Back in Time

Back in Time

45 YEARS AGO: TNRD Area A director John Harwood outlined plans for the Sportsplex


School boards in the Okanagan-Mainline were to do away with Grade 13 and were setting up a regional community college. Birch Island School District was to contribute $10,800.

Blue River Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to the government protesting the proposed name change of the Yellowhead Highway to Gaglardi Way.

An inside payphone was installed in the lobby of the Wells Gray Hotel.


TNRD Area A director John Harwood outlined plans for the Sportsplex to 27 persons at a meeting in Vavenby. The original estimate for its cost had been $250,000 but the provincial government had increased that to $450,000. A grant was available from money set aside for the Garibaldi Olympics.

A new Nature Conservancy was to cover 700 of the 2,300 square miles of Wells Gray Park, park ranger Herb Green told the Central North Thompson Rod and Gun club. All internal combustion engines would be banned within the area.

Projects covered by the federal LIP grants included installation of a community water system for Vavenby ($18,000).


Blackpool’s last postmaster, Ida Fairbrother, was presented with a plaque with the coat of arms of Blackpool, England. The item was received in exchange for a totem pole from the local Blackpool office.

Eighty-eight skaters took part in the third annual skate-a-thon, sponsored by the Birch Island hospital unit.

Lion Hector Ethier and wife Lil cycled from Clearwater to Edmonton on 10-speeds, taking with them pledges which resulted in the raising of about $3,500 for the Lions club.


Oil was polluting a meander of the North Thompson River near Sylvan Court Motel (today Watauga Village). “I’m fed up with it,” said motel owner Jim Bumstead. Hidden Echo Ranch owner Bill Funk said the oil had been evident for about the last 15 years. Possible sources mentioned included old fuel storage tanks and Trans Mountain pipeline.


Bob Null retired after 19 years with forestry. Roy Mills retired after 10 year at Bear Creek camp.

New ground was broken in Clearwater with the holding of the first ever cancer forum for men in B.C. The organizers were pleasantly surprised at the 51 men who attended.


B.C. Parks was seeking the person responsible for taking firewood out of Wells Gray Park. Someone had cut a dozen or more big snags between Helmcken Lodge and the falls, said area supervisor Dave Montgomery. Dead trees provide important habitat for birds and small mammals, he pointed out.

All three CID trustees who let their names stand (Lawrence Giesbrecht, John Pearce and Verne Salden) were re-elected by acclamation. Bill Mattenley was elected by acclamation to finish off the term of a trustee who had resigned.


The North Thompson Economic Base-line Study found that forestry accounted for 55 per cent of the valley’s core economy. Only Golden, Vanderhoof and Hazelton were more dependent on forestry.


Weyearhaeuser closed its Vavenby sawmill, causing 170 employees to lose their jobs. Of these, 100 were being placed at other Weyerhaeuser operations in the B.C. Interior.

Clearwater Secondary School student Garret Toma won a gold medal at the Canadian powerlifing championships in Winnipeg.


Mayor Harwood handed over the keys to a new fire truck, a Spartan Advantage MFD24, to Clearwater Fire Department. The department had ordered the truck one year earlier for $330,000.

The Watoto Children’s Choir brought a Taste of Africa to Clearwater at the New Life Assembly Church.


The B.C. government and BCMA announced they were offering doctors $100,000 to locate in selected rural communities, including Clearwater. “This is good news for our community,” said Dr. John Soles.

CSS students Chance Tobin, Jared Bourdeleau and Taylor Rhodes placed first, second and third in carpentry at regional Skills Canada competition in Kamloops. Donald Ritchie came third in cabinet making, while Alex MacDonald took third in residential wiring.


Hazel Wadlegger won Citizen of the Year. Over 150 people attended the awards banquet at the Clearwater ski hill chalet. Wells Gray Inn, Hop n’ Hog and Interior Whitewater shared the Tourism of the Year prize. Employee of the Year went to Leona Nicholas. Wells Gray Community Forest took home Volunteer Group of the Year. Retail/Service Business of the Year was a tie between Pharmasave and Candle Creek Veterinary Services. Super Save Gas and Verge of Dawn canine training tied for Rookie Business of the Year.

Only a handful of people showed up at an open house to discuss local forest companies’ forest stewardship plans. Most members of the public who took part were ranchers, trappers, and others with specific interests in any changes, said Michael Scott, forest superintendent with Interfor.

Clearwater hosted the Tier 4 Midget hockey provincials. Teams came from Chase, Creston, Fraser Lake, Windemere and Vanderhoof to compete. Chase won the event.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter