Back in Time

Back in Time

30 YEARS AGO: The Clearwater water system showed a sudden and remarkable increase in usage


Central North Thompson Chamber of Commerce was canvassing businesses from Heffley Creek to McBride to publish a map of the Yellowhead Route. About 10,000 copies would be printed.

About 50 members of the IWA from Clearwater and Vavenby set up pickets around a privately owned sawmill in Avola. The mill had been planing lumber while the IWA was on strike.


An Armstrong man was sentenced to nine years in prison for kidnapping and attempted extortion. He had demanded money for the return of the wife and daughter of the manager of the Royal Bank in Clearwater.

Armed with sleeping bags, changes of clothes and food, a dozen Girl Guides led by Jean Nelson spent the weekend on McMurphy Mountain on a survival exercise.


It was believed a $900,000 rebuilding program for the Clearwater correctional camp had been approved. Buildings were to be erected at the Bear Creek mill site. The capacity of the camp was to increase to 45 inmates.

About 100 people concerned about a proposed uranium mine at Birch Island gathered to hear Dr. Rosalie Bertel, a cancer scientist from New York State University, speak at Raft River School.

Vavenby residents learned that a freeze had been placed several years earlier on all public use land in Vavenby, prohibiting the development of major growth in the area. The reason given at the time had been the tremendous expense involved in providing services in the area.


Raft Mountain Skating Club missed first place in the Tumbleweed inter-club championships in Kamloops by one point. Medals were taken by Melinda Collison, Julie Pelton, Debra Pelton, Theresa Arduini, Gaylene Turner, and Carissa Jackson.

Times columnist Jack Philips observed: “A coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave man only one … but one is usually enough.”


Long distance charges were to no longer apply to calls placed from Blue River to numbers in Clearwater starting with the prefix 674. The change was the result of a plebiscite held in Blue River the year before.

The Clearwater Improvement District water system was suddenly showing a remarkable increase in usage.


Clearwater Secondary School Parents Advisory Committee had drafted a proposal for zero tolerance of alcohol and other drugs at the school, said PAC president Heather MacLennan.

Heather Graffunder was the first child born at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital in 1993. The daughter of Bernie and Robin Graffunder was born Feb. 24.


At a stormy public meeting Clearwater Improvement District trustees voted four to three against recommending hiring a manager for the Sportsplex.

Over 200 letters were sent to Minister of Health Penny Priddy as local residents continued to put pressure on the provincial government to get a multi-level health care facility in Clearwater.


The Clearwater elementary school band, made up of 36 youngsters from Dutch Lake and Raft River elementary schools, was raising funds to attend Music Fest in Toronto. An article in a Vancouver newspaper resulted in donations from across the province.

The Clearwater-Vavenby area took a step towards greater autonomy after about 75 local residents overwhelmingly approved establishing a services committee for Area A. Amalagmating the services the TNRD offered into one committee would allow hiring a full-time person to do economic development, said Bert Walker, director for Area A.

The Clearwater Acton Committee picked “Wells Gray Country” as the new name for Area A (Clearwater-Vavenby).

Vavenby Improvement District had a new board of trustees. Joe Short was chairperson.


Dr. Soles and Dr. Mackenzie felt they would be forced out of their own community if Interior Health wasn’t able to resolve the doctor crises in Clearwater. “On-call is the issue,” said Dr. Mackenzie. “Why would locums come here when, in training/residency, on-call is one in six?” One night in five of on-call would be very comfortable he felt.

A group of Clearwater girls quickly formed a hockey team and travelled to 100 Mile to attend the Attitude on Ice tournament. The girls entered in the Atom B division and brought home gold. “There were no practice games,” said Donna McLellan, organizer of the Clearwater team.


Town council tabled an application to re-zone land for Ron Rotzetter’s proposed Bear View shopping center until a comprehensive development plan was developed that involved not just the subject property, but adjacent pieces of land as well. Staff had recommended the application be rejected, but one factor in the decision to table instead was a statement that there was no land available in the existing commercial zone near the Clearwater Valley Road junction that was of adequate size and/or without restrictive covenants.

Healthcare staff from Clearwater, Barriere and Chase took part in a two-day rural emergency course held at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital. “It recognizes that rural emergency medicine is different from that in the urban emergency room,” said Dr. John Soles, one of the organizers.

Future Shop presented a $22,000 cheque to CSS principal Darren Coates. The school was combining on-line learning with face-to-face teaching.


After an absence of five years, Clearwater and District Chamber of Commerce was planning an Of the Year awards banquet. About 70 nominations were received for Citizen of the Year, Tourism Business of the Year, Employee of the Year, Volunteer Group of the Year, Retail/Service Business of the Year, and Rookie Business of the Year.

First baby girl of the year was Kadence Rose Dresher. She had been born in New Westminster on Jan. 11 and was the daughter of Amanda Durham and Steven Dresher.