ROTHENBURGER – The good old days really were better, at least for kids

The Blackhawk Club, 1952. (Image: Courtesy Robert Pearson)

A LONG TIME AGO, in a town far away….. a group of young men came together to fight tyranny and oppression wherever they found it. I was one.

Actually, it wasn’t all that far away — the South Okanagan, and I was eight. The group was the Blackhawk Club, a half dozen neighbourhood kids who, by today’s standards, were deprived. They had no cellphones, no lap tops, no video games and no Internet. They didn’t even have TV. But they had a sense of curiosity and honour.

I was reminded of them earlier this summer when a former club member posted a photo on a Facebook page that focuses on community history and reminiscences about Oliver.

The photo shows six shirtless kids holding our Blackhawk flag, which consisted of a black hawk on a circle background (which was yellow, though the picture is black and white). The scrawny little blond-haired one on the right, sitting on the ground, is me. Standing next to me is my 12-year-old brother, Bernie.


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9233 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

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