Back in Time

50 YEARS AGO: Clearwater Ski Club approved borrowing up to $5,000 for improvements


The government had no intention of leaving the North Thompson without a conservation officer, wrote W.K. Kiernan, the minister responsible, in a letter to Central North Thompson Chamber of Commerce. Conservation officer Raymond William Serediak had apparently been transferred to Smithers.

Clearwater Ski Club members approved borrowing up to $5,000 for improvements. The club, formed the previous year, had cleared a ski run, installed a rope tow, built a skating rink with clubhouse, installed a rifle range at the bottom of the hill, and put in a portable lighting plant.

Organizers were planning a third Yellowhead Caravan from Winnipeg to the Pacific coast. The first had occurred in 1949 over what was little more than a wagon road. In many areas the travelers had to lay planks over the CNR tracks. A second caravan was staged in 1959. The third caravan was to pay tribute to Charles Grant, Q.C. of Edmonton. In 1922 he had been the first person to drive this section of the route, using his Model T Ford.


Wells Gray Hospital Board chairman George Smith announced that Mrs. Rice from Surrey General was the first nurse-administrator for the 10-bed Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital. The new building could be open by Oct. 1.

Highways Minister Phil Gaglardi promised $20,000 to improve the road to Wells Gray Park following a tour organized by Upper Clearwater resident Mrs. Donalda Mann. Wells Gray Women’s Institute hoped to make the road an election issue. Liberal candidate Bill Mercer said one resident had mailed rotten timbers from one of the bridges to Mr. Gaglardi without any visible reaction.


CNT Lions and Clearwater Swim Club worked together with two days of fine weather to come up with a successful Dutch Lake Regatta. Rudi Bauer put on an aerial acrobatic display. Carrie Watts, Lisa Wadlegger and Mary DeNeef were in a three-way tie for top aggregate in the swimming races.

Bingo, pillow fights, darts, fishpond, nail driving, horseshoe throwing, pie eating, beer drinking and a turkey shoot were among the events at Blue River’s four-day Summerfest ‘77.

Construction began on a new Vavenby post office, to be located next to the old facility.


Hundreds of people came out to enjoy two days of fun at the Lions Club’s annual Dutch Lake Regatta. Carolyn Buck had the best time in the island swim at 11:26.

Thirty members of the Shadowfax Track and Field Club took part in the B.C. Junior Development Championships Burnaby. They won three gold, eight silver and 10 bronze medals.


Former Anglican Church minister Ken Earl and his wife, Audrey were among the visitors at the Little Fort Craft Fair. They had moved to Kamloops due to poor health.

Two Clearwater players participated in the Senior A provincial softball championships. Darin Yurkiw played with the Vancouver Regents while Rob Sunderman was with the Port Alberni A’s, the tournament winners.


An early morning fire totally destroyed Dutch Lake Motel. A restless three-month-old baby provided the first warning.

Over 100 people attended a forum on a proposal to divert water from the North Thompson River to California. They voted unanimously against the idea when asked by North Thompson Indian Band chief Nathan Matthew. Other speakers were M.P. Nelson Riis and MLA Fred Jackson.


A 24-year-old Clearwater resident suffered a broken vertebra after his Honda Civic struck a large rock on Highway 5 at Wolf’s Corner. The car rolled over on its roof in the ditch, leaving the young man hanging upside down by his seat-belt.

Former fire chief Mark Coffin and other former members of the department were striving to re-establish fire protection for Little Fort.

North Thompson Community Skills Center was preparing to move from its temporary location in Brookfield Mall to the former School District 26 offices next to Raft River Elementary, said manager Denny Fahrenholtz and project coordinator Terry Rogers.


Canvassers in the upper North Thompson Valley did more than their share on a petition calling for proportional representation, according to local organizer Dave Milton. More that 400 residents from Little Fort to Blue River signed the petition.

Unseasonably cool and wet weather had put a damper on the fire season for the Clearwater Fire Center. There was only one fire burning in the Clearwater fire zone.


A small wildfire broke out off of Camp Two Road near Brookfield Creek in Clearwater.

Wells Gray Country services committee completed upgrades to the Clearwater River Trail.


Environment Minister Terry Lake said B.C. might pursue a per barrel levy on oil that would flow through a twinned Kinder Morgan pipeline. A $5 toll on Kinder Morgan’s post-expansion pipeline, which would move 750,000 barrels a day, would generate close to $1.4 billion annually.


A passing storm brought localized flooding to Weyerhaeuser subdivision, the Flats, Park Drive area and Wyndhaven. People impacted were asked to contact District of Clearwater.

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