Back in Time

Historical Perspective


Temporary repairs had been carried out to the Barriere River bridge on Highway 5. The overhead beam on the northern end of the bridge had been crumpled. Highways department crews discovered the damage the next morning. They had no idea who did the damage. It was obviously someone with a high load, and just as obviously they did not get through the bridge, but turned around after severely bending the first beam.

John Norman, regional Boy Scout executive from Vernon would attend the 1st annual meeting of the District Council of Boy Scouts to be held in the Clearwater Community Hall. Important business of the evening would include the swearing-in of F. Lewis as District Commissioner and H. Mjolsness as Chairman.


Dave Tremblay, Birch Island, after returning from work discovered one of his horses had bled to death. The animal, a registered Quarterhorse, one of several horses Mr. Tremblay owned was valued at about $1,000. It is believed a pitchfork had fallen from a haystack, hit the floor, and bounced up, stabbing the horse in the abdomen, leading to its death.


Daniel Patrick Bayley of Vavenby was found guilty of a reduced charge of manslaughter at the Spring Assizes held in Kamloops. He was charged following the death of his father after an argument in the family car while driving through Clearwater. Bayley would be sentenced March 7.

The Blue River school bus met with an accident, which resulted in two youngsters being treated in hospital for minor injuries. They were released the same day. The driver also received injuries which caused him to be detained until the following day. Damage to the bus was limited to the front right fender which a value of about $1,000.


For the past five or six years the Ski Club had been trying to improve the facilities at the ski hill. With a potential grant from the lottery fund being granted, it would mean the ski hill could purchase the Doppelmayr T-Bar. At present, there was a 1,200-foot rope tow that had been in operation for 13 years.


Celebrating their fiftieth wedding anniversary were Mr. and Mrs. Harry Fairbrother, longtime residents of East Blackpool. The Fairbrothers held an ‘at home’ party to welcome any friends who wished to extend greetings. Mrs. Fairbrother was postmistress at the Blackpool post office for several years while Mr. Fairbrother operated the ferry across the river.


Vancouver police confirmed that the woman found dead following a night club fire in that city was former Clearwater resident Beverly Anne Simpson, age 24. The body was discovered following an early morning fire. No further information had been released.

Former Clearwater resident Terry Ridley would be competing at the Scott Tournament of Hearts Canadian Women’s Curling Championship in Ottawa February 5 to March 3. She was the lead on the Kelly Atkins rink of Maple Ridge, the winning team of the BC Ladies Provincial Curling playdowns held recently.


Two inmates who walked away from the Bear Creek Correctional Centre in separate incidents two days apart were still at large, however police believed they were no longer in this area. Thomas William Goodwin left the open setting facility at approximately 9 p.m. Gursewah Singh Gill, was reporting missing by camp staff just after 8 p.m. on Feb. 17. Both had been charged with escaping lawful custody.


A report by North Thompson School Trustee Bert Walker that school buses had been leaving the roads that winter had been confirmed by the Secretary Treasurer for School District 73. However comments by Walker about the government allowing lower winter road maintenance as a possible cause of the accidents do not appear to have been supported by a report from the Secretary treasurer to the school board.


The provincial government proclaimed February 12 – 19, 2005 to be Spirit of BC Week, commemorating the five-year countdown to the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler and Vancouver. Spirit of BC North Thompson Valley Community Committee celebrated the anniversary with flag-raising ceremonies in valley communities from McLure to Blue River.


Portions of a spectacular snowboarding video shown during the opening ceremonies at the Winter Olympics had been shot near Blue River. According to Daniella Aufschnaiter, a spokesperson for Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing, a crew from Warren Miller Entertainment shot the footage the previous April.

Roughly half (the older half) of those attending a meeting could have used a translator to understand terms such as pyramid, hubba, hip, ledge, concrete kicker, flat bars and quarter-pipe. The meeting was held to finalize plans for a new skateboard facility to be located near Clearwater Secondary School as part of upgrades being done to Rotary Sports Park.


More than 30 people attended a meeting in the Upper Clearwater Hall to discuss the future of the hall with Carol Schaffer, TNRD director for Wells Gray Country (Area A). She gave out surveys to determine what the area’s property owners wanted to be done with the $5,000 grant-in-aid the hall receives each year.

The daughter of a woman who had taught in Clearwater 70 years earlier was disappointed that there was no museum in the community to hold her mother’s photos. Edith Bowles (later Benwell) had taught at what was likely the only school in the community in 1944/45. She had 36 students of mixed ages and abilities. She also taught at a nearby prisoner-of-war camp.

Clearwater-based filmmaker Ken Matheson won the volunteer of the year award from BC Parks for his work in developing videos for Bowron Lake and Khutzeymateen provincial parks.

Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing launched a cross-country ski trail network in Blue River. A longtime guest, Neil McGillivary, donated a track-setter and snowmobile. Other partners included Blue River Bruderschaft, TNRD, BC Parks, and Recreational Sites and Trails BC.


The Clearwater branch of the Thompson-Nicola Regional Library got a new branch head, who’d be responsible for making sure operations run smoothly and the needs of patrons are met.

Kaylea Prime, who recently took over the position following the retirement of long time branch head Darlene Cowie, said the job combines a few of her favourite passions and she’s excited to take the reigns.

Officials had identified the man who died in a snowmobile accident near Blue River recently as an Alberta man in his 20s. The man was killed after an avalanche came down near Bone Creek in the Monashee Mountains north of Blue River.

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