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Canada 59 years strong: Meet Calgary Stampede's longest running volunteer, Bruce Roy

16:08  12 july  2018
16:08  12 july  2018 Source:   cbc.ca

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Bruce Roy is the Calgary Stampede ' s longest running volunteer . He first visited the event as a child in 1943. Bruce Roy has been volunteering at the Calgary Stampede for 59 years , and he hasn't missed a single year. Roy first visited the Stampede as a kid with his father and cousin in 1943 and

© CBC Bruce Roy is the Calgary Stampede ' s longest running volunteer . He first visited the event as a child in 1943. Bruce Roy has been volunteering at the Calgary Stampede for 59 years , and he From that moment on, Roy was hooked on the Stampede spirit. In 1959 he volunteered at the

a man wearing a hat and glasses: Bruce Roy is the Calgary Stampede's longest running volunteer. He first visited the event as a child in 1943. © CBC Bruce Roy is the Calgary Stampede's longest running volunteer. He first visited the event as a child in 1943.

Bruce Roy has been volunteering at the Calgary Stampede for 59 years, and he hasn't missed a single year.

Roy first visited the Stampede as a kid with his father and cousin in 1943 and fell in love.

"We saw the parade, walked to the fairgrounds and it was unreal," he told Calgary Eyeopener host David Gray on Wednesday. "Surreal for a country kid."

Roy said that in 1943, the Stampede looked a lot different than it does now.

"There weren't very many rides at that time and I distinctly remember the fairgrounds were covered in sawdust," he said.

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© CBC Bruce Roy is the Calgary Stampede ' s longest running volunteer . He first visited the event as a child in 1943. Bruce Roy has been volunteering at the Calgary Stampede for 59 years , and he From that moment on, Roy was hooked on the Stampede spirit. In 1959 he volunteered at the

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"I remember that there were no end of side shows with all these fat ladies and the snakes and all the rest of the big band were singing out front."

From that moment on, Roy was hooked on the Stampede spirit. In 1959 he volunteered at the greatest outdoor show on Earth for the first time.

a person standing next to a cow: An undated photo of Bruce Roy shows him with a horse. He's competed, judged and announced for the heavy horse events. © CBC An undated photo of Bruce Roy shows him with a horse. He's competed, judged and announced for the heavy horse events.

Since then he's competed, judged and announced for the heavy horse events — events that were thought to be a thing of the past when Roy started as a volunteer.

"Draft horses were going out out of commission in their agricultural scene and the committee was falling away, but then the head of the committee, who was secretary of the Canadian Percheron Association, asked me if I would come aboard," he said.

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In last year' s Calgary Stampede championships, he placed second overall. Another chuckwagon racer, Codey McCurrach, was set to drive Motowylo' s wagon in his stead on Wednesday. 59 years strong : Meet Calgary Stampede ' s longest running volunteer , Bruce Roy .

The Calgary Stampede converts horse droppings into manure for farms and installs bat boxes, right, to naturally decrease the 59 years strong : Meet Calgary Stampede ' s longest running volunteer , Bruce Roy . Chuckwagon driver tumbles under wheels at Calgary Stampede , breaking scapula.

"And I was always game for anything and so I did and then I never left."

Roy said he recalls when heavy horses worked on the streets of Calgary. There were milk horses all over the city, including a beautiful grey Percheron mare named Blossom, he said.

a person standing next to a horse: Bruce Roy, shown in this undated photo, says he has a passion for horses. © CBC Bruce Roy, shown in this undated photo, says he has a passion for horses.

According to Roy, every morning Blossom would come down 9th Avenue with the milkman. He'd walk on one side of the street with his basket full of milk bottles, and Blossom would move up and down on the other side of the street.

"And every morning when Blossom went by the Palliser Hotel the doorman would met her and greet her and give her a couple cubes," he said.

But one morning the milk man wasn't there.

"The milk man was on the other side of the street and Blossom was looking for her sugar cubes while attached to the milk wagon," he said.

"She went right up the steps to the revolving door and there was milk coming out of the back of that wagon. Ninth Avenue looked like a river of milk."

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Calgary Eyeopener with David Gray and Angela Knight: David Gray chats with Bruce Roy who has been helping out at the Calgary Stampede for 59 years . Calgary Eyeopener with David Gray and Angela Knight. The Eyeopener goes straight to the heart of the story, asking the hard questions that

Calgary StampedeVarmennettu tili @ calgarystampede . For 106 years, Indian Village has been a place and name with great historical significance, honouring the relationship of the Tipi Owners 59 years strong : Meet Calgary Stampede ' s longest running volunteer , Bruce Roy | CBC News http

Loves the crowd's reaction

Roy said it's a passion for the horses and Stampede that keeps him coming back every year.

"I love the horses. I love to see the horses perform for the crowd and I love to see the crowd's reaction to their performance," he said.

Tuesday evening's heavy horse performance particularly touched Roy. The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra began playing William tell Overture, and the horses began their performance on cue, something he's witnessed for nearly six decades.

"Oh, it was powerful... With those nickel chrome fittings on that black patent leather harness, the steel shod shoes shining," he said.

"And then the rumble of those great wagons and with that music, it was overwhelming. The crowd just went ape."

In his 59th year of volunteering, Roy is approaching the next in important milestone: 60 years.

"I'm hoping to, and then I'll probably want to go to 85."

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener .

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