Back in Time

50 YEARS AGO: The Birch Island CNR station, built over 50 years earlier, was taken down and burned

50 YEARS AGO:

About 20 people attended a meeting sponsored by the Clearwater Recreation Commission to discuss fire protection for Clearwater. A committee was organized: John Elliot, H. Zinzer, Bill Mattenley, Ken Dunford, Mrs. T. Pye, and one member to come from the fire brigade members.

The Birch Island CNR station, built over 50 years earlier, was taken down and burned. It was to be replaced by a smaller building.

45 YEARS AGO:

Two Vancouver men were missing and presumed drowned after the semi-trailer they were riding in went through the railing of the Clearwater River bridge.

A semi-trailer truck hauling 183 pigs went out of control on a sharp curve near Barriere and over-turned. The driver and passenger were slightly injured, and several dozen pigs had to be destroyed. Police expressed gratitude to the many people who helped round up the pigs after the accident.

40 YEARS AGO:

People filled the Clearwater Secondary School gym for an eight-hour public meeting on a proposed uranium mine for near Birch Island. Many in the audience, particularly from the well-organized local environmental group, felt the panelists from Consolidated Rexspar hadn’t adequately prepared for the meeting.

35 YEARS AGO:

About 145 people attended a supper in Blackpool Hall in honor of School District 26 director of instructor Ernie Colman. He had worked for the district for 16 years.

The CNR mainline was closed for two days after 23 railcars and a locomotive derailed about one mile east of Clearwater. The cars were empty at the time.

30 YEARS AGO:

An announcement by CTP that it was going to close the Camp Two sawmill was anticipated but nonetheless a blow to the 55 production workers affected. Another 20 to 25 workers in the planer mill in Clearwater faced lay-offs in January. The total number of jobs to be lost was 120. MLA Bud Smith said the company would not be able to process valley timber elsewhere.

Wells Gray Tourism Consortium proposed balancing some forest sector layoffs by creating 100 new tourism jobs within three years. The group proposed marketing the Wells Gray area as “B.C.’s Outdoor Experience Centre.”

25 YEARS AGO:

About 50 people voted unanimously at a public meeting in Blue River to take the questions of rebuilding the community’s water system to a referendum. Total price tag for the project could be as high as $644,000.

20 YEARS AGO:

Clearwater RCMP were part of a national operation that seized a large amount of tobacco that had been sold without payment of taxes. About 50 pounds of tobacco were taken locally as well as 3,500 pounds in Quebec.

15 YEARS AGO:

Heather Frasch, a Grade 7 student at Vavenby Elementary, won first place in the Times’ Christmas Story contest.

Blackpool fire chief Garry Ruston was surprised to be awarded the Governor General’s Fire Services Exemplary Services Medal for his 20 years of volunteer service. “For once in my life, I’m caught with nothing to say,” he said.

Dutch Lake Elementary School was on a list of five schools in School District 73 that could close, said school trustee John Harwood. The schools in Blue River and Vavenby both received small communities school grant from the government and so there would be little cost savings from closing them.

10 YEARS AGO:

Chuck Emery, a member of Wells Gray Emergency Support Group, received a report that there was considerable ice floating down the North Thompson River.

Over 150 people attended the inaugural meeting for the new District of Clearwater. MLA Kevin Krueger handed over a $153,125 cheque from the Municipal Restructure Assistance Grant program plus one for $71,000 cheque for a Provincial Restructure Implementation Grant, which included a portion of the annual Small Community Grant entitlement.

President Roger Barnsley announced that Dr. Nathan Matthew would lead Thompson Rivers University in its strategic goal to become “The University of Choice for Aboriginal Students and First Nations.”

Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA) chose a photograph by Matthew Jennings, a resident of Little Fort, to grace the cover of the 2008 TOTA travel guide.

Local artists paraded their ingenious creativity at the 12th annual Clearwater Winter Wonderland at the Clearwater Ski Hill.

5 YEARS AGO:

Fire completely destroyed the Uncle Barry’s Treasure building in Clearwater. No one was hurt in the blaze, and cause was not yet determined.

Town council voted to spend the sum of one dollar to purchase land belonging to Clearwater Towing that was covered by a portion of Swanson Road near the corner with Clearwater Station Road. The encroachment was discovered during an application to rezone the Clearwater Towing property. Apparently such encroachments are quite common.

1 YEAR AGO:

Ron Rotzetter of On Call Services gave a $1,323 cheque to Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. The money was from the sale of copper wire salvaged when the old hospital was demolished. Rotzetter also donated a mobile made from some of the wire by Barriere artist Marie Downing.

Clearwater town council approved a simplification in the rates for the local bus system and minor alterations in routing and scheduling. Staff was to work with BC Transit to implement the changes, which were expected to come into effect in the spring.

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