Chamber director researching his organization’s 72-year history in an effort to compile a list of past presidents

In 1961, Verna Hassall became the first female president of the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce, which was called the Cloverdale Board of Trade at the time. (Photo courtesy City of Surrey Archives.)In 1961, Verna Hassall became the first female president of the Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce, which was called the Cloverdale Board of Trade at the time. (Photo courtesy City of Surrey Archives.)
An advertisement from the 1960s—sponsored by the Cloverdale Board of Trade—urges residents to vote “YES” in the “Cloverdale Sewerage By-law” vote. (Image courtesy Scott Wheatley)An advertisement from the 1960s—sponsored by the Cloverdale Board of Trade—urges residents to vote “YES” in the “Cloverdale Sewerage By-law” vote. (Image courtesy Scott Wheatley)

Scott Wheatley is looking back at the history of the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce.

Wheatley, the executive director for the Chamber, has been researching his organization’s 72-year history in an effort to compile a list of past presidents.

“The Cloverdale Chamber is one of the oldest Chambers in the area and we don’t know our history,” he said.

Wheatley said he’s “found a lot of interesting history” along the way. And the list of presidents have a lot of recognizable names—including Verna Hassall, the first woman to be president of the Chamber.

He even came across an ad from the ’60s asking: “But is Cloverdale Immunized? Against Unhealthy Sanitation.” (See picture).

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SEE ALSO: Cloverdale Chamber calls off vote to join Vancouver Board of Trade

“Back in the ’60s, there was a real battle over the future of the Cloverdale sewage system,” explained Wheatley. “Because, back then, everything was on septic tanks and they wanted to get a sewer system put in.”

He said people were getting sick because of the septic system, so residents were asked to vote on an upcoming bylaw to determine whether or not Cloverdale would get a sewer system built.

Wheatley also found that about every 10 years or so there have been minor battles with the other Chambers in the area over boundaries.

(Today that would mean both the Surrey Board of Trade and the South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce. But historically, there were five local boards of trade, with three of the five—the North Surrey Board of Trade, the Newton Chamber of Commerce, and the Guildford chamber—voting to amalgamate in 1964.)

“I’ve found old letters. Most of them have been between Cloverdale and White Rock, just little minor border skirmishes.”

Wheatley also found the Cloverdale Chamber ran many events in the past.

“Prior to the BIA [created in ‘95], the Cloverdale Chamber ran a lot of events that are now BIA events,” he said. “We used to run the Bed Races and other sorts of things.”

SEE ALSO: Cloverdale man turns old bed racer into chicken coop

The Cloverdale Chamber began in 1949 as the Cloverdale Board of Trade. Wheatley said he’s not sure who the first president was, either Edgar Daniel Eastabrook or Robin Mamieson.

“I’m not positive because I have signatures on documents, but there’s nothing specifying who was president or who was secretary.”

Wheatley is hoping people will reach out to the Chamber if they have any info that would help fill out, or correct, his list of past presidents.

Wheatley can be reached by calling 604-574-9802, or by emailing

List of past presidents of the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce:

2020-2021: Tyler Dennis

2019-2020: Rebbecca Smith

2018-2019: Brian Leong

2017-2018: Marian Maletta

2016-2017: Marian Maletta

2015-2016: John Gibeau

2014-2015: John Gibeau

2013-2014: Brian Young

2012-2013: Addison Hubert

2011-2012: Brian Young

2010-2011: Brian Young

2009-2010:Brian Young

2008-2009: Bruno Zappone

2007-2008: Ben Wevers

2006-2007: Ben Wevers

2005-2006: — unknown, possibly Earle Fraser

2004-2005: Ben Wevers

2003-2004: Ben Wevers

2002-2003: Ben Wevers

2001-2002: Bill Reid

2000-2001: Bruno Zappone

1999-2000: —

1998-1999: —

1997-1998: —

1996-1997: Ann Sharkey

1995-1996: Ann Sharkey

1994-1995: Ann Sharkey

1993-1994: Bob Rollinson

1992-1993: —

1991-1992: John Lewis

1990-1991: — Either Dave McCormack or Bonnie McKinnon

1989-1990: Bonnie McKinnon

1988-1989: Bonnie McKinnon

1987-1988: Rees Hugh

1986-1987: Dave McCormack

1985-1986: —

1984-1985: Dave McCormack

1983-1984: Peggy Drew

1982-1983: Michael J. Cook

1981-1982: David James Rowland

1980-1981: —

1979-1980: Fred Swindells

1978-1979: Fred Swindells

1977-1978: Ron McKinnon

1976-1977: Ron McKinnon

1975-1976: Orville Nielson

1974-1975: Orville Nielson

1973-1974: —

1972-1973: Jim Rhodes

1971-1972: Art Hinchliffe

1970-1971: — Either Barry Leach or Derek Leach

1969-1970: Robert Heatherington

1968-1969: Bob McMurray

1967-1968: Bob McMurray

1966-1967: — Either Alf Tishman or Bill Pekonen

1965-1966: Doug Nott

1964-1965: C.J. Smalley

1963-1964: Alan Dann

1962-1963: Herald Read

1961-1962: Verna Hassall

1960-1961: Oswald Crawford

1959-1960: W.C. Wood

1958-1959: George Scott

1957-1958: Jim Stinson

1956-1957: —

1955-1956: Frank McKinnon

1954-1955: Frank McKinnon

1953-1954: Art Bourassa

1952-1953: —

1951-1952: —

1950-1951: —

1949-1950: —

1949: — Either Edgar Daniel Eastabrook or Robin Mamieson

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