Raft River Elementary students give the grand finale to their class' performance during a Christmas concert held at the school on Dec. 17. A good-sized crowd attended the event. This photo originally appeared in the Dec. 24, 2015, issue of the Times.

10 YEARS AGO: Serenity Performing Arts Center is a top-10 finalist in the contest


Another fall session of bridge playing is over in Birch Island, and the players can look back over the last three months and think how much enjoyment the weekly bridge sessions have been. Several people went home with money and rather pleasantly surprised at their good luck in winning.

Men’s high score went to A. Oxenham, while the honours for high day went to Mrs. M. Masterton. Second highest lady and man’s prize was won by D. and H. Carmichael. Mrs. P. Rothwell and R. Small shared the third place winners spot.

The last two weeks have been playoffs for the handicap prizes, Mrs. L. Hutchison winning with her score being closest to 0; while R. McCracken gained top handicap prize for the men and Mrs. E. Treseng captured the ladies high score in the same category.


Fourteen hundred and fifty people is the total reached on the recent census by the Grade 10 social studies class of the Clearwater Secondary School.

The area covered was from the Raft River bridge through Blackpool and East Blackpool including Camp 2 but excluding the Wells Gray Park area.

To the final totals was added an estimate of how many people that were missed, giving us the final total of 450.

To our other questions the answers were:

Employed, 81 per cent, unemployed, 19 per cent.

Hospital (do you want one?) yes, 95 per cent; no, one per cent; doubtful, four per cent.

What this area needs most: Hospital, 63 per cent; industry, three per cent; public services, 10 per cent; recreation 24 per cent.


Sudden tragedy could threaten residents of Birch Island and area in the form of millions of gallons of water. An ice jam holding back the water is one and a half miles in length, 15 to 20 feet high, the whole width of the river and still growing.

It has formed a dam which is backing up water totally flooding out seven square miles of farm land. In some cases the water is over 15 feet deep.

One of the many farms suffering is that of Mr. and Mrs. Tommy Pye. The Pye’s farm is 210 acres of prime farm land, at present only 10 acres has escaped the influx of river water, remaining dry.


The Grinch that stole Christmas came in the form of fire for two households late last week.

Just days before the biggest holiday of the year, the Pennocks of Clearwater and Bellows family of Vavenby lost their homes and all their belongings in early mornings blazes.

Clearwater volunteer firefighters were called to a basement blaze at the Pennock home in Weyerhaeuser subdivision just before 3 a.m. Friday morning, Dec. 22.

The department was on the scene in minutes, but weren’t able to save the home which was finished inside with a “lot of cedar tongue-and-groove, walls, ceilings, everything,” which contributed to the intense heat and smoke generated by the blaze.


Two power outages in one week has some East Blackpool residents fuming, and B.C. Hydro preparing to bill the logging contractor responsible.

According to East Blackpool resident Althea Fairbrother, contractors logging on neighbouring private land dropped a tree on the powerline running next to Dunn Lake Road shortly after noon on Dec. 8.

“I was watching CTV News when the power went out,” said Fairbrother. “I looked out, and I could see the powerlines along the road bouncing.”

She drove out to the main road in her car, and found two lines down and covering about half the road width.


As hoped, the Wells Gray Country Community Forest Corporation will be submiting their application for a community forest before the end of the year.

“We’re very excited the application is ready to go,” says Basil Delaney of the group. “It’s been a little more than a year since this undertaking began. We started Dec. 3, 2004, and on Dec. 21, 2005, the shortest day of the year, it will be hand-delivered to the government.”

After almost a six month delay, waiting for approval of the timber supply analysis from the Ministry of Forests, the WGCCFC received an affirmative communique Nov. 10, 2005, and since then, it has been full steam ahead.


Serenity Performing Arts Center is a top-10 finalist in the contest for Small Business B.C.’s Successful You Awards – Best Concept category.

“I am so very grateful for all the support from Serenity fans and performing artists in making it into the top 10 finalists for Best Concept,” said business owner Shirley DeVooght. “This truly is a magical journey and proves that we should always dream big, because sometimes, your dreams turn out to be bigger than you could have possibly imagined.”

Serenity is an outdoor music venue located between Birch Island and Vavenby on Lost Creek Road. With only 400 tickets available to each concert, things are kept small and intimate. Five concerts are held there during each of the summer months. The center started in 2009.


District of Clearwater is moving forward the replacement of its computers and hiring a new information technology services company after the municipality’s computer network became infected with a virus.

According to a report from director of finance Wes Renaud to town council’s finance and audit committee, the District’s network was infected by the Cryptolocker virus in February, 2015.

Cryptolocker is a ransomware trojan that targets computers running Microsoft Windows. Once the computer becomes infected, the virus displays a message offering to have itself removed if a ransom is paid.


Clearwater and District Road Rescue recieved a needed update to some of its gear after replacing its outdated jaws of life units with new battery-powered models last week.

The cost of the four new units came in at about $42,000, and will replace the previously used hydraulic models, which were 30 years old.

“The thing with these ones is they’re a lot easier ergonomic-wise for the responders. They cut through high strength steel and you don’t have to worry about gas power plants, hydraulic lines, lines snagging or someone stepping on them,” said Mike Savage, deputy unit chief, adding the weight of the new tools is about half of what the road rescue crew had to deal with on the older models.