Back in Time

Back in Time

Historical Perspective


A helicopter found the body of a lost Blue River man about a mile and a half north of the town on the Transmountain Pipeline. Alec Seminiuk, 62, had apparently wandered in the snow until exhausted. He had been employed as a janitor with the CNR in Blue River.

Two Kamloops hunters, their truck immobilized by two or three feet of snow in the Hole in the Wall area north of Vavenby, were rescued by a forestry power wagon that had managed to get to them. The report that they had been found came in 15 minutes before a helicopter had been due to take off from the Kamloops airport to rescue them.


Large culverts along the road to Upper Clearwater were discussed during a meeting of the Chamber of Commerce with Mr. Dibbens, highways superintendent from Kamloops. A Chamber member expressed the opinion that the appearance of the three canyons had been spoiled. The highways department reply was that it had been pressure from local residents for improvements that had spoiled the looks of the wilderness.


One compressor was out of action and there could be no guarantee that the Sportsplex could be opened for a bonspiel scheduled for the following weekend, said publicity man Bill Anderson. The keys for the building had been handed over from the engineers to the TNRD.

Valley pioneer John W. Schlichter passed away. Born in Fairchild, Wisconsin in 1887, he homesteaded near Little Fort at Lemeiux Creek. During the First World War, he served with the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Siberia. Following the war he worked for the Wind Pass Mine near Chu Chua and then for the CNR as a section man, working out of Birch Island.

MLA Gerry Anderson said no provincial money was available yet to finance a Blue River sawmill.

The Chamber of Commerce had arranged a meeting to formulate ideas to celebrate Clearwater’s 50th anniversary, coming up in 1975.


None of the 12 Vavenby students on board were seriously injured when a school bus collided with a pickup and camper from Surrey. The bus driver, Lewis Van Buskirk, required several stitches as a result of the camper striking the bus windshield. The driver of the pickup had a possible broken neck and other injuries.


Raft River Riders organized a parade of local clubs and organizations to support Christmas Amalgamated. The parade was to run from the Wells Gray Hotel to Safety Mart.


Three male suspects were arrested in Victoria, B.C., following a break-in of a residence in Little Fort. The majority of the stolen goods were recovered.

Clearwater Secondary School was to hold its first Homecoming during the last week of school before the Christmas holidays. Each day there was a special event at the school, including basketball games and a dance.

Canadian Helicopters, the largest helicopter company in the country and the second-largest in the world, opened a permanent base in Clearwater. Pilot Derek Robinson was based in the former forestry compound near Raft River bridge. A second company, Heli-West, was opening a base next to Clearwater River Bridge on Highway 5.


The Kamloops Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) team reached an eleventh-hour agreement in principle regarding which areas to set aside as protected areas. “It was an outstanding achievement,” said process coordinator Kevin Kriese. A series of open houses to explain the recommendations was planned.

Clearwater businessman Ken Kjenstad was elected chairman of the newly designated 18-member Thompson Regional Health Board.

Long-time trustee Ed Shook was the unanimous choice to serve as chairman of School District 26 (North Thompson).


School District 73 trustees elected Bert Walker as their representative to the B.C. Public School Employers Association. “I was kind of surprised I was elected to that. First-time trustees don’t usually get positions like that,” he said.

Ray Negrin, senior administrator at Bear Creek Correctional Center and the previous year’s vice-president, was elected by acclamation to be the new president of Clearwater and District Chamber of Commerce.


More than 200 people braved winter roads to hear the African Children’s Choir perform in Clearwater.

Vavenby’s Wayne Morhart was one of a small group of experienced loggers picked to teach the new WCB faller certification course.

About 3-dozen people took part in a fun cross-country ski race hosted by Wells Gray Outdoor Club.

A total of 131 youngsters entered the Times’ Christmas story contest.

CSS Senior Raider Boys were ranked number one Single A basketball team in the province at the start of the season. “I’m not sure what it means. It’s just some guy doing the rating,” said coach Rick Smith.

TNRD directors picked Blue River’s Steve Quinn to be their chair. He had been regional district director for Area B (Thompson Headwaters) since 1991.


The Official Community Plan (OCP) got underway. The plan is basically a tool to help council and citizens manage change in the community. It reflects the values and priorities that have been articulated by council and the general public. The committee formed reflects the diversity found within the Clearwater community.


Dr. Catherine Tarasoff of TRU and research assistant Kailee Streichert told about research they were doing at Dutch Lake to control yellow flag iris, an invasive plant species.

Judge Chris Cleaveley administered the oaths of office to swear in Clearwater’s fourth town council. Originally from Roundtop, the provincial court judge had sworn in all the town councils since incorporation in 2007.


Ken Lancour, a Clearwater-based pilot for Yellowhead Helicopters, and biologist Bevan Ernst, spotted an unusual feature in the ground in a remote corner of the park that would turn out to be one of the largest caves in the country.

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