Back in Time

Historical Perspective


The Times thanked its 600 subscribers for their support during the three months since its inception. In its first Christmas issue, the newspaper promised bigger and better things in the New Year.

The local school board said taxes would increase to pay for a 6.5 per cent raise in the teachers’ payroll. Total cost would be $11,767, a 1.8 mil levy.

Temperatures as low as 45 below caused the North Thompson River to freeze from the bottom up. The water severed Highway 5 south of Blue River. Two days later it still had 18 inches of water on it for a distance of 200 feet.

The cold weather caused the Times to have typesetting problems. The linotype had to be boosted with a heater beneath its gears, while the operator needed heaters on both sides to surmount the challenge.


Vavenby Lions Club, under president Verne Brown, donated 500 Vials of Life to ambulance driver Jack Patterson. The club also took on the job of distributing them to area residents.

Santa and his elf made their annual appearance at the Sportsman Restaurant. He made his spectacular entrance after making the trip from the Safety Mart parking lot in a sled hauled by a snowmobile.

Television equipment for Vavenby’s second channel was on its way, according to Roy Unterschultz. Vavenby Lions Club raised the funds.


Winners of the Letters to Santa contest sponsored by the Times were two eight-year-olds: Tracy Mayovsky of Barriere, and Arnold Baptiste of Louis Creek.


Ross Smith was elected chairman of School District 26 (North Thompson) at the board’s inaugural meeting.

Ed Shook was vice-chair. Shook and Pauline Gregory had been re-elected as trustees by acclamation.

A brief parade organized by Raft River Riders moved rapidly through chilly weather from the tourist booth to Brookfield shopping center to help support Christmas Amalgamate. The parade, consisting mostly of horses and fire vehicles, collected numerous boxes of food and other goods along its way. Members of the Blackpool Fire Department were restoring donated dolls, plush animals and other toys to nearly new condition.


Students at Clearwater Secondary School held a candlelight memorial for the young women who had been shot at the Montreal Polytechnique a short time before. “It could have been us,” said Kristy Curtis. She, along with fellow CSS pupils Stacey Porter and Katja Hebeisen, had organized the event.

MLA Bud Smith informed the Times that a $107,000 Lottery grant had been approved for Clearwater Ski Club’s clubhouse.

A $70,000 project to upgrade the dykes along the North Thompson River downstream from the Clearwater Station Bridge was underway.

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The Bev and Ken Smith residence on Dutch Lake Road won first place in Clearwater’s annual Light Up for Christmas competition.

Four Clearwater residents were involved in a chain-reaction collision on Highway 5 just south of Fish Trap Canyon at McLure. The multi-vehicle incident began when a semi being driven by an Alberta man lost traction going up the hill, blocking part of the northbound lane. A series of southbound vehicles then collided with the semi or with each other. There were no apparent serious injuries.


The Clearwater water system was resistant to the Y2K bug, according to CID administrator Kim Heyman. Much of the water was delivered by gravity, plus B.C. Hydro had assured her that its system (which powered the pump in the well) had been thoroughly tested to be Y2K compatible.

Blue River’s Steve Quinn was elected by his fellow TNRD directors to be chair of the regional hospital district board. He pledged his support of building a new multi-level hospital in Clearwater.


MLA Kevin Krueger and TNRD director Bert Walker helped Louise Weaver of the Wells Gray Community Resources Society board in a symbolic sod-turning ceremony for the society’s new “neighborhood house.”

Jack Hays, formerly of Prince George, took over as general manager of Canfor’s Vavenby division.

The provincial government allocated 300,000 cubic meters of beetle salvage wood to North Thompson Indian Band and Lower North Thompson Valley Community Forest Society. Wells Gray Country Community Forest Corporation had been invited to participate, but declined because there was no opportunity in the Headwaters Forest District for much beetle kill, said spokesperson Ted Richardson.


Silver Dew Hardwood held a celebration to mark the Upper Clearwater Specialty mill’s reopening.

The mill had shut down in mid-April after its Japanese market dried up. The startup put 15 people back to work in two shifts producing Birch veneer that was being used by a company in Lumby to make disposable wooden cutlery.


Volunteers from Clearwater Rotary Club took a break after installing one of three new benches in Clearwater’s Riverview Cemetery.

Rotary and Wells Gray Community Forest funded the project, with the materials obtained from Wadlegger Logging and Jock Sorenson Contracting.


Argo Road Maintenance held its 2018 Winter Awareness Stakeholder’s meeting on Nov. 21 in Little Fort, B.C.

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