40 YEARS AGO: Two Clearwater Secondary School students were among 20 chosen in B.C. to represent the province at the Interchange on Canadian Studies 1982 Conference in Newfoundland. Roxanne MacKenzie and Sheila Watson were to take part in the program along with more than 200 Grade 11 and 12 students in the 10 provinces and two territories. Under the theme “Launch into the Deep” the student delegates had the opportunity to listen to various speakers and participate in discussion groups and debates dealing with national issues focusing on Canada’s waters.
30 YEARS AGO: About 2500 feet of Canadian National Railway mainline five kilometres north of Avola was a scene of chaos and destruction after a 20-railcar derailment. According to Marian Robson, CNR manager for public affairs for B.C., the accident occurred at 4 p.m. There were no injuries when the cars left the track. The cars, all carrying grain, were near the end (number 74 to 96) of a westbound train. Cause of the accident had not yet been determined. The derailment occurred on one of the sections that have not been twin-tracked, shutting down the line for a few days.
25 YEARS AGO: Roughly 55 letters and statements of support pouring in from valley residents and business the week prior in response to Barriere resident Pat Killman’s campaign to bring natural gas into the North Thompson Valley, has more than tripled to 188 written responses the following week. Residents and businesses from Barriere, Little Fort, Clearwater, Vavenby and Avola all expressed interest. Killman began her crusade for natural gas when propane prices skyrocketed. She had written to Premier Glen Clark twice.
20 YEARS AGO: All visitor centres in provincial parks were set to close, except the Infocentres at Wells Gray and Mount Robson provincial parks. The closures are among $2.1 million-worth of budget cuts announced by B.C. Parks. The government would no longer provide free firewood at provincial park campsites, according to the B.C. Parks website. Campers would have to buy firewood, paying what the ministry calls a “reasonable price,” or bring their own wood. Providing free firewood cost about $700,000 per year.
10 YEARS AGO: The Clearwater Fields store would continue operating, possibly under the Fields name. According to information from Barry Walchuk, a newly formed company called FHC Enterprises Ltd. was purchasing the rights to the assets of 59 of the 141 Fields-HBC stores in western Canada that had been announced as being liquidated and closed. Clearwater is one of the 59. The Walchuk family owns the building that the local store is located in. Fields stores had been part of the western Canadian landscape since 1948 when Joseph Segal opened the first store in Vancouver.
5 YEARS AGO: The employees at Canfor’s Vavenby sawmill are big supporters of their local United Way and they proved it with a trophy-winning donation of $37,000. Every year, Canfor operations in B.C. and Alberta run a fall campaign to donate to the United Way. The division with the highest donation (per employee) wins the Polar Cup, bragging right for a year and a steak dinner served at their mill by the Canfor senior team.
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