Hazel Wadlegger and Jean Watson, the "Vikettes," pose for camera in the bright sunshine during the 800th anniversary for the Birchleg festivities, Feb. 18. This image originally appeared in the Feb. 27, 2006, issue of the Times.

15 YEARS AGO: Murtle River Nordics host 8th annual Birchleg

Back in time: A snapshot of history


Angela Rau, Bridget McCallum, Tammy Arduini, Mona Toth and Teresa Heisterman attended the Second Annual Ogopogo Free Skate Competition held in Penticton.

Fifty-six skating clubs from all over B.C. competed making a total of approximately 500 skaters.

The skaters started with Preliminary Ladies 10 and under to Juvenile Ladies at 8 p.m. All five skaters did well and can be proud of themselves as we are of them. Results of the event saw Mona Toth and Debbie Pelton placing for finals.


School District 26 in conjunction with RCMP is instituting a fingerprinting program in all district elementary schools.

Both police and school trustees are very concerned about the increasing number of young children that are missing from their homes.

It is felt this type of identification could prove very useful and volunteers will carry out the program in Raft River School. However no child’s fingerprints will be taken without the permission of parents or guardians. Children will bring home the only copy of the fingerprints which should be stored in a safe place.


The owners of Clearwater’s Brookfield Mall are definitely negotiating to get another drugstore in the community, according to Gunter Masch of Clearwater Enterprises.

The Vancouver-based businessman was in town Monday helping prepare the former General Drugs location for Auto Marine. The latter business expects to move from its present location on the flats to the mall around April 1.

Mr. Masch would not comment on how the negotiations were going, or with whom, but he did say things looked positive.


Boaters, anglers and other river recreationists will be faced with new signage along the Clearwater River this summer as BC Parks seeks public input to deal with an application made by the Friends of the Wells Gray Park Society (FWGPS) to restrict personal watercraft on the river to a maximum of a 10 hp motor.

“It’s in the very early stages,” said BC Parks Rafting/Boating Regulations Officer Jim DeHart from his Victoria office. “Before we make a recommendation on the application, it’s referred to various agencies — the forest service, lands — and local government, in this case the regional district.”

The application submitted by the FWGPS last summer stated the reasons for the restriction were “jet boats, personal watercraft, ‘sea doo,’ ‘jet ski,’ etc. are not compatible with existing use or users.”


A proposed garbage transfer station for Blackpool likely will be postponed.

Terry Kress, manager of environmental health services for Thompson-Nicola Regional District, has recommended that the regional district defer a decision on the project until specific, long-term waste management options for the Clearwater-Birch Island-Blackpool have been determined.

Kress’ recommendation comes after a public meeting on the project held Feb. 1 Of those in attendance, 81 per cent supported a transfer station in Blackpool, and 67 per cent were in favour of the proposed site on Highway 5.


The Murtle River Nordics hosted their 8th annual Birchleg in Wells Gray Park. This year also marked the 800th anniversary of the original cross country ski trip made by two Viking warriors in the 13th century.

“Birkebeiners” or “birch legs” refer to the 13th-century footwear of the birch bark worn by the people of Norway.

“It’s not a race,” stresses club member Ellen Ferguson.

The family event offered 100 participants a choice of venues for all levels of cross-country skiers. Anyone dressed in a Viking costume was promised “special treatment.”


Canfor recently announced its plans to reopen its Vavenby sawmill operation. Most of the mill’s production is scheduled to go to the United States, but that doesn’t mean the provincial government’s efforts to increase lumber exports to China had nothing to do with the reopening, according to Pat Bell, B.C.’s Minister of Forests, Mines and Lands.

“Sufficient volume has been displaced for export to China to allow Canfor to reopen Vavenby,” said the minister during a recent conference call. “It is a direct benefit of our China activity.”

Bell also credited the Steelworkers union and members of the Vavenby sub-local for working with the company on the reopening.


The Russians are coming, according to District of Clearwater councillor Ken Kjenstad.

About 30 players and officials with the Russian women’s hockey team are expected to spend several days training in Clearwater before the upcoming women’s world hockey championships in Kamloops.

According to Wikipedia, the team’s nickname is “The Big Red Machine.”

The team is expected to arrive Sunday evening and will use the Sportsplex and the weight room at Clearwater Secondary School for training.

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