Back in Time

Historical Perspective


A small group of parents turned out to the general meeting called to form the Central North Thompson Ban Auxiliary to support the newly organized School Band at Clearwater which then had 28 members. Additions to the slate of officers included P. Sargeant as vice president and Mrs. H. Mjolsness and E. Norfolk as directors.

The group was pleased to hear that a candy sale at the Clearwater PTA talent show netted enough funds for the purchase of needed music books. At the time, Mr. Shepard was writing all the music each week.


An attempted break-in at the Clearwater branch of the Thompson Valley Credit Union took place. The culprits smashed the window by the door handle then tried to pry the door open, then gave up. RCMP arrived just seconds afterward.

The peaceful early morning hours were shattered in Vavenby by a man who was said to have been shooting off a loaded rifle. He was charged under section of 86b of the Criminal code, “Dangerous use of firearms,” and received a fine of $50 or in default five days and was placed on a six-month peace bond.


One of the few occasions during the previous 27 years had been marked where judge Reg Small had assistance as he shared a bench briefly with judge Lamperson of Kamloops in a ceremony to commemorate his 22 years of service, acknowledged by the government.

In presenting the certificate for meritorious service, Lamperson said Small did a tremendous job under adverse circumstances during his many years. He stated the courtrooms, built by Mr. Small, were one of the better facilities.

Small, in reply, the government had only recognized his service as a magistrate but his total service as a Justice of the Peace was 27 and a half years.


The Blue River Chevron was broken into. Owner Bill Epp discovered that a window had been removed to gain entrance. Epp said about $500 worth of merchandise had been stolen. The identification section of the RCMP detachment in Kamloops took fingerprints.

Local RCMP Corp. Wasylenka reported that they had several suspects and were investigating. Wasylenka also said that a Canada-wide wanted man was picked up in Blue River that week. The man was from Three Rivers, Quebec and was also wanted by the RCMP detachment in Vernon.


Raft Mountain Skating Club had a fantastic weekend, starting with a test day on Saturday then a competition day on Sunday. Passing their Preliminary Figure were Cindy Stewart and Shelly Traub. First Figure tests were passed by Karen Johnson. In the dance sections Shelly Traub passed her Dutch Waltz, Cindy Stewart her Swing, and Barb Wadlegger and Kristy Curtis their Ten Fox. Competition started at 8 a.m. the following day. The Canfigure Skate girls placed really well for their competition. Lisa Pearce took 1st, Darcey Yurkiw3rd in Pre Elementary A. Kelsey Sinclair took 3rd and Anne Reusse 4th in Pre Elementary B. In elementary Mn’s Shane Coughlin took 2nd. Also taking 2nd was Barb Wadlegger in Preliminary A.


Although it was still early in the season, there was some concern about flooding in the North Thompson valley, reported Provincial Emergency Program (PEP) area coordinator Bill Mattenly. Snowpack and water content were above normal in the Blue River, Azure Lake and Trophy Mountain regions, he told the Times.

“Right now I’m not panicking,” he said. However, if the weather stayed cool through April and then warmed up in May, there could be a problem he said. The last serious flooding in the area occurred in 1972. Mattenly estimated volunteers contributed $250,000 in personal and equipment time to build up dikes that year.


Former Clearwater Improvement District Chairman, Jack Patterson, who was forced to resign his position on the Board due to ill health, was elected a three-year term at the CID Annual General Meeting. “It’s good to be back. I’m going to stay this time,” said Patterson, who served on the board for six years, five of them as its chairman, prior to his resignation.


Members of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce appeared excited by the possibilities raised by the new Thompson-Nicola Tourism and Economic Development Society. “I think it will be a good deal for the whole area,” said Bert Walker, Thompson-Nicola Regional District area A (Clearwater-Vavenby) director, who made the presentation about the new society to the Chamber.

Formation of the society began a few years previous, he explained, when Kamloops city councillors decided they weren’t happy with the results they were getting either from Kedco (the economic development agency for Kamloops) or Tourism Kamloops.

The people from Kamloops came to realize they could not market the city, but had to sell the whole region.


Alan Schmidt, mild-mannered forest ranger with Clearwater’s Headwaters Forest District, was also one of North America’s top-ranked motorcycle road-racers. “I’m incredibly committed, but I make sure it’s not the first thing I tell people about me,” he said. Schmidt had been racing motorcycles for eight years, four of them as a professional. He placed 17th in a race at the Daytona International Speedway, held as part of Bike Week in Daytona, Florida. The Supersport race was 22 laps around the approximately three-mile long course took about 45 minutes to complete.


The danger of avalanche had caused the Clearwater Sno-Drifters to cancel the second of two rides they were allowed into the Trophy Mountains in Wells Gray Park. “We just thought it was the right thing to do, considering what happened in Revelstoke,” said club spokesperson Calvin Wilde. Four of us went in there on Wednesday and found the snow conditions mimicked exactly what Canadian Avalanche Centre was saying. There was a hard facet of snow 44 inches down that could trigger a big avalanche,” he said. The club had permission from B.C. Parks to hold two rides into the Trophies each year. The first ride was held about a month previous without incident, but the six test pits they dug a week prior indicated that might not be the case if they held a second ride.


The story about the “new” highest mountain in Wells Gray Park, and how it was discovered, would be one of the featured stories in the sixth edition of Roland Neave’s book, “Exploring Wells Gray Park,” which was to come out soon. The actual highest mountain in Wells Gray was an unnamed peak near the northernmost boundary of the park, about 4.5 km west of Mount Pierrway and 40 km south of McBride.


After a few years of uncertainty, the Brookfield Centre had been sold to a new owner. The shopping centre was bought by C.W. Chang of Kelowna for roughly half a million dollars. Chang visited Clearwater the week previous and said his plan was to recruit tenants and renovate the units as needed when they became occupied.

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