January 10, 2003 Features & Images » Feature Story

Feature - first Person Terry "Toulouse" Spence


Two legends turned 60 in 2002. One was Paul McCartney. The other lives a little closer to home.

Full name: Kenneth Terry Spence

Born: Jan. 20, 1942 in Fort William, Ont.

Astrological sign: Cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius

Marital status: Happily married to Ann Spence with two kids: Nick and Mariah

Favourite colour: Black or red.

Favourite drink: A Stella Artois

Favourite recipe: Chicken cacciatore.

Favourite place to eat: My kitchen.

Hobbies: Playing hockey, woodworking, and reading – I love to read.

Ideal pet: A springer spaniel dog – Sam is sitting right here looking at me.

What’s the best place to live at Whistler: Tapley’s Farm

Favourite memory at Whistler: New Year’s Eve at Tokum Corners in 1980, at George Benjamen’s old place. Or my 30th birthday party at Soo Valley. It was a fantastic party on a brilliant winter evening. We drank a lot and got crazy.

Worst memory at Whistler: When Seppo’s house burned down.

Most embarrassing moment: That happened right here at our bed & breakfast when I walked in on some people in what I’ll call an awkward moment.

* * *

How did you get to Whistler? I came out here to go skiing for a weekend in 1971 and I really liked it. I just came back, with Charlie Doyle, actually, and I stayed.

What were you leaving?

I’m from Thunder Bay, like Charlie – we were neighbours there, and we still are – but I was living in Toronto. I had worked for IBM for five years and I’d gone to Europe for six months. When I was in Europe, IBM phoned me and said, you’re supposed to be back here at work on Monday. I said, I won’t be back. He said, I don’t understand. I said no, you probably wouldn’t.

So you went to Europe and that was the start of your other life.

I came back from Europe and taught school for about four months. Then I left.

You are best known for your long stint as the masseur for the Canadian National Ski Team, especially during the time the Crazy Canucks were happening. How did you get into that?

Through John Ritchie (who was then head coach). I was studying massage here on the West Coast, and John Ritchie invited me to come and try out for a position with the national ski team. He had an opening since he fired the masseur they had in Europe because the guy kept smashing up cars. He’d get drunk and then take one of the team cars and smack it up.

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