David Mussallem and Miriam McDonald Macdougall (left photo) pose for a picture on Saturday

Mission Strawberry Queen, racer reunite for photo 66 years later

Miriam McDonald Macdougall and David Mussallem were both at last weekend's races and recreated a moment from 1950.

It was back in 1950 when Miriam McDonald Macdougall was crowned as the Strawberry Festival Queen in Mission.

One of the 16-year-old’s duties was to attend the annual soap box derby and hand out the trophies to the winners.

Macdougall, who was joined by Penticton’s Peach Queen and Chilliwack’s Cherry Queen, was all smiles when she presented the awards.

One of the recipients was a jubilant 12-year-old racer named David Mussallem, from Maple Ridge. The two posed for pictures for the media.

Now, 66 years later, Macdougall and Mussallem were both back at Mission’s soapbox derby, to recreate that moment and bring back plenty of memories.

Macdougall’s family arranged for the meeting as a surprise and Mussallem was happy to play along. They found a cape and a tiara and recreated the special moment.

“It was a surprise. I didn’t know why I was going,” said Macdougall, 83, who now lives in West Vancouver.

“It was just an awful lot of fun. My old friends came and some girls that I went to school with turned up. It was delightful.”

And Mussallem was there with plenty of memorabilia including the trophy, hat and other items.

“I had a couple of old newspapers stuffed in a brown paper bag, but he had everything,” she said.

Taking part in the event on Saturday was a nostalgic experience for Mussallem.

“I had a box full of stuff I dug out and it brought back a whole bunch of memories,” he said.

He said the race was a much bigger event in the 1950s.

“I think it was the biggest event in B.C. other than the PNE.”

He said racers would come from all over to compete.

“We had a great contingent of kids from Maple Ridge building cars and racing in Mission. In fact, Maple Ridge won it for three years in a row.”

Mussallem believes the cars were faster back in his day when the competitors were older. In the 1950s, racers ranged in age from 11 to 15 and they really soared down the road, he said.

Macdougall agrees that the derby used to be a much bigger event, but as a native of Mission, she’s glad it is still around.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The website Chigoby is among eight scam online retailers that have been identified by the Better Business Bureau. The site was fraudulently using an Abbotsford residential address, but has since switched to one in Poland.
Eight scam online-shopping websites fraudulently use Abbotsford address

Better Business Bureau says victims lost hundreds for non-existent or poor-quality products

Last year, the Mission Christmas Bureau celebrated its office opening with an open house. Covid-19 has forced the organization to switch to online registrations this year. / Kevin Mills File Photo
Registration for this year’s Mission Christmas Bureau will be completed online

Bureau gearing up to make Christmas possible for hundreds of local families and children in need

Barry Shantz in 2015 in front of a homeless camp at Gladys Avenue and Cyril Street. Abbotsford News file photo.
RCMP officers cleared in killing of Abbotsford homeless advocate

Barry Shantz was shot following a mental health crisis at his home on on Jan. 13, 2020,

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. (Graeme Roy/The Canadian Press)
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Oct. 18

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Local photographer Wolf Drescher spotted film crews set up along Esplanade Avenue in front of Canwest Art Gallery on the Lake on Thursday, October 1. Film production crews working on ‘Solitary’ will be around the area until close to the end of the month. (Contributed Photo/Wolf Drescher)
“Solitary” Update: Dramatic action scene to be filmed in Agassiz

‘Solitary’ will film a break-in, getaway at Kent Outdoors

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Rio Tinto Alcan’s aluminum smelter at Kitimat competes against producers in the Middle East and Russia that have no carbon tax. (Rio Tinto)
B.C. carbon tax highest in Canada, export industries unprotected

B.C. NDP, B.C. Liberals say they’re looking at exemptions

In this file photo, snow is seen falling along the Coquihalla Highway. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Weather statement issued for Coquihalla, Hwy 3, as arctic front approaches

The early season snowfall expected to hit Fraser Valley, Friday, Oct. 23

(Pixabay)
Vancouver teacher suspended after swearing, touching students and complimenting underwear

McCabe touched students, including rubbing their backs and necks, touching their hair and hugging them

The Surrey Eagles are currently seeking billet families for its players in advance of the 2020-‘21 BC Hockey League season. (Garrett James photo)
BCHL team in ‘desperate’ need of billet families for upcoming hockey season

COVID-19 pandemic has made finding homes for players difficult: billet co-ordinator

John Horgan brought the NDP campaign to Langley on Wednesday, Oct. 21, just three days before the B.C. vote (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Horgan brings NDP campaign to Langley

Predicts gains, says people are looking at the party ‘differently’ after three years

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
2 years after huge highway acid spill, Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
At least 26% of eligible voters have already cast their ballot, Elections BC says

Voters can cast a ballot until 8 p.m PST on Election Day

Most Read