INTERVIEW WITH THE "Button Guy" JEAN-GUY MOREAU
“I joined the Volunteer Ski Patrol at Mount Washington when it first opened in 1978-1979. I’d just moved to Vancouver Island from back east where I had volunteered with ski patrols near Ottawa and in Quebec.
It was very enjoyable being on the ski patrol at Mount Washington; the weather was much different from back east. In Quebec it is so cold. Here it is very enjoyable! Mount Washington is much higher than the mountains in Quebec. It was quite a change for me!
Back in the early years at Mount Washington, patrollers had to sell 25 ski patrol buttons a year. You could sell more if you wanted. I enjoyed doing it.
Selling buttons was a good way to fundraise; it was sociable at the same time. About fifteen years ago or so I was placed in charge of getting the buttons, and started selling more and more. Over the last ten years, I’ve been pleased to make over $2,000 a year from button sales. The best place I’ve found to sell buttons is at the Alpine Lodge.
Lots of people collect them, many of whom have buttons from resorts all over BC and beyond. People pin them on their toques, hats, goggles, or jackets.
Over the years I’ve received about eight trophies from the patrol. I was presented with a trophy one year for having the highest ski patrol attendance. One year I received an award for being the most improved ski patroller of the year. I also got the “Horse’s Ass” award for coming down the mountain with a toboggan on my way to an accident and flipped over, doing a “360”. I was OK fortunately; I got back on my feet and attended to the accident.
“For me, ski patrolling is something I really enjoy doing. I enjoy helping others.”
You can always find Jean-Guy at the Alpine Lodge, where he’ll be selling buttons of course.