park. Then up until 2006, with mainly dedicated retirees, he worked on trail development in Coyote Park, Cress Creek Trail and Park Hill. It was a process of doing trail layout, mapping, putting forward proposals to the city, then getting permission for work parties to build the trails. Once established, these permanent trails could be enjoyed by everyone–now and in the future. Ian feels trail building provided his greatest personal satisfaction in giving back to the community.

In the 2000’s the Trail Alliance got involved so Ian worked with them as part of Shuswap Greenways providing input to the City of Salmon Arm Greenways Liaison Committee. Ian was also a Bike for Your Life committee member and both Ian and Wendy cycled in every event for 20 years.

In 1990 Wendy switched gears from teaching to working with Sally Scales on the Shoppers’ Guide community newspaper. She did a bit of everything: photography, paste-up, bookkeeping, editing, writing. When Black Press took over she became the editor of the Lakeshore News and retired in 2011. 

As members of the Shuswap Photo Arts Club Wendy and Ian were executive members for several years, prepared slide shows and co-ordinated the fall fair photo exhibition for five years. They also volunteered at Haney Heritage Village where Ian provided photo services at Heritage Days and Classic Car shows.

Both volunteered at Larch Hills—Wendy and Ian on the Reino Keski-Salmi Loppet and Pirate Loppet and Ian brushing trails. They were members of Shuswap Outdoors and have wonderful memories of hikes in the Monashees, Roger’s Pass and Rockies. They feel that photography opened their eyes to seeing the natural world and always something new and exciting around the next corner.

Travel is their other great passion. While working they took trips overseas every few years—New Zealand, East Africa, England & Scotland, China, India, Vietnam.  Upon retirement they expanded their travel: Australia for 11 weeks and Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia for 9 weeks. They visited Turkey, Italy, Morocco, Spain, France, and did a Rhine and Danube River cruise and a cruise around Cape Horn up to Argentina and Brazil. Canadian trips covered much of BC, the Prairies, across Canada to Ottawa and a trip to the Maritimes and Newfoundland.  They also travelled on many backroads around the western U.S.

Even though they travel widely, they have returned to Salmon Arm twice a year to visit friends and enjoy outdoor pleasures: in winter–snowshoeing and skiing at Larch Hills; in summer–cycling and hiking.

They savored most of their 30 busy years in Salmon Arm. With the establishment of their fund, they want to give back to the community that provided them with a rich life and many friends. They want others to experience what they enjoy(ed) by supporting various causes in their fields of interest. Their fund will support, in perpetuity, their passion for the outdoors and this community. 

Gabriele Klein, February 2020