Back in Time

Back in Time

20 YEARS AGO: No one was hurt when a Remembrance Day fire destroyed a Birch Island home


Blue River RCMP was searching for Norman Anderson, an 88-year-old trapper and prospector who was missing from his cabin 15 miles north of town. He had first come to the valley in 1913 to clear the right-of-way for the railway. He received two medals during World War I.


Ranchers and farmers were preparing to form the Clearwater Agricultural Society. The first meeting was to be held at the Ted Mackenzie residence.


The search for five Clearwater men ended when their downed Cessna 180 was found on Deception Mountain near Williams Lake. The five had been missing for about three weeks. A crewman from a search and rescue helicopter based in Comox reported no sign of life at the plane.

Betty Handy coordinated the Remembrance Day services held at Clearwater Secondary School, with assistance from Legion padre Rev. Max deHammil. Gary Dickson and Tony Irvine later led the crowd at the Legion Lounge in singing some of the songs popular during the war years.

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A limit of 130 maids, knights, scholars, fools and mystics took part in North Thompson Concert Committee’s second annual Medieval Feast at Blackpool hall.

Closing Avola School, Birch Island School and the Vavenby annex would save the school district $90,000 per year. Avola parents were the most vociferous that their school remain open.


Board members of the Cariboo-Thompson Library System got flak from local residents over construction of a new library in Clearwater. There should have been more public consultation, they were told.


The Ministry of Forests’ value-added program had done little to provide secondary manufacturing jobs, said Clearwater sawmill owner Joe Wadlegger. He and Ken Ferguson were preparing a submission to a committee of the Legislature looking into the matter.


No one was hurt when a Remembrance Day fire destroyed the Birch Island home of Marvin and Bev Williams. Despite a valiant community effort, the house was completely inundated with flames in a matter of minutes.

North Thompson Silviculture Contractors Association president Chuck Emery and others were concerned about Forest Renewal BC’s creation of Forest Worker Agency. Possibly their non-union workers would have to join the IWA to keep their jobs.

An obituary recounted the life of James MacLennan. He had been born at Raft River in 1911, the first boy of European descent born in North Thompson Valley.


MLA Kevin Krueger said a fuss about the Little Fort and McLure ferries stopping operations was unfounded. His government was seeking private operators to take the ferries over. Ferry workers at both locations had passed the word that both ferries were to be pulled from the water and disassembled Dec. 15.

Garret Toma brought home a gold medal from the Fall Classic in Vancouver. His next event was to be the nationals in Winnipeg during mid-March.


Between 50 and 60 workers at the Canfor mill in Vavenby received indefinite layoff notices. “We’re going from three shifts to two,” said Canfor manager of public affairs Lee Coonfer in Vancouver. “Whatever benefits the workers have will be determined by their collective agreement.”

Clearwater Improvement District would have celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2008. The CID had been formed under Letters Patent in August of 1968, with seven services listed. These were waterworks, sewer collection, ball park, street lighting, dyking, cemetery and fire department. All those services plus several more were being taken over by a new municipality, the District of Clearwater.


Clearwater and Barriere chambers of commerce hosted a luncheon for Premier Christy Clark at the Legion in Clearwater. The premier also helped with the official opening of Ed Buck Manor next to Evergreen Acres.

Members of Simpcw First Nation held an information picket next to Highway 5 at the Vavenby turnoff. They asked for a slower pace in development of a proposed copper-gold- silver mine at Harper Creek southwest of Vavenby.

Kinder Morgan announced that it had dropped the Raft River Valley as a potential route for its twinned Transmountain pipeline.


Between 450 and 500 people attended Remembrance Day ceremonies in Clearwater.

Local realtor Randy Hedlund proposed to Clearwater and District Chamber of Commerce that Clearwater should have a main street, which would run from Brookfield Mall across Highway 5 through the Flats to the ski hill. There are currently more than 50 businesses along the proposed business route, he said.