Back in Time

Historical Perspective


The first Pee Wee softball tournament, held in Birch Island, produced some very exciting ball games with great enthusiasm displayed by the players from seven Valley teams.

The day began with the first game being played between Clearwater and Birch Island. The seventh inning saw the Birch Island squad the winners by one run, with Dennis Arksey scoring the winning run on a hit by Tom Carmichael.

Barriere took the second game from Vavenby. Vavenby started out with a four-run lead in the first inning but the hard-hitting Barriere club came back and won the game with a good lead.


A 6 a.m. fire destroyed one of Clearwater’s three general stores. Oram’s General Store, situated on Highway 5 by the Clearwater River bridge was a total loss and the Oram family lost all their personal possessions in the fire, which was fanned by a night wind.

Mr. and Mrs. Ray Oram who had living quarters at the rear of the store were sleeping when the fire broke out. Mr. Oram, smelling the smoke, let his wife and small children from the burning building through the rear door.


Forest fire hazard ratings rose steadily in several Interior areas and the situation was again serious after a brief respite enjoyed by foresters in late July.

Lighting started most of the 37 new fires which broke out and there were 237 burning throughout the province. The rising tempo was reflected by an increase in men on the fire lines to more than 1,100 from 613 a week previous.

Expenditures were again heavy during the week and amounted to $758,200. Total for the year was at $5,945,500 and was rapidly approaching a record high of nearly $7 million for 1967.


A Fox Creek, Alberta man had been charged with impaired driving and driving while disqualified by the local detachment of the RCMP. The 42-year-old was picked up at 12:20 p.m. near Miller’s subdivision and would have to appear in court.

Another Alberta man, 22 years old, of Calgary was checked in a vehicle on Wells Gray Road and was discovered carrying a 25 caliber semi-automatic weapon. He had been charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of a restricted weapon in a motor vehicle.

A Kamloops man was charged with possession of marijuana by the Clearwater RCMP. He was carrying eight grams and would have to appear in court.


Clearwater Timber Products employees’ annual fish derby was held at Mahood Lake. One hundred seventy-five fishing enthusiasts entered in hopes of winning some of the $5,700 worth of prizes that were donated, and the lovely trophies.

The perpetual trophy went to Larry Reiter for the largest fish. He also won the trophy for the largest lake trout. As a prize, Reiter chose a propane barbecue. Second-prize trophy went to Tom Flegel for his 16 lb. 4 oz. lake trout. His prize was a downrigger.


Use of inmates from Bear Creek Camp to fight forest fires had become an object of controversy. Harry Ballingall, an unemployed firefighter from Vavenby had complained that use of inmates was taking jobs away from non-inmates.

The only significant fire at the time was at Hobson Lake and prisoners were taking up all the positions, he said.

Ballingall said he was a single parent with two children, and he relied on fighting forest fires for a living; he had two years experience at it. His concerns were echoed by contractor Chuck Emery. His company, Candle Creek Farms, had the primary firefighting contract for the Clearwater District for the past two years, then lost it when underbid.


Proposed closures that would shut down the Clearwater landfill site two days out of every seven — from the seven days a week operation it normally did — would affect most businesses, not just the garbage haulers, said Bill Jordan of BJ Garbage Disposal.

“Everyone’s going to be affected,” said Jordan. “Schedules will have to be juggled and that may not be convenient for you.”


Members of a Clearwater family felt that the life of their 13-year-old boy may have been endangered by a dispute between surgeons at the Royal Inland Hospital and the Thompson Health Region.

The boy was stricken with an attack of appendicitis and because of a slowdown by the surgeons at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, he was sent instead to Kelowna.

He was flown by helicopter from Clearwater to the Okanagan city, where he was operated on. Prior to the helicopter being made available by B.C. Ambulance Service, the family was preparing to drive the young man to Kamloops, and if necessary, the Okanagan.

According to the boy’s mother the family was told by the doctor who did the operation in Kelowna that his appendix had been ready to rupture.


At 1:30 p.m. a serious motor vehicle collision occurred on Highway 5 south of Blue River. A minivan had slowed on the highway, when a semi rammed it from behind. Five people were injured, including a five-year-old boy who was airlifted to Kamloops, and then to Vancouver.

At just after midnight the next day police received a report of a willful damage in progress at the Legion in Clearwater. A 19-year-old man had tried to get into a private function and was asked to leave. He proceeded to go on a rampage, destroying planters and acting violently. When police arrived he continued his tirade, resisting arrest and injuring one of the attending officers. He then faced a court appearance on a series of charges.


Clearwater Volunteer Fire Department did an awesome job during the propane fire at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital the evening of June 26. That was according to noted taken by Ron Storie, Thompson-Nicola Regional District emergency services supervisor, during a debriefing held shortly after the event.

The fire was in a shed next to the hospital’s two 1,000 lb. propane tanks. About 20 patients were evacuated from the facility, as well as others from Evergreen Acres seniors housing and residences within a 500 m radius.


The Blue River Community Garden Committee and its members were proud to invite the public and sponsors to the grand opening of the garden.

The Blue River Community Garden aims to provide the population of Blue River with the opportunity to plant, grow, and harvest fresh produce locally. The project had brought the community together toward an environmentally sound and sustainable project, which was ready to be shared with the general population and all stakeholders.


A motor vehicle incident happened on Highway 5 south of Little Fort near Thuya Creek Road. BCEHS said it received a call and sent personnel to the scene, including medivac, to transport two people in stable condition to the hospital.

According to RCMP a family of five was travelling in a rental car, driving to fast for road conditions, and was unable to handle a left-hand curve in the road. The car left the road, airborne, then fell down a 30 m embankment before landing on the roof.

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