Railway cars' content lay spilled beside the tracks of the CN mainline following a nine-car derailment that occurred south of Vavenby. This image originally appeared in the Feb. 5, 2001, issue of the Times.

20 YEARS AGO: Derailment leaves nine cars off the tracks in Vavenby

Back in time: A snapshot of history


Mrs. Olga Frydecky, foods teacher at Clearwater Secondary School, was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of stolen property (a plaque) and theft under $200. The plaque and marijuana were discovered by local police force to be in the foods room refrigerator.

Frydecky stated that she knew nothing about how the lot came to be in the locked refrigerator.

Her trial was held Jan. 28 at Clearwater Secondary School. Because of a reasonable doubt, the theft and stolen property charges were dismissed. Also because of a testimonial confession by Miss Brenda Gladish, the remaining drug charge was dropped.

Court found Mrs. Frydecky “not guilty.”


Sixteen riders entered their snowmobiles in the 75 km course in the Clearwater Lion’s Club’s ninth annual Snowarama.

According to Lion member Mike McKinley, $2,560.20 was pledged. Most money in pledges was collected by Carla Simpson while Bas Overmaas will take the trophy for most senior entrant. Youngest person in the event was Bob Lussier. Trophies will be given out at a Lion’s supper.

Fastest riders returned in about two hours while others made a leisurely drive out of the event.


A number of residents of Upper Clearwater would appear to have conditionally given their approval for establishment of a research and education centre on Crown land in their locality.

The consensus was the result of a public meeting in the Upper Clearwater Hall.

At two earlier meetings on the subject, residents had unanimously expressed their support for the centre in principle, but many had opposed locating it on Crown land. Primary objection had been concerns about the effect it might have on the adjacent landowner at the first site proposed.


As the North Thomson Valley emerges from a two-week cold snap, stories of deep-freeze survival begin to surface.

“A big area of high pressure came out of the Arctic and sat over us for the last few days,” Weather Service Specialist Paul Robertson explained. “The last one like this happened in 1991, but usually they only happen every eight years.”

Although the weather office didn’t hear cold-weather complaints from everybody, there wasn’t a tongue in the Valley that didn’t utter a curse or two about temperatures that dipped to -37 degrees Celsius. While countless cars refused to start, taps ran dry as waterlines succumed to ever deepening frost levels, and local looked deep in their closets to uncover their coldest-weather gear, the very crisp, deeo freeze took hold and refused to let go for a seemingly endless two weeks.


CN was able to detour traffic around the site of a derailment last week by using the siding formerly used by Weyerhaeuser Vavenby for chip shipments, according to railroad spokesperson Graham Dallas.

Nine cars left the tracks on the CN mainline just south of Vavenby at about 11 p.m. on Jan. 30. Five went onto their sides or into the ditch.

Four of the cars contained peas, while the remainder carried wood pulp.

There were no injuries, and no chemicals or dangerous goods were spilled, said Dallas.

Several trains were detoured around the derailment site while crews moved in to repair the tracks and move the cars.


Public health inspector for the Thomson Cariboo Shuswap, Brent Zaharia visited Clearwater Secondary School as a precaution to ensure high absenteeism hitting the schools was indeed due to strains of Influenza A and B.

“We’ve got sick kids,” said vice principal, Jonathon Brady. “I’m pleased to see him here.”

Reviewing cleaning practices with custodians formed part of Zaharia’s duties. With some students experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms along with general body aches and pains, precautions and control measures are being taken regarding Norovirus strains, similar to those affected by cruise ships in the past.


Unionized workers from Canfor-Vavenby were to meet on Sunday to discuss arrangements asked for by the company as a possible first step to reopening, according to a member of the Vavenby sub-local plant committee.

“It’s mostly housekeeping items, not any huge rollback,” he said. “I think it will be well-received by the crew.”

One of the major items on the agenda was to be the elimination of the Vavenby division’s bush crew. At one time the local operation did pretty well all its own logging but, over the last few decades, it has followed the trend in the industry and moved almost enitrely to contract logging.

Eliminating the bush crew would bring the operations at Canfor-Vavenby in line with those at other Canfor divisions.


The new Liberal government in Ottawa has extended the cabinet review period by four months and the B.C. government has said it can’t support the project, but Kinder Morgan still hopes to have an expanded Trans Mountain pipeline in service as of 2019, according to company spokesperson Dave Fowles.

Speaking during a community-to-community forum at Dutch Lake Community Centre, Fowles said Kinder Morgan has the longest and safest record for pipeline operation in North America.

“Nobody spends more money on safety and integrity than Kinder Morgan,” he said.

There is a great demand for the service, he added.


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