Members of the Barriere Search and Rescue New Truck Committee fought their way through a thick fog to pay a visit to the Blackpool firehall and Clearwater Unit Chief Garry Ruston and have a look at the new Clearwater vehicle. This photo originally appeared in the Dec. 5, 1995, issue of the Times.

30 YEARS AGO: Minor softball charges dropped


The annual Firemen’s Ball was held this past weekend. The large crowd had an enjoyable time. The “Fireman of the Year” award was presented to Lloyd Strickland.

The Clearwater Fire Department had a display of the “Jaws of Life.” In less than 15 minutes, two doors and the roof were removed from a vehicle. The front seat was broken free and the steering column drawn up and away from a person.

The last three times the fire department had been called upon to free people trapped in vehicles, it had taken more than 45 minutes in each case.


Ernie Graffunder attended his final school board meeting as a trustee last Thursday night. He had been a board member for the past 27 years.

A speech praising his years of service was delivered by Ed Shook, followed by presentation of an engraved commemorative tray to the retiring trustee. All of his fellow board members heaped words of tribute on the abilities he demonstrated over the years. His place at the head table for School District 26 will be taken by Jane Smith, who won the right in the recent election.


“It was a great relief for me,” Bill Mattenley said after hearing Friday that all charges in a minor ball suit had been dropped. The charges against Mr. Mattenley and Gerry Scramstad, both umpires during a ladies game in July, 1989 were laid by a ball player who alleged she received leg injuries attributed to a poor quality playing surface. Softball B.C. the provincial ball group was also named in the suit by the Vernon player.

Both Mr. Mattenley and Mr. Scramstad attended Court of Discovery in Vernon. The proceedings were heard before all the parties’ lawyers to determine if there was basis for a trial. Laywers represented the Clearwater Improvement District’s insurance company, the plaintiff and Softball B.C. which also included the two umpires.


The first hurdle has been cleared to ensure the Clearwater and District Highway Rescue Society will continue to receive grants-in-aid from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District necessary to keep the rescue units on the road.

Excellent attendance at public meetings held in Clearwater and Blue River last week convinced TNRD administrator Eric Shishido and executive assistant Maggie Knox the necessary support from the communities to hold a referendum is alive and well.

Just over 50 persons braved snow and generally terrible weather to come out to the CSS Pit in Clearwater to show support for Highway Rescue. Two days later, 65 residents of Blue River attended a meeting in that community to show their support.


Someone should sue the provincial Ministry of Education for its failure to meet the requirements of the School Act, says SD73 trustee Bert Walker.

“It’s just mind-boggling,” he said. “We’ve got over a half million dollars in unanticipated costs…we should be forcing them to act.”

There has been no response from the ministry regarding the increased fuel costs the school district is facing for heating and transportation, he reported.

The estimate is that there will be a $300,000 shortfall as a result.


The upper North Thompson valley had the third-highest annual average population growth last year in the province, according to B.C. Statistics.

The population of Local Health Area 26 (North Thompson) went up three per cent in 2004, according to the provincial government agency’s website.

Only Agassiz-Harrison at just under four per cent and Fort Nelson at five per cent were higher.

Population of the upper North Thompson today is put at 5,243.


“Clearwater Secondary School is the best school in the district,” according to vice-principal Peter Persad, pointing to a failure rate that is close to non-existent.

About 42 per cent of the students at CSS qualified for the effort honour roll this semester, he told a recognition/showcase assembly. That means that nearly half of those enrolled at the school received no more than one “S” or satisfactory mark for work effort in a course during the semester. All the rest of their marks were “G,” or good.

A surprising number qualified for the achievement honour roll, meaning they got an average grade of 86 per cent or higher.


“It was an unbelievable performance. I just can’t believe that Clearwater could host musicians of such quality.”

Those were the comments heard over and over again following a concert at Dutch Lake Community Centre on Friday evening by Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy — two Canadian artists who are giving traditional fiddle-playing a whole new meaning and international profile.

“Natalie MacMaster is absolutely one of the sweetest, most wonderful and most talented women I’ve ever met,” said Billy Collins, the event’s host, as he introduced the evening’s main act. Collins should know. The part-time Clearwater resident formerly was MacMaster’s agent.