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Family of belly flopper sought in Cloverdale

An undated photo of the late Dale Henderson, a belly flop and cannonball dive contestant, who lived in Cloverdale, B.C. - Tom Butler photo
An undated photo of the late Dale Henderson, a belly flop and cannonball dive contestant, who lived in Cloverdale, B.C.
— image credit: Tom Butler photo

A writer based in Summerside, P.E.I., is hoping Reporter readers can help him locate the family of a belly flop and cannonball diving competitor.

The man, Dale Henderson, is thought to have passed away a number of years ago.

But Tom Butler believes Henderson may have family members still living in the Cloverdale area. He’d like to talk to them about the book he’s writing. He’s hoping to get permission to use a photograph of Henderson mid-cannonball dive that once ran in the National Enquirer.

Butler, formerly of Vancouver, is writing his forthcoming memoirs, tentatively titled P.R. Man, detailing his 40 fun-filled years in public relations on the West Coast.

It should be a fascinating read. Butler is legendary for his inventive stunts, such as the time he took a live beaver to New York City and other major U.S. cities to promote British Columbia’s tourism sector.

“That got a lot of press,” he said on the line from P.E.I.

But his greatest claim to fame is the World Belly Flop and Cannonball Diving Championships, which he ran and promoted for 12 years.

Thousands of spectators turned out to watch the competition at the Bayshore and Coach House Inn.

It was a zany spectacle that was picked up by U.S. TV networks and noted for attracting celebrity divers like pro wrestlers Andre the Giant and Gene

Kiniski – and Billy Carter, the colourful, beer-brewing brother of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, whom Butler convinced to serve as a judge, twice.

If you are a relative of Dale Henderson, please contact the Cloverdale Reporter by calling 604-575-2400, or by email at editor@CloverdaleReporter.com and we will forward your contact information.

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