Back in Time

Historical Perspective

55 YEARS AGO:

A new ambulance made 24 trips to Kamloops in its first year of operation, racking up about 7,000 km. George Adams was re-elected president of the ambulance association by acclamation.

Many Blue River residents felt the community’s water system was not adequate, given its rapidly expanding population. The local water board presented a report on the feasibility of putting in a new system in the near future.

Bids were called to construct the section of the North Thompson Highway from Chappell Creek to Cedarside (100 km north of Blue River). This brought the total of highways construction bids to more than 140 km.

Cattle could no longer legally roam freely in Clearwater. The territory from Boulder Creek to Raft River had been constituted as a pound district by the Ministry of Agriculture. More than 400 names had been put on a petition to bring in the change.

50 YEARS AGO:

John Harwood, president of the North Thompson Hospital Committee, announced his intention of running for a seat on the TNRD. He had been a teacher at Clearwater Secondary School for more than three years and had worked hard to promote a hospital referendum slated for the following Dec. 6.

A Merritt man was killed at a curve on Highway 5 by the Raft River bridge. The continuing high accident rate at the corner led to calls for authorities to complete the bridge linking the new stretch of highway.

45 YEARS AGO:

A Vavenby man was dead following a stabbing, which occurred in lower Clearwater in front of the high school (today Raft River Elementary). A second Vavenby man, age 21, was charged with non-capital murder.

Local guitarist Ed Peekeekoot was in Vancouver, taping for a television program called Talent Breakthrough.

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40 YEARS AGO:

The TNRD accepted an offer of $125,000 in a lawsuit regarding the Sportsplex’s roof. The regional district’s lawyer felt this was a reasonable offer, considering the expense of a three-week trial, lawyer’s fees, consulting engineer’s fees and court costs.

Blackpool’s new fire hall was nearing completion. The new pumper was not expected from Quebec until the beginning of December.

Al Bowes was the manager of Everyready Motors’ new outlet in Blackpool. Foundations had been laid for a new showroom and service shop, to be completed the following year.

35 YEARS AGO:

Incumbent School District 26 board members Ed Shook and Pauline Gregory were re-elected by acclamation.

Little Fort residents and organizations responded generously after the nine members of the Harry Kobzey family lost all their possessions in a fire at a rented house in Darfield.

30 YEARS AGO:

An announcement by Interior Roads that its snowplows would start work at 7:30 a.m. was quickly reversed following an outcry by the local school board and politicians. “I made a lot of noise, upset a lot of people,” said TNRD Area A director Paul Caissie. “I don’t know where the discussion came from,” said Marvin Williams, Interior Roads Birch Island foreman. “If it’s snowing, we stay out and keep on working.”

25 YEARS AGO:

School District 26 opted out of discussions centered on a memorandum of understanding, which the school trustees felt was far from what they were looking for. Because of the decision to opt-out, a meeting of a working group comprised of North Thompson Indian Band, Clearwater Improvement District, and Grizzly Anglers would have to meet elsewhere than at the board offices.

B.C. Liberal leader Gordon Campbell was in Clearwater for an informal meeting. He wanted less — less government, less taxes, and fewer NDP MLAs in the House.

20 YEARS AGO:

Despite dangerous driving conditions, close to 20 parents came to discuss health concerns with School District 73 and public health officials. There almost certainly would be no long term effects to students who were exposed to caulking fumes during a construction project at Raft River Elementary, they were told.

Weyerhaeuser removed close to 3,000 cubic meters of contaminated soil from the site of a sawmill near Avola that had closed in early 1970s. The contamination appeared to be diesel or other fuel oil from an underground fuel line. It had come to light when the company was preparing to donate the land for a salmon rehabilitation project.

Clearwater Improvement District trustees officially opened the new 300,000-gallon concrete water reservoir, located above the junction of Archibald Road and Clearwater Valley Road. The reservoir plus a second well should give more consistent water pressure, said water committee chair Don Arksey.

The CID paid $38,700 to purchase eight acres of land from Slocan. The property would be held in reserve to expand the sewage disposal system.

15 YEARS AGO:

Close to 250 people attended a public information meeting to learn more about a proposed swimming pool complex. Tough questions were asked, but the general mood of the meeting seemed to be in favor of the pool. Property taxes would go up by $1.43 per 1,000 assessment, they were told.

Clearwater resident Max Tanner was unhappy to find items the family had left on their son’s grave had been removed by the CID maintenance staff. If this has to be done, Max asked the district trustees to look at different ways of going about it.

10 YEARS AGO:

District of Clearwater council wanted to know if local tourist operators were interested in a hotel tax that to help pay for tourist promotion. Legislation allowed a municipality, regional district or tourism association to collect up to an additional two per cent for local use. The application process to get permission to collect the tax was expected to cost about $6,000 and would take three to six months.

The federal government announced it would contribute $1.23 million towards wildfire fuel management to be done around Clearwater and Vavenby. Project activities were to include thinning and spacing forest stands to prescribed densities, removing residual forest fuels, removing and pruning trees, and burning or chipping wood.

Clearwater council directed staff to award a $43,000 contract to Wicked Concepts Signs (Colt Bond) to construct and install two “Welcome to Clearwater” signs.

5 YEARS AGO:

Blue River’s Willow MacDonald and Shelley Sim of Clearwater faced off to decide who should be the next school trustee for the upper North Thompson Valley during an election forum at CSS. A few hours later they did it again at a forum at Blue River. MacDonald then debated for a third time as she took on Max Lentz, who was challenging her to be TNRD director for Thompson Headwaters (Area B).

Clearwater Volunteer Fire Department was called out to fight a late-season forest fire near the Candle Creek cross- country ski trails. The fire was confined to duff on the forest floor but appeared to have been burning for some time.

1 YEAR AGO:

The dedication ceremony for Clearwater’s new cenotaph took place at Reg Small Park where the new monument was officially unveiled to the public. “The old cenotaph, built by Lloyd Bishop, Richard Willan and Ric Kitziner in the late 1990s had served us well and we are forever grateful for their dedication and labour,” said Calvin Lutz. “It had, however, suffered from the ravages of time and weather and since the District of Clearwater was building a new well house, this necessitated the removal of the old cenotaph, which was decommissioned on April 23, 2018.”

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