Back in Time

Historical Perspective


Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops would soon have to abandon all elective surgery due to a critical shortage of beds, said the president of the medical staff. A good case could be presented for a 30-bed hospital to serve the needs of the North Thompson, said three men who had attended meetings on the overall needs of the region.

About 100 participants were expected to take part in the “Walk for the Elks” to raise money to build an Elks Lodge in Clearwater.

Total expenditures for School District 26 (Birch Island) were $560,000. Mrs. R.J. Petch was vice-chairman, and J. Alan Smith was secretary-treasurer.

The College of New Caledonia was to start operation in September in the buildings of the Prince George senior secondary school.


Driving lessons were being offered in Clearwater as part of a Kamloops driving school’s expansion program.

Clearwater area motorists saw the number of motor vehicle accidents go up from 175 to 203, a 16 per cent increase. Six persons were killed in four separate accidents.


Clearwater’s PeeWee Pups sailed through Ashcroft’s weekend tournament without a loss. Goalie Ted McGill was most valuable player.


A $1,000 cheque was given by Bill Mattenley and Norman Kay on behalf of CTP employees, contractors and their families to Inez Collison and Charlie Burman for Evergreen Acres. Another $1,000 was given to Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital. The money was raised at the CTP Bonspiel.

Fees for camping in B.C. Parks were raised by $1, to $5 per night in some, and $7 in others.

Health Minister Jim Nielsen and Kamloops MLA Claude Richmond announced that a contract had been awarded to renovate and expand the service areas at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital. Total value of the project was over $400,000.


Clearwater Secondary School academic quiz team won a silver medal at the annual Stretch for the Stratosphere competition in Kamloops. Team members were Robbie Kailley, Stacey Porter, Dino Crucil, Debbie Scott and Ian Howat.


A 30-year-old Kamloops man was charged with sexual assault and assault causing bodily harm as the result of an alleged incident in Wells Gray Park. Police were seeking a witness who had called police just hours prior to police attending at Helmcken Falls parking lot.

Work was underway to extend the CID water system across Brookfield Creek to Sunshine Valley.

Police were looking for three Bear Creek Correctional Camp inmates who had walked away from a Pow Wow they had been allowed to attend in Kamloops. They were with a Rayleigh inmate who was considered dangerous.


North Thompson residents were shocked by the sudden death of longtime Clearwater physician Dr. Cary Lam. He was killed when the cornice or snow overhang he was on gave way. The accident occurred northwest of Blue River.

A 67-year-old Little Fort resident surrendered following a 10-hour standoff with the RCMP Emergency Response Team. The incident began when three shots were fired at two men riding on dirt bikes.

More than 20 people attended a meeting to set up a local chapter of the United Salvage Logging Association of B.C.


Slocan was using Weyerhaeuser’s Vavenby dry kilns on a temporary basis. The cooperation allowed Slocan to put a third shift on at its sawmill, hiring about 36 people.

MLA Kevin Krueger far-reaching forest policy reforms were in line with what residents asked for at a big public meeting in Clearwater held following Weyerhaeuser’s announcement that it was closing its Vavenby sawmill. The changes included taking back 20 per cent of the major licensees’ annual allowable cuts.


Good news coming out of the Heart of the Matter symposium in Clearwater was that a physician was lined up to start practice locally. Dr. Spiros Theocharous had been due to arrive in April but that had been put off until summer because of the complicated immigration process.

Blackpool resident and B.C. Women’s Institute president Wanda Richter received a Century Farm Award on behalf of BCWI to recognize the institute’s achievements and contributions to the province during the last 100 years. Century Farm Awards recognize institutes and associations that have been active for 100 years, as well as family farms and ranches that reach the centennial mark.

Blue River got a big boost with the announcement of a $777,000 grant from the federal and provincial governments for the community’s water system. “Some of the old pipes date back to 1923, when they were installed by CN,” said Max Lentz, TNRD director for Thompson Headwaters (Area B).


“It was a really good, well organized event,” said BC Hockey rep Bill Green following the Midget Tier 4 provincial hockey championships at the Sportsplex. Clearwater Ice Hawks took fourth place.

Former Wells Gray Park ranger Herb Green displayed some irreverent humor during a storytelling evening in Upper Clearwater Hall. Green had worked in the park from 1953 to 1965.

Karl deBruijn took over from Terry Sullivan as the superintendent of School District 73. He had been assistant superintendent for the previous 11 years.


Jean and Lloyd Strickland were chosen Clearwater’s Citizens of the Year for 2018. The Stricklands came to the North Thompson Valley in 1965. Their nomination notes that, although now retired, the Stricklands continue to mentor others: youth leaders in our community, fellow rockhounds, gardeners, Bible study groups, and so on.

More than 450 people ended the season by taking part in a Family Fun Day at Clearwater ski hill. Activities included kids’ games and races on the bunny hill, games and activities for kids of all ages on the porch, slalom ski races, dummy races, and the notorious slush pit.

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