It’s hard to define a community that’s over a century old, given how quickly things can change in the world.
However, there’s an artifact in the Silver City that does just that.
Called the Chain of Office, the gold plated link to the past, has been secured at city hall in the office of the Trail mayor for almost five decades.
The patina on the insignia of office reflects the 46 years the symbol has been part of the mayoral swearing in ceremony in the City of Trail.
Six medallions stamped with impressions of the smelter and refinery, the Waneta Dam, hockey players, forestry, the ferry across the Columbia River pre-bridge days, forestry, and the people of Trail are anchored by the city’s seal imprinted with the words,’Gold Must Be Tried In Fire.’
The phrase suggests the pious history of the Trail community, because in the Bible, the saying refers to faith being tested by suffering.
According to an Oct. 16, 1968 edition of the Trail Times, the Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) spent six years planning the chain’s design, and during a council meeting that evening, presented the golden collar to then mayor, Buddy DeVito.
The six medallions on the gold chain represent the resources of the community and the surrounding area, said Jaycee’s Jim DeLong during the evening’s presentation.
Accepting the chain, Mayor DeVito expressed the council’s appreciation and added, “This does not belong to me, but to this council and the citizens of the city.”
During the Monday night induction of Trail’s 23rd mayor, Mike Martin, (not including those sworn in more than once) the Chain of Office was arranged on a table beside former mayor Dieter Bog’s proclamation to the city.
Notably, Bogs was a member of the Trail Jaycees the year the chain officially made it to the city’s mayoral office.
In a telephone interview last week, Bogs recalled the organization that included men between the ages of 18 and 40, as one of up-and-comers in the community who dedicated time to the city by organizing many events.
The group itself, originally called the Trail Junior Board of Trade, was founded by Mr. John Lattie in 1937 with 50 chartered members. Over time, members planned everything from ‘welcome home Trail Smoke Eaters’ party in 1938 to war effort, salvage stamp and a variety show in 1940, handling publicity for Trail’s Golden Jubilee in 1950, blood donor clinics in the ’60s and Christmas light-up celebrations and teenage safe driving programs in later years.