Wednesday, March 23, 2016

This past week I learned that we lost a frequent visitor and friend of the Railroad and Museum. Rick Senkler wintered from the 'Great White North' as his emails would greet when we talked. Always asking what he could do to help and he lent a hand many a time on the yard building as well as up on the High Line. His wife Joanne was often with him and they both enjoyed their times out at the tracks. Rick was planning to winter his engine some year down here so he could travel to other tracks with it. Rick always asked if we needed anything whenever he was down and he wore his Joshua Tree Black Hat all the time. Rick will be missed by those that knew him, and a thought for those he left behind, Godspeed Rick.
 Bob Buckle, a good friend of his and a visitor with Rick one time too, wrote a nice page for the newsletters up their way.

In Memoriam

Rick Senkler, March 1, 1945 – March 9, 2016



Rick was born March 1, 1945 and raised in Victoria’s Oak Bay area.

He became a Certifed Accountant by about 1970 and went to work for

various public entities such as Victoria Water Board and B.C. Transit,

guiding them through the computerization of their accounts.

I frst met Rick as a member of the Juan de Fuca Railway Association in the mid 60’s. This was a small group of

folks who got together once a month to show our pictures and view flms on railway subjects. We also organized

excursions to various points of interest.

By the early 70’s Terry Fergusson had purchased the 4'-8-1/2” gauge Hillcrest #10 Climax locomotive and was

moving it to Victoria for his Victoria Pacifc Railway. We were all involved in giving him a hand and doing a lot of

the bull work and having a lot of fun doing it.

About this time Rick married Mary Nation and they bought 2+ acres on Quayle Road in Saanich where he built

the Pheasant & Quayle 7 ½” and 3 ½” ga. track of about 700 feet. In 1972 the Vancouver Island Model Engineers

[VIME] was formed and Rick became a member in 1973. He ofered the group the use of the track once a month

in exchange for help in building it. Members of Juan de Fuca Railway Association also pitched in. During this

time Rick bought Joe Brown’s incomplete but running CPR D10 loco. VIME operated there with great success

until about 1980 when VIME moved all operations to the Saanich Historical Artifacts Society grounds in Central

Saanich where they had been building raised and ground level tracks since 1976.

Sometime after Mary died in 1991 Rick moved to the Vancouver area to take up a position with B.C. Ferries at

Horseshoe Bay. There he became an active member of BCSME for a number of years until moving back to

Victoria in 2002 where he rebuilt the house on Quayle Road and did a bit of work on rebuilding the P & Q. After

a few years he sold the Quayle Road property to another VIME member and moved to a North Saanich view


Over the next years he became increasingly active in other community organizations such as the Saanich

Historical Artifacts Society and their foundation as well as the Horticultural Centre of the Pacifc and Gyro

International. During this period he also became V.P. Finance for VIH Aviation Group, a large helicopter and

fxed wing aircraft operator headquartered at Victoria International Airport. He really loved this job and its

perks. Rick has, over the last year or so, slowly retired from this position and taken to regularly visiting

Maricopa and Joshua Tree clubs in the winter months.

Rick also purchased the ‘Mogul’ 2-6-0 built by Allan Halliday after Allan’s death. Rick’s son Phillip can be seen

running this loco all around the Pacifc Northwest.

Rick and his new love, Joanna Drewry, bought another nice home in North Saanich where they developed

beautiful gardens and held many garden parties, the greatest of which was their wedding in August 2014.

Rick was elected president of Saanich Historical Artifact Foundation in February and was on the board of the

Horticultural Centre of the Pacifc. He was the Chair of the Board of Variance for the Municipality of North

Saanich for the past 3 years and served on the Board since 2008. He also assisted VIME with its fnancial


Rick became ill on March 7 at a Gyro executive meeting and passed on March 9. He will be missed by a great

many friends and associates all over the west, particularly his wife Joanna, son Phil and daughter Heather.

The Whistle Page 7 April 2016

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Narrow Gauge Meet 2016

Despite some ugly weather around the Southland Friday, the weekend was great. This years Narrow Gauge Meet saw 14 different pieces of motive power and plenty of visitors as well. Early arrivals enjoyed Thursday and Friday running before the weather deteriorated Friday afternoon. Allan and Lynn Ratliff with the trusty GE 47 tonner. The Burns with RGS 41 and consist made the trip from Salinas. Their Contractor diesel plied the rails all weekend as well. Steve Nelson with his C-21 and growing train made if from Tucson. Jimmy Booth made the trip South with his trailer full of goodies, Grant C-16 #223, #50 and a few cars. Ryan Shepherd even had his peddle bike out of the truck. John Norquist roughed it in a tent and RGS Goose #7 all in the little car of his. Art and Claudia Barter rolled up with their PE Steeple Cab for the weekend. All the Joshua Tree engines made runs with their caretakers. Davenport #7 worked and played throughout the event piloted by either Matt Z. or Greg Ratliff, it even had a few other engineers over the weekend.. Edwards Motor with trailer is coming along nicely under the direction of Jerry McPheeters. John Griffin was seen checking out Progress throughout the system Sunday on the Edwards Freight Motor Sunday afternoon. The Maywald's made it a family weekend too, and RGS 20 saw plenty of steam time. Heck, my 4-4-0 even polished the rails on Sunday for a time.
 The early folks had a good time setting up and running Thursday and Friday, always time to visit too. Greg Ratliff and Matt Z. installed a switch at Pauline on the High Line Friday with finishing touches and ballasting Saturday. The breeze was blowing after the brief rain event Friday evening. The rain only last about 90 throughout the Southland during its course Eastward. It rained plenty good in that time as seen in Cucamonga Friday before getting of work. Those getting out Friday mid day followed the storm eastward the whole way. Shelli and I only had wind on our travels out late Friday, but saw the lake that had formed on the Interstate in Cabazon as it passed through there. By our arrival time with the delay only the wind was left and Saturday dawned calm and quickly warming to an enjoyable level. Mike Thompson spearheaded the realignment of the Wye tail trackage on Saturday in anticipation of the trackage going South of the Station when the Conley Mansion is completed. That project is coming along wonderfully as Bill Shepherd plugs along in its construction. The roof is on and the interior walls are roughed in. The boardwalk in front, even though concrete is a work of art. The porch was going up over the weekend between tours of the project to all that wanted to see it. Bill has been working on the unloading area handrails as well. They should be done as of writing, heard he was working on the finishing welding after most left after the weekend. Thank you and great work Bill.
Saturday night around the patio and grill went off great, plenty of different items were grilled up after dark and no one left hungry. The temperatures on Saturday night were delightful and Sunday was more of the same. Running on the railroad at times was quite busy and things went smoothly, at many times there could be seen from the High Line up to eight trains at one time about the trackage. Quite a few visitor throughout the weekend also up to see things, all in all a great time. Ready to go on a road trip next weekend, and then back for Easter, so you then.