Back in Time

45 YEARS AGO: Blue River Hotel opened its completely renovated licensed dining room


Over 25 persons attended a meeting of what some were calling the “breakaway chamber.” The Clearwater Tourist and Business Association aimed to promote the area from Raft River to Halamore Lake, to Blackwater Creek, to Wells Gray Park and the town area of Clearwater.


A Weyerhaeuser official challenged statements by MLA Gerry Anderson that the forest company had thrown people out of work. Obsolete sawmills in Avola, Blue River and Kamloops had been closed but all employees were given a chance to relocate to the new sawmill at Vavenby. The new sawmill employed 300, while the three older mills had employed 225.

M.P. Len Marchand announced a $18,000 grant to install a water system and storage tanks for Vavenby. J. Gledhill was in charge of the project.

Blue River Hotel announced the grand opening of its completely renovated licensed dining room.


First baby of the year was Billie Dawn, born to Sandra Whitman on Jan. 11. First baby boy was Joshua Norman, born on Jan. 28 to Mr. and Mrs. Gene Desnoyers.

Sixteen interested people attended the first meeting of the newly formed Clearwater Flying Club.

Clearwater Timber Products employees from Vavenby and Clearwater, together with their contractors, contributed $3,000 towards the Crippled Children’s telethon. The money was collected as the result of a recently held bonspiel.


A new single-lane bridge across the North Thompson River south of Avola at Otter Creek opened in January. It replaced the 15- or 20-year-old Wire Cache Bridge, which was scheduled to be torn down, said Larry Pendergast, engineering resource office for Clearwater Forest District.


Avola’s post office was “secure,” a Canada post official told Ronaye Havisto, TNRD director for Area B (Blue River-Avola).

North Thompson Aquatic Society asked the TNRD board of directors to defer a referendum on funding a swimming pool for Clearwater due to the recent closure of Camp Two sawmill.

About 40 people attended an all-day meeting organized by Wells Gray Tourism Consortium on how to promote the area as an outdoor recreation destination. A trail system was identified as the most important project.


Representations to the Commission on Resources and the Environment suggested that Wells Gray Park should be included in the Cariboo-Chicotin in land use negotiations. Local naturalist Trevor Goward commented that most of Wells Gray was totally different from the Cariboo, and was not easily accessible from that direction.

TNRD building permits issued during the month of January totaled $2.2 million. This was over twice the $1 million in January of the previous year.

Three men escaped from Bear Creek Correction Center in two separate incidents.


Slocan and Weyerhaeuser planned mill shutdowns. Slocan mill manager Ken Lloyd blamed poor markets. Weyerhaeuser would be shut down to allow installation of a trimmer sorter, manager Dave Hay said.

Five years of effort by Clearwater Mobility Club and Wells Grey Community Resources Society were rewarded Feb. 11 when a new 20-passenger handi-bus made its inaugural run through town. Tentative operational start date was Mar. 30, said WGCRS administrator Jack Keough.


Weyerhaeuser handed out layoff notices to its Vavenby sawmill workers on Feb. 13. “I call it branding day. We’re being treated like cattle,” said Carol Toth, IWA Vavenby plant chair.

An Abbotsford company, Quadra Networks, said it wanted to hire 35 people for a call center in Clearwater.


The Thompson River basin was the only major river basin with above normal snowpacks, with the North Thompson at above 120 per cent of normal, according to B.C River Forecast Centre.

The 1985/86 Europe Midget Warrior players reunited in Clearwater for a hockey game against the local Ice Hawk players. It was a tight game with the Reunion 1985/86 team winning by one point.


About 75 people attended the afternoon session of an open house hosted by Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure about a roundabout proposed for Highway 5 in Clearwater. About the same number went to a session in the evening. A video showed the proposed intersection in three dimensions. The design had been changed to accommodate extra-long or extra-wide loads, said regional project manager Dave Shibata.

On Call Service Center owner Ron Rotzetter announced during a Clearwater council meeting that he would like to build a shopping center east of Clearwater Secondary School. Wade Elliot, one of the owners of Safety Mart, said they also were planning to build a new shopping center, except it would be located next to the courthouse (where Buy-Low is now).

Clearwater RCMP received a plaque from the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team for the successful arrest of a suspected murder the previous spring.


Trans Mountain explained the plans for the proposed twinning of its pipeline during an open house in Clearwater. “If you’re a local worker, we’re looking at you first,” said company spokesperson Kate Stebbing.

READ MORE: Trans Mountain project could have big economic impact (Nov. 28, 2013)

Clearwater youngster Devin Holland lined up with the Vancouver Canucks for the national anthems before a game in Vancouver. The Clearwater Peewee team member had won a contest called “Every Kids Dream.”

An exploding heavy machine tire damaged the Kal Tire shop in Clearwater. Police arrived to find the tire lying on top of what was left of the large garage bay door. Luckily, due to the time of day, no one was inside the shop at the time.

Air Cadet (Zephram) Tino won a gold medal in a regional speaking competition. The impromptu topic was “How do you know your goldfish needs therapy?”

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