How We Learned About Shaklee. In Memory of Kay Boas
by Dick Hunt, November 24th, 2012.
Ruth and I had been seeking a line of Nutriti0nal Products that we could trust to promote good health when we were living in Campbell River and had come up empty. We had tried Over The Counter, Health Food Store, Amway – and saw no improvement whatever. Then one of our new friends, a retired R.N., Kay Boas phoned Ruth one day from Cortes Island and asked how her knees were, knowing that they were causing her pain. Ruth replied that the right one was painful. Kay said she had half a bottle of Alfalfa tablets and would bring them over next time she came, which she did. In those days the Alfalfa came in smaller bottles and I believe there may have been 125 in the bottle. Ruth gladly received them, used them over a period of a couple of weeks and noticed a significant improvement in her pain problem. She phoned Kay and asked where she could buy some more. Kay said she got them from her daughter in San Francisco and she and Rollo were not going down there for six months.
Then Ruth saw an ad in our local paper which had a local number to call “if anyone was interested in Shaklee products”. When she phoned the number, the Lady said she didn’t have the Products but her friend in West Vancouver did and would be willing to come and meet with her and with us, which she did, in our home. Both our contact person in Campbell River and Ruth became Shaklee Members, bought products and were eager to share with other people. Ruth persuaded me to sign with her, with the understanding that she would run the business and I would be the silent partner. Ruth didn’t let that deter her. She plunged right in and sponsored people.
That was in October, 1978. About the same time, Calvin and Virginia Mitchell became Members. Ruth had sponsored around 100 Members by the end of 1979 and was doing well. The first week of January, she had invited around 20 people to come to our house and meet with Gordy and Joan Gibbs, our Sponsors. I was going to skip the meeting as I was of the opinion that Ministers ought not to be involved in business enterprises. I said I must have an item on my agenda to prevent me from attending. Pouf! Nothing on my agenda. I sat in the corner, out of the way. But as I listened to the Gibbs, I really began to change my mind. I began to support Ruth actively from that day and we became Supervisors in March. Our first Bonus Cheque was $1,760. We soon had our first Bonus Car and were Senior Supervisors for five years. Then I broke my back in a fall from a faulty ladder, retired at 65, and we moved to Mayne Island where we had a Cedar Cottage. We lost our momentum and then moved back to Director, slowly. We are now nearing Co-ordinator level again.
The first time we visited Rolo and Kay on their home ground, (they called it “The Captains Roost”), Kay was swinging a pick, digging a ditch around the house to lay drainage tile. Rollo was doing something else. She was a great lady and we loved them both so much. Ruth was hired by a Heritage foundation to do research leading to a History of the Columbia Coast Mission and so we had many many visits with Kay and Rollo, who were a mine of memories and information. Rollo wanted access to the basement so I built him a set of steps through a trap door upstairs. When it was ready, I raced it down to the Ferry dock on top of my car, put it on their car top carrier and shortly after, went to Cortes and installed it. It was a boon to them as long as they had the house.
But not long after, they had a merry wood fire in the heater, the sparks went up the chimney, set fire to the roof and they lost the house and most of their belongings.. They even lost personal papers and documents and keepsakes. It was such a tragedy. They moved into the Mission house. Then I crafted up a long set of steps to enable them to have access to the upper floor at the south end. The day we took all the prepared materials over there on top of our car (the steps were 20 feet long) it rained most of the day but I worked away and finished them by supper time. They found me a change of clothes, Kay ran me a hot bath and the four of us had a great visit while we ate. We stayed the night and went back to Campbell River in the morning. When they wanted to stay in C.R. over night, they stayed with us.
One year Ruth and I took our annual Holiday in February and went to California with them in their big Chrysler car. We shared all costs 50/50 and also the driving. We stopped in San Francisco with their daughter and son in Law and family. As we travelled through to the south, we were guests of other great friends from the days when Rollo was Rector of various Churches along the way. In Riverside Ca., we stayed with a young couple from one of the Churches, in their capacious guest cottage and picked oranges and grapefruit off the trees without stepping off the deck. How great the taste! The couple were members of a fellowship called “Friends Outside” and worked effectively with ex prisoners, helping them to find their way back into society. When back in Campbell River, I became a 1/4 time Prison Chaplain and my time with them was a boon to me in being effective in my work. I found that the biggest difficulty in bringing them back into society was the negative attitude and behaviour of many of the jail staff.
In our fellowship, to and fro we had a rich mix of discussions. Rollo was inclined to be Theological and Kay was a very practical Christian but not necessarily so Orthodox that she was unable to change her stance. She was like her seagoing ability, able to meet diversity with practicality and come out smiling. I am not aware that either of them made enemies. Life was too precious to waste time nursing prejudice. Their son in law in San Francisco was a rather lapsed Baptist whose problem with the Anglicans was that they go out of the Church Sunday by Sunday the same as they went in. I tend to agree with him but not for the same reasons. I try to do something about died in the wool indecision.
Kay was a great boon to the scattered people up ad down the coast. Ministering to not only their health of body but their attitudes and social concerns and their loneliness. She was a very ‘chirpy’ friend, and made people feel wanted. Rollo was a good Captain and friend to the landlocked and did his job as someone who could be trusted. I don’t think he had any difficulty getting along with the wide range of people he worked with, and no-one seemed to envy him in the “Savey Navy”.
They were certainly leaders on Corte’s Island, gave freely of themselves and their time and talents in the four scattered Churches where I also visited with them. They explained that there were four Church buildings because in the early days, they were only reachable for Islanders by Boat, or on foot. They probably knew more people than nearly anyone else in the region as they worked co-operatively with so many other leaders up and down the Coast. Thery ran a floating Church, clinic and home away from home for a great many people.