One man, one kayak, hundreds of bottles and cans rescued from Thetis Lake

WatchMeet Noel Frayne, who decided that if he's out kayaking for a few hours anyway, he may as well do something useful...and what a difference he has made at View Royal's Thetis Lake!

Meet Noel Frayne.  A healthy, youthful 77-year-old, who credits his passion for kayaking with keeping him fit, and giving him a newfound passion.

“I retired I guess about 10 years ago,” says Frayne, “and then I bought the boat about two years ago, and realized fairly quickly, if I just go paddling somewhere, after about half an hour it’s ‘now what?'”

Frayne came up with a wonderful answer to that question, which was “paddling around the lake and looking for bottles, and cans, and rubbish, basically.”

“It started off with a can or two, and then you get more and more into it, and then it’s like an addiction!” Frayne says with a joyful laugh.

“The lake” is Thetis Lake in View Royal, and over the past two years, Frayne has picked up more than 460 bottles and cans in the water at the lake, and other stuff too!

“I’ve found lots and lots of shoes, and at least two or three full beers that had been in the water a long time, and lots of dog toys.”

Not only is Frayne helping to keep Thetis Lake clean, he’s getting fit too.

“I lost my mother about three years ago, and I thought it wasn’t a big deal, but I guess it was because I was packing away the food” and putting on the pounds.

His solution? “Early March will be two years since I decided to first unplug cable, and then get rid of my TV. And then, because I’m not watching TV all day every day, I’m getting out walking, I’m getting out paddling, and the weight just keeps coming off.”

And he doesn’t collect these bottles and cans for the money.

“I guess I could, but to me, the fun of it is the finding them, and picking them up. I pile them up in front of the trash can and take a picture of them, because I want my record of what’s been taken off the lake. And then I just throw them in [the recycle bin], and whoever cleans them out for the CRD – they’ll cash them in.”

Now 40 pounds lighter, and feeling strong and fit at 77, Frayne knows his mother would be proud.

“She made it to 101,” says Frayne, who hopes he’s well on his way to repeating that number.

“I hope so!” Frayne says with a great big grin. “I don’t see why not, you know?!”

Veronica CooperVeronica Cooper

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