Back in Time

Historical Perspective


The new $15,500 school bus arrived in Clearwater. Original schedule for delivery was October 21. However General Motors strikes, Christmas, and good old fashioned winter delayed the arrival.

Reports of Western weather conditions stopped all eastern drivers from taking the job. Also, no driver was interested in being halfway across Canada on Christmas day. Finally Pacific GMC flew a Vancouver truck driver, Phillipe Descotau, out to Toronto. He then went to Burlington where the bus was waiting.

The body had been made by Superior Body Works in Burlington. The chassis, made by GMC wasn’t yet being manufactured in Canada so it was taken to Detroit for assembly. It was on the line when the two-month long strike began.

Descotau left Toronto on the 28th and arrived in Kamloops the following Monday Morning.

The Bus seated 67 elementary students.


Sacrificial Bonfire was slated for the Clearwater Ski Hill. Even Santa Claus with his bag of goodies overlooked snow. The lights burned all one night in hopes he might have a change of heart and make a special return trip with a foot of snow. No Luck. A big sacrificial fire or ski burning ceremony was planned for Saturday. There were to be just broken skis or ski poles or dry pieces of board — anything to help build a big bonfire, even discarded Christmas trees.

Anyone arriving without something for the fire had to pay a small fine.


Clearwater Sno-drifters held the first of two regional snowmobile races scheduled for Clearwater. There were a good number of entries in the two-day meet and 24 events took place.

Fun Bonspiel in new rink. Betty Davidson skipped her way to a close win over Frank Kohlhauser foursome in the “A” event of the fun bonspiel.


Cariboo College was to assist women back in the workforce. The college’s new at the time Women’s Access Centre and related services were geared to assist all women to plan their entry or re-entry into the workforce or other activities outside the home, with particular attention to those considering changing their present life pattern. The centre would also sponsor a series of workshops and courses for women from mid-January to March.


Yellowhead Youth Services and Andy Matusky won TV sets drawn by the Clearwater Merchants Association promotion. Sets were given out by assistant Manager Sandy Toma of the Safety Mart.

Clearwater Raiders had firmly established themselves as contenders for the zone title after two league game victories during the past week. A good crowd on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at CSS saw the Raiders record their first league victory over the Chase Trojans. Every player contributed defensively and offensively in a game in which the Trojans were outmatched in every aspect.


People venturing out onto lakes in the North Thompson area for ice-fishing or other winter activities were advised not to assume the ice was as solidly frozen as it would usually be at this time of year warned Frank Richter, local Conservation officer. “Lakes at all altitudes are really bad right now he cautioned.” There was a near accident on Mann Lake recently, he said. A family was crossing with six children in an ice tent when it went through. The youngsters had to dive out the door to escape but had no problems other than getting soaking wet.


Martin Buis, a longtime volunteer on the TNRD Advisory Planning Commission representing Avola, was presented with a classy clock from Thompson Nicola Regional District Area B Director Steve Quinn in recognition of his longtime volunteer service.

The PAC at Clearwater Secondary School was alive and well and looking for more parent involvement. “PAC is a group of parents concerned with their children’s schooling and education in general,” said past CSS PAC Director Debbie Downey. “It is the one place parents can get questions answered and get info. And if there is a subject parents are interested in then guest speakers can be invited to speak on it”


Many events were planned to mark the Sportsplex’s 25th anniversary. A wide variety of activities were planned for the Jan 21-23 weekend to help celebrate says Sportsplex’s lead hand Roger Mayer. All the minor hockey teams, from beginners to Midgets would have home games at the Sportsplex during the big weekend, starting on Friday night. The event would be a fitting wind-up for the Minor Hockey Week In Clearwater.


Little Fort man lives through Asian Tsunami. Little Fort log home builder Lee Palmer was vacationing in Sri Lanka when the town he was visiting was hit by a tsunami on Dec. 26. After helping the guesthouse owners with other customers and belongings they spend days at the home of the owner. Losing only two pairs of shoes and a radio he was lucky. Eventually settling on the thought for his next adventure that maybe a guest house in the hills near a beach would better. After his small cuts and bruises healed, he was happy to be alive and ready to carry on to the next adventure.


President Steve Pelton, Upper Clearwater businessman and president of Clearwater District Chamber of commerce says, “What I think that we need to do is promote more light industry. There are huge, huge opportunities out there.”

Silverdew Hardwoods, the birch sawmill near Wells Gray Park that Pelton was involved with, recently reopened with new markets and equipment after being closed since April. Opportunities might include making wooden cutlery, prefabricating homes and cabinet making. He would like to find some mechanism to make use of those entrepreneurial skills to develop alternative forms of industry in the valley.


Leaks challenge Vavenby water users. The Vavenby water system had some challenges during the past few weeks. The first water leak occurred on Dec. 12. Ken Nystoruk, a water system operator for the TNRD was working in the pump house when he noticed that the water level in the reservoir was very low. It had nearly emptied in just four hours. The TNRD isolated the leak on a private property and turned it off at the curb stop. This break was not caused by any faulty parts of the Vavenby water system.


One of Clearwater’s entrepreneurs was seeing her business gaining attention over the past year, with her products’ reach going national and beyond. Alexandria Campbell, whose brand My Black Treasure offers various clothing items and a unique stuffed animal line called Chibals, wass seeing success across the county, picking up in provinces as far away as Quebec.

Teachers give away Chibals as prizes when students achieve reading specific goals, or if they’re well behaved in class. Campbell said, “It all came about from the family selling their products at various markets between Clearwater and Kamloops.”

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