Landmark lodge celebrates 20 years
Perched atop the striking sand cliffs of Cape Mudge, Quadra Island, Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge is a local landmark and a proud testament to the millennia-rich culture of the Kwa’ Kwa’ Ka’ Wa’Kw First Nation.
While a couple of decades are a drop in the ocean when reflecting on the history that has been wrought on these shores and waters, celebrating a milestone for the Tsa-Kwa-Luten certainly signals that the Lodge is now very much a part of that lore.
On Sunday, June 5 the Lodge hosted a 20th anniversary luncheon to mark the occasion. Chief Ralph Dick, Hereditary Chief Don Assu, Chief Robert Joseph from Alert Bay, along with members of the Tsa-Kwa-Luten Board of Directors, MLA Claire Trevena and other dignitaries were on hand to enjoy a fine, delicious meal and local wine served with the friendly hospitality that the Lodge has become renowned for.
The attendees arrived, mingled and were seated. Chief Robert Joseph began with a Kwakwala prayer. Chief Ralph Dick recounted some of the early history and planning for the Lodge.
“Our Elders saw that the good times we had enjoyed from fishing were ending and had the vision to look for new opportunities,” he recalled. “Don Assu met with the band council and decided they could raise the money.”
It was a slow start as for two years the representative from the Ministry of Indian Affairs stalled progress. Finally, after hiring a lobbyist, the minister herself visited and things began to roll. In 1991, after over a year of construction, Tsa-Kwa-Luten opened its doors to welcome its first guests.
Slowly but surely, the lodge built its reputation on excellent customer service and developing a solid team of longterm staff. Today General Manager Carol Ann Terreberry points to that as being one of their keys to success.
“The Board of Directors are great to work with,” she said. “And we have quite the staff team. Our head chef, head housekeeper, head of maintenance, night security and our front desk manager have all been working together for over 13 years.”
“When I go on the road I know the lodge is in safe hands,” said Terreberry.