Back in Time

Historical Perspective


Members of the District Number 26 Board of School Trustees began their educational meeting with a French lesson.

To be more accurate they merely observed Elementary Supervisor C.R. Moss demonstrate with the help of 17 Grades 6 and 7 students some of the French they had learned during the 15 hours they’d had lessons that year. The board had authorized the teaching of French on an experimental basis to all Grade 6 and 7 pupils in the three schools.


A travelling Travel Counsellors’ Course for personnel employed in the Chamber of Commerce tourist booths, and sponsored by the Fabulous Figure 8 Visitors Association would commence in Kamloops, the second day in Salmon Arm, and the final day at Three Valley Gap.

Instructors were coming from the Department of Travel Industry, the Department of Education, and the Fish and Wildlife Branch.

Local speakers from all parts of the area would round out the program. Enrolled in the course were Mrs. E Johnston and Mrs. G Bennett from Clearwater. Others registered were from Kamloops, Merritt, Revelstoke, Salmon Arm and Sicamous.

The course was designed to instruct tourist booth staff in meeting the public, map reading, historical background, parks and wildlife, custom’s regulations, and general recreation and attractions of the area.


Naturalist in the Wells Gray Park for the year was Trevor Goward, who started his duties recently. This was his third year as a naturalist, but the first time on his own. Very much a traveller, he came from the Adams Lake country although he lived in Kamloops at the time. He had spent a year in Quebec studying and was leaving in the fall for New Brunswick to study art.


The Thompson-Nicola Regional District had approved the rezoning of 15 acres located behind the Wells Gray Hotel to allow development of a new shopping centre. The land had been rezoned from single and two-family residential to retail commercial use.

Yellowhead Properties Ltd., headed by George and Art Marcyniuk, hoped to start developing the area by September and was tentatively planning to open the shopping centre for business in September 1981. The group was discussing possible leases with several department and chain stores and were hoping to have an indication of which stores would be involved in the shopping centre by the end of the month.


Marina Deneef, member in charge of park affairs for the TNRD Parks, Cemeteries and Television Committee told the group that problems had developed at the beach of Dutch Lake Park. The walkways, she said, were ‘ready for a law case’ and must be pulled out.

Mrs. Deneef made a motion, approved by the board to hire Art Mayer and his backhoe. Mr. Mayer would install new walks on cement blocks and would be hired for approximately one day. 30 YEARS AGO:

The North Thompson Aquatic Society over the last couple years had done extensive research into the building of a new swimming pool for Clearwater.

After a feasibility study was completed for a leisure pool, the committee decided that at the time a swimming pool building would not be feasible as there was an insufficient tax base to support such a building.

That spring they also looked into a venture with the local Lions Club in building an outdoor pool, however, that also didn’t pan out. The group was therefore confident that the only way the community could have a public swimming pool was to put a free-standing pool in the Sportsplex.


After a five-month delay, the Clearwater Emergency Blood Program would begin at the Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital (DHMH), hospital administrator Linda Basran said. The program, originally slotted to begin in late December, would bring two fresh units of group 0 Rh-negative blood to DHMH every month for use in emergency situations.

At the time, critical patients had to wait one to two hours for local donors to go in and give blood.


Every spring, said Bear Creek Correctional Facility administrator Ray Negrin, a few of that minimum security camp’s inmates walk away — usually to be recaptured without incident.

For two young “walk-aways” the walk to freedom became a brief joyride ending in a horrific crash. Had 21-year-old Blair Scott Wilkinson of Burnaby waited another 61 days, he could have walked away from Bear Creek a free man. He died instantly when the stolen pickup truck he was driving left Highway 5 at high speed and, airborne, struck several large trees and careened down a 150-foot embankment.

His passenger, 19-year-old Tyler Marriott of Calgary, remained in Vancouver General Hospital. Marriott was to complete his jail term two days after Wilkinson.


After being away for 25 years, a man with deep roots in the North Thompson Valley returned as a judge to Clearwater provincial court.

“This has always been my home — the North Thompson and Kamloops,” said Judge Chris Cleaveley.

“It sounds kind of schmaltzy to say that, but that’s the way it is. My family has been in the valley for darn near 100 years … and it’s nice to be back.”

Chris and his two brothers, Drew and Robby, grew up in Roundtop on the land that had been homesteaded by their grandparents, Charlie and Pearl Cleaveley, in the early 1900s.


A meeting held between the board of the Thompson Regional Hospital District and Dr. Robert Halpenny, CEO of Interior Health Authority, left Clearwater councillor Bert Walker concerned about the future of local emergency room services.

“It wasn’t a good news day, in my opinion,” he said. “There were questions by almost all the directors but there weren’t a lot of answers and there was a lot of vagueness. I wasn’t impressed, but he was open and he did answer.”

Possibly the most troubling to Walker was talking about increasing the capabilities of the ambulance service and possibly an air ambulance service.

“There was no firm commitment, but it leads me to believe it’s about cutting back on acute services in rural hospitals,” said Walker. “To me, it reeks of reduction of procedures in Dr. Helmcken … reduction of acute care services here to ambulances only.”


Severe thunderstorms and lightning were the cause of a fire approximately 4.5 km up Silk Road. “That’s approximately 6.6 k.m. up Park Road from the roundabout,” said Jim Jones, manager of Clearwater Fire Zone.

“At 4:55 p.m. there was a lightning strike in Larry Colborn’s woodlot, which was a winter logging block. It grew to three hectares then went into the standing timber above the block for another three hectares,” said Jones.


Raft River Elementary School students celebrated the International Day of the Honey Bee, where they learned about the pollinators, planted bee friendly flowers and enjoyed a picnic on school grounds.

“We’re celebrating the Day of the Honey Bee and this is our second year of having the pollinator garden on the school grounds,” said Elizabeth Shook, Grade 3 teacher at Raft River Elementary School.

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