Recording is of an interview with Ron Burton conducted by Kathy Bossort. Ron Burton was one of 23 participants interviewed as part of the Community Heritage Commission’s Burnaby Mountain Oral History Project. The interview is mainly about the founding, goals, and activities of the Burnaby Mountain Biking Association as told by one of the founders and President of the club, Ron Burton, and about the development of mountain biking and trail construction on Burnaby Mountain, both prior to and after the creation of the conservation area in 1995/96. Ron Burton also talks about his childhood, his work as a Burnaby school trustee, and the sports and recreational activities he has enjoyed on the mountain.
Ron Burton was born in Burnaby in 1954 to Fred and Shirley Burton. He grew up in East Vancouver and attended Hastings Elementary and Gladstone Secondary schools. He worked on the waterfront for Viterra, became a member of the Grain Workers Union and joined the NDP in 1972. He and his wife moved to Burnaby’s Vancouver Heights in 1982 and Forest Grove in 1988. He has served as a Board of Education Trustee in the Burnaby School District since first being elected in 1987, currently serving as Board Chair. Ron is founder and President of the Burnaby Mountain Biking Association and an active rider on Burnaby Mountain since 1988. The Association was founded in 2000, registering as a society in 2005, with the goals to build sustainable trails on Burnaby Mountain, to provide education about trail riding, and to advocate for and improve the image of mountain biking. Under Ron’s leadership the Association has successfully recruited members and formed a cooperative relationship with Burnaby’s Parks staff and with other park trail users.
Kathy Bossort is a retired archivist living in Ladner, BC. She worked at the Delta Museum and Archives after graduating from SLAIS (UBC) in 2001 with Masters degrees in library science and archival studies. Kathy grew up in Calgary, Alberta, and, prior to this career change, she lived in the West Kootenays, earning her living as a cook for BC tourist lodges and work camps. She continues to be interested in oral histories as a way to fill the gaps in the written record and bring richer meaning to history.