Vanderhoof man receives Diamond Jubilee Medal

At a tea on Dec. 17, John Rustad, Nechako Lakes MLA, presented Oscar Walstrom with a Diamond Jubilee Medal.

John Rustad

John Rustad

At a tea on Monday, Dec. 17, John Rustad, Nechako Lakes MLA, presented Oscar Walstrom with a Diamond Jubilee Medal.

The medal is being distributed to 60,000 deserving Canadians who have devoted themselves to family, community and country.

Walstrom was born in Stettler, Alb., in 1926 and raised on a farm.

In 1948, Walstrom’s family left the farm and relocated to Vanderhoof, where he moved to a small sawmill camp in the Sob Lake area.

He disliked the closed-in forest area and was considering moving back to Alberta when he met Dorothy Dye from Blackwater Road.

The two married in 1950 and had two children, Tim, who lives in Vanderhoof, and Marilyn, who resides in Prince George. They built a farm near Sob Lake Road where they raised cattle, harvested hay, got involved in logging and started running a sawmill.

Walstrom has long been a prominent member of the community.

He was involved in the Cattleman’s Association, drove the school bus in the areas of Sob Lake, Blackwater and Mapes for many years, and helped get the area connected to hydro services.

He was also instrumental in establishing the MBS Community Hall and remained president for many years afterward.

He was actively involved in events at rodeos and at the fair grounds and would sometimes race pony chariots.

In 1994, Walstrom and his wife moved to Vanderhoof, where they later joined the Senior Friendship Center. He was president of the center for 16 years until 2011, when he stepped down.

Since the age of 13, Walstrom has enjoyed playing music. In Stettler, Alb., he started playing and singing in a band and has been performing for the public ever since.

From Prince George to Mckenzie to Terrace, B.C., Walstrom has been involved with many bands. For many years he played at the Royal Canadian Legion in Vanderhoof.

To this day, Walstrom and his son, Tim, have been playing at Riverside Place every week for more than 20 years. Walstrom has been playing at the Manor every month since it was built.

At the Senior Friendship Center, Walstrom has organized the pot luck supper on the last Friday of the month.

He has been instrumental in getting individuals and groups to practice and play music at public events. Walstrom maintains a love for old cars and still enjoys getting out on the trails on his quad and snowmobile.