Back in Time

Historical Perspective


The School District 26 board accepted plans for a three-room school at Star Lake. Officials inspected a site in Avola where a new school was also to be built. Amalgamation of School Districts 25 (Barriere) and 26 (Birch Island) was discussed.

CNR offered to sell its water line and easements to Blue River Water Works for the sum of one dollar. An extended system would cost between $84,000 and $98,000, and cost the average Blue River resident $4.50 per month, plus a $1 increase in taxes.

Game warden Ray Serediak led a rescue party of nine to aid a hunter from Spokane, Washington, who had broken his leg while hunting moose near the headwaters of Raft River.


Whether the new health facility to be built in Clearwater would be called a hospital or a clinic was a topic of discussion at a meeting at Clearwater Secondary School. A resolution to obtain a $250,000 hospital facility was adopted.

John Harwood was elected by acclamation to replace Bill Mattenley as TNRD Area A director. Incumbent Don Nelson was re-elected unopposed to represent Blue River and Avola on the TNRD.


The Clearwater Recreation Commission appointed Wally Clendinning manager of the new Sportsplex. Ice was to be put in the rink by the following weekend.

Wells Gray Curling Club reported that a Fun Bonspiel had been postponed to the first weekend of December due to the opening of the Sportsplex being delayed.


Approximately 80 Birch Island residents came out to a meeting at the community hall to discuss the future of the Punkin Hoot Faire. Peter Thornhill, one of the organizers, said the event was intended to provide an opportunity for artists to sell their crafts and for entertainment in a country atmosphere. One objector to the faire said Birch Island residents “… do not have to put up with the drug scene.”

Blue River resident Jean Nelson defeated incumbent Ronaye Havisto of Avola to represent the two communities on the board of School District 26.

More than 100 people attended a banquet to honor Karl and Swanee Simmerling. They were leaving for Princeton, where Karl Simmerling was to assume as manager of the Weyerhaeuser mill. Hans Krauseneck took over his position as TNRD Area A director.

Margie and Kee Kwan celebrated the grand opening of the Canton Restaurant.



Representatives from various groups, including the proposed IWA sub-local Food Bank and the UIC Drop-In Center, met to organize the annual Amalgamate Christmas hampers. Food collected from the schools by the Food Bank committee was to be used in the hampers.


Clearwater Secondary School Junior Boys volleyball team won the Okanagan Championships. Coach Fred Allan felt Paul Khangura was probably the most outstanding player on the team.

Kamloops resident Mike Ritcey used the Clearwater and Blue River areas to produce a video titled Bow-hunting British Columbia Black Bears. Ritcey was raised in the Wells Gray Park area and was the grandson of trapper and guide Ted Helset.


Blackpool resident Bob Broderick was left with just the few pieces of clothing on his body after fire destroyed his rented mobile home. Fire chief Garry Ruston said the trailer, located in Keekwillie Trailer Court, was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived.


A large crowd turned out for an open house held to identify what questions people wanted answering from a study into incorporation for Clearwater. One clear issue was road maintenance, said Kamloops consultant Terry Underwood.

Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing released plans for its Saddle Mountain Resort. When completed, the development would have three major ski-lifts plus two beginner tows. There would be 150 to 200 new resort-specific jobs, plus 200 to 300 permanent jobs in complementary facilities.


B.C. Hydro was buying electricity from Upper Clearwater businessman Roland Neave in the first “net metering” scheme in the province. The small-scale hydro project powered two nearby buildings, and the surplus was being sold to the power company.

Four local youngsters, Brittney Nadeau, Tifffany Meier, Caroline Soles and Jackie Kreke, were selected to be part of the School District 73 honor band. “It’s incredible what they’ve been doing,” said their band teacher, Bruce Whitelaw.


Mayor Harwood and council announced that an agreement had been reached between District Of Clearwater and Canadian Public Employees’ Union Local 900. Key elements included a three per cent (retroactive) wage increase from April 1, 2009, to be followed by an additional three per cent increases on Jan 1, 2010 and Jan. 1, 2011.

Tourism Wells Gray unveiled its new brand at a general meeting, receiving a positive response from the tourism operators in attendance. The overview of the brand could be viewed as: The pure, raw Canadian vacation experience. The logo is reflective of Wells Gray Country, of mountains, wildlife, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls.


Bayley’s Bistro donated $372 to Forestview Place in Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital. The money was raised during a guess-the-pumpkin’s weight contest and would be used for the craft program at Forestview.


Evergreen Acres Seniors Housing Society (EASHS) received the announcement for provincial funding, which staff at the facility had been anticipating so it could move ahead with the facility’s expansion.

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