Back in Time

Historical Perspective

55 YEARS AGO:

The tail end of the softball season proved to be vastly different from the opening rounds. Two front running teams had lost their pitchers.

Barriere’s chucker, Bob Corrigan had gone to summer school. Incidentally while down there, he’d pitch for the Blue Boys, a softball team sponsored by the Fraser and Marine hotel, the Blue Boy.

Carson Whitford, Clearwater’s starter for several years, had gone to work in Prince George. He would also pitch ball up there.

Little Fort pitcher, Elmer Harrison, was working in 100 Mile House, and pitching very good ball up there, or so reports had it.

50 YEARS AGO:

The raft launched into the North Thompson River and was expected to float about 90 miles into Kamloops to mark Kamloops Overlander Days received a rather swift baptism in the waters just outside Vavenby an hour after sending off.

After travelling just a few miles the canoe, which accompanied the raft and had a crew of two, upset, dousing both occupants. Shortly after the raft hit a snag and upset, spilling all the crew, dog, provisions, cookstove and canopy, all into the treacherous waters.

Although the crew had lost most of its possessions they carried on with the trip about six hours later.

45 YEARS AGO:

A display was held outside the Clearwater Library to provide information on federal and provincial services and on the status of women. The display, as part of international women’s year, was sponsored by the federal government and operated under the Privy Council office.

Fourteen women were hired to travel around and explain the rights of women and what was available to them.

At first, it was expected a special government branch would be created to deal specifically with women’s problems, however, the final decision established branches within existing departments.

40 YEARS AGO:

The Chamber of Commerce Information booth, which had been open since June 14, was dealing with an average of 100 people per day, providing information on camping, accommodation, restaurants, fishing, hiking, boating and other relevant items to visitors to the area.

Employees Carolyn Balfour and Michelle Pepper were providing information offered free through the Ministry of Tourism. Pepper said information about Wells Gray Park was the biggest item, although they tried to generate interest about Clearwater and district, promoting the use of facilities here.

35 YEARS AGO:

There were two active fires in the Clearwater Forest District according to district duty officer Rob Beugeling. One was at the Blue River garbage dump, the second near Adams Lake. Both were in the mop-up stage.

One skidder-tank, two cats and five firefighters were employed. There had been nine new fires in the past week, all had been put out. The total cost to the district to date was $97,401, exclusive of aircraft costs.

Mr. Beugeling said the forests were very dry, and residents were fortunate there had been no lightning, as it was possible to get 80 fires overnight.

30 YEARS AGO:

“A major technical mud bog … it was hard,” was how Chris Sheppard of Kamloops, winner of the third annual mountain bike race staged on the Loppet ski trail in Wells Gray Park described the course. The event was organized by the local bike club, “Doctor Dirt and the Masters of Mud.”

The speedy 17-year-old completed the course in a time of 1:05:20, more than five minutes ahead of his nearest rival.

Sheppard had been racing for two years and was sponsored by a major bike company and Cycle Logical bike shop.

“I’ll be back next year,” he said, apparently intrigued by the challenges of the course.

25 YEARS AGO:

Canadian holidays had ended suddenly and tragically on the Yellowhead Highway for visitors from Hong Kong. A Hong Kong man was dead and two others were taken to hospital as the result of a single-vehicle accident three kilometres south of Avola.

Police said Yuet Wah Ng, 37, overcorrected when the northbound Mazda he was driving travelled onto the shoulder of Highway 5 at Wire Cache. Ng lost control of the vehicle which subsequently left the roadway and flipped over, landing upside down in roughly one foot of water in a small slough.

Ng, trapped with his head and shoulders underwater was pronounced dead at the scene. Two male passengers in the car were taken by ambulance to Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital and later released.

20 YEARS AGO:

Chambers of Commerce at both Clearwater and Barriere were calling on Telus Mobility to provide cellular telephone service to the area — and they were hoping valley residents and visitors would add their voices.

Both chambers agreed that the absence of cell service was a deterrent to economic development in the North Thompson Valley. Letters addressed to the president of Telus had been available for signature at various locations in Clearwater for about two weeks.

15 YEARS AGO:

The B.C. economy was finally boosting after being hit with severe forest fires, NHL and lumber disputes. Strength in a number of sectors, such as non-residential construction related to the Winter Olympics 2010 and a balanced provincial budget, would keep the B.C. economy growing faster than the national average that year and the one following, according to a report from an economic research and analysis group in Toronto.

Provincial growth was expected to be 3.5 per cent, somewhat down from the pace of 2004, but still above the national growth rate of 2.9 per cent.

10 YEARS AGO:

Workers at the Clearwater Food Bank received a heartwarming contribution when Noelle Muddiman, age five, presented them with the contents of her piggy bank — a total of $3.02.

“When the food bank was doing its food drive we went to the grocery store to pick up some items to put in the drive,” said her mother, Kim Muddiman.

“When we got home she took the money from her piggy bank and said she wanted to give it to the food bank.”

Harry James, food bank representative said, “This little gal just exemplifies the spirit this community has.”

5 YEARS AGO:

“We’ve been busy,” was how Vaughn McCaig of Clearwater Fire Zone described the previous week.

An aggressive forest fire at Otter Creek that sprung up expanded about 32 hectares before crews were able to control it, he said.

The fire grew out of a cut block and spread as far as the CN tracks by the river. Up to 40 firefighters, two water tenders, three skidder tankers, an excavator and a cat were used to control the blaze, as well as several rounds by an air tanker plus helicopter bucketing.

1 YEAR AGO:

There was speculation at a recent meeting involving the fate of Canfor’s Vavenby mill site, and though a representative for the company said it wouldn’t operate again as a sawmill, there were suggestions made on how the site could be repurposed.

Taking into account the network of transportation infrastructure and access to skilled labour in the area, there was potential for other industries that could create jobs there. Canfor was looking at short-term uses that might create local jobs and economic benefits, like using the site for pipeline construction storage, possibly setting up a chipping facility, or using the scales in the log yard to weigh and store logs.

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