Scout leader Kevin Porterfield stands on First Wells Gray Scouts' prize-winning float during the May Day parade. The Scouts' entry took first place in the clubs and organizations category at the parade. This image originally appeared in the May 28, 2001, issue of The Times.

25 YEARS AGO: The McLure Ferry rescued from Whispering Pines property

Back in time: A snapshot of history


The fourth annual Young Authors Conference was held May 1, 1981, at Cariboo College. Among the young authors from all over Kamloops School District were five students from Little Fort Elementary School: Jenny Sharp, Grade 6; Michiko Singh, Grade 5; Heather Bowden, Grade 4; Reba Sharp, Grade 3; and Aaron White, Grade 2. Michiko and Heather have qualified to attend this conference for the last three years.

Recess treats for the children were cans of juice and bran muffins. Lunch was unlimited amounts of McDonald’s quarter pounders, orange drink and hot apple pie.


The Blackpool Fire Department has obtained a grant of up to $4,600 from the B.C. Lottery Fund to complete conversation of the fire hall annex (formerly the triplex teacherage at Star Lake School).

The plan is to convert two of the units into one two-bedroom apartment of comfortable size, and retain the rest as a firefighters’ training area. The apartment is to provide low rental accommodation for a couple who will provide caretaking services at the fire hall and look after the ground around the Blackpool Hall, the fire hall and the annex.

To obtain the full $4,600, the fire department must contribute $3,000 plus about $1,600 in volunteer labour. This amounts to about 40 man-days of work helping a full-time carpenter who will be directing the project.


A proposal by Imperial Oil to build a cardlock facility in Vavenby was turned down by the board of Thompson-Nicola Regional District at its regular meeting, Area A (Clearwater-Vavenby) director Paul Caissie has reported.

“In its present form there’s no way we could approve it,” he said.

The two overwhelming factors in the decision to not allow the change in zoning needed were opposition from neighbours and the lack of any assurance from the oil company that they would assume responsibility if the community’s water supply was contaminated (the intake is immediately downhill from the proposed site).

The impression after a public meeting held about three weeks ago that Vavenby was divided about 50/50 on the question, said Caissie.

It is possible for the project’s proponents to mitigate the objections and re-submit their bid, he stated.


The McLure Ferry, stranded seven feet above the waterline on the LeBourdais property at Whispering Pines after having been swept down the North Thompson River by a rampaging ice pack last Dec. 13, was escorted home by small, but highly qualified flotilla.

The water in the North Thompson River came up good five feet during the previous week, allowing the rescue crew to gently slide the McLure Ferry back into the river (with the help of Don’s great, big tow truck). So attached was she to her rescuer, Ms McFerry stuck out a gate and tried to take Mr. T. Truck with her — a last minute plan thwarted neatly with a swift kick in the hydraulics by Ministry of Transportation and Highways Area Bridges and Ferries Manager Harvey Nelson.

Although the water has risen enough to float the ferry, the river current was still manageable and Nelson remembers seeing just one tree, the only piece of floating spring debris, on the entire three-hour trip back upstream to the ferry slip four kilometres away.


The weather was sunny, the crowds were cheerful and Clearwater’s annual May Day weekend celebrations for 2001 were generally judged a success.

Several people commented about the excellent floats entered in this year’s May Day parade. The number who turned out to watch also seemed to be good.

Participation in the parade was down somewhat from what had been hoped, said Ursula Schaer, one of the organizers.

Schaer said she intends to take some suggestions back to Clearwater Rotary Club on how the parade might improve.

Good-sized crowds also turned out for three days of fastball action at Capostinsky Park.


Sat. May 20, the Chad Memorial Park was unveiled and officially opened to the public.

The park is in recognition of a local firefighter, Chad Schapansky, who lost his life during a structural fire in Clearwater on March 29, 2004.

The turnout for the unveiling was immense, with many friends, family and those who knew Schapansky present to honour his memory.

The idea for the park originated with Bert Walker, TNRD director, who felt during Schapansky’s church service that something needed to be done to credit the memory of the brave firefighter.

“At the service I thought, what can we do to honour this young man?” said Walker.


Elton Musselman, a Grade 11 student at CSS, recently completed the Heavy Metal Rocks Program. The program, now in its third year, is sponsored by School District 73 in partnership with WorkSafeBC, Southern Interior Construction Association, International Union of operating Engineers – Local 115, Acres Enterprises, Extreme Excavating, Ministry of Mines and Minerals and the Kamloops Indian Band.

The program provides an opportunity for students to explore the variety of careers available as heavy equipment operators in the construction industry.

There were 25 students from SD73 who attended this course in Kamloops.

Musselman was the only student from Clearwater. To qualify, students needed to have a good attendance record and show a positive attitude. They were also required to write an essay and attend an interview.


Raft River Elementary School will receive a new sewer system, thanks to $715,900 going to School District 73 under the province’s School Enhancement Program.

The project will see the decommissioning of outdated septic fields and connecting the school sewer system to the municipal sewer system. Along with the provincial government’s $715,900 contribution, SD73 is providing $140,000.

The province’s $45-million School Enhancement Program is improving 80 schools across every district this year. Districts applied to the Ministry of Education this spring, and successful projects were chosen based on need and priority.

“As a result of our government’s balanced budget, we are able to make significant investments in improving infrastructure in our schools,” MLA Terry Lake said.

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