Back in Time

Historical Perspective

  • Apr. 12, 2019 9:15 a.m.


Officials were to walk from Dutch Lake to the site of the Elks Hall for the turning of the first sod. There were 114 sponsors for the Clearwater Elk Walkathon.

Voters in six school districts: Williams Lake, South Cariboo, Lillooet, Birch Island, Barriere and Kamloops were to vote on whether to support a new educational institute, to be called Mainline-Cariboo Regional College.


The body of a young woman, missing for almost six months, was found nine miles south of Clearwater. She had been last seen when she completed her shift at a local garage and was to return to her parents’ home in Kamloops.


The county system as used in Alberta should be tried in B.C. as an alternative to regional districts, Minister of Municipal Affairs Bill Vander Zalm told the TNRD board in Kamloops.

All four North Thompson TNRD representatives: Walter Winter from Little Fort, Herb George from Blue River-Avola, Orest Parsey from Barriere, and Clearwater-Vavenby’s Karl Simmerling were on hand for a re-zoning meeting in Clearwater. A proposal by Al Miller to re-zone lots near the intersection of the road to Wells Gray Park and Highway 5 brought opposition from businessmen from the existing shopping center core.


Clearwater Secondary School bought a $26,000 dozer for its logging class. The three-year program had 40 students and was taught by Bob Slingsby.


Leverne Burnell received a First Level Priory Vote of Thanks award from the St. John Ambulance Society. He had been instructing first aid in Clearwater for longer than most people could remember.

Effective action on environmental issues almost always came from public involvement. That was the farewell message from Dr. Bob Woollard to a meeting of about 40 Yellowhead Ecological Association members. The longtime local physician was leaving to take a position at the University of British Columbia.


The B.C. Ambulance Service made official a decision not to replace Jack Patterson as full-time ambulance station unit chief. Instead the job would become a part-time position.

An attempt by Sunshine Valley residents to either pull out of joining the Clearwater water system or slow down the process proved to be futile. CID chair Jack Patterson said he couldn’t see users of the existing system “giving up more than $1 million in assets in their water system to get a small grant for your (Sunshine Valley) system.”


Weyerhaeuser announced that its B.C. Timberlands Division had received ISO 14001 registration for its environmental management system. “What it means is we have to develop a series of environmentally reliable methods, or ERMs, for all the things we do that impact the environment,” said Merl Fichtner, Vavenby timberlands manager.

Most snowpack recording stations in the North Thompson were reporting all-time high readings. The snowpack in the river drainage was 38 per cent above normal.


“The people of the North Thompson Valley have to hold together if we are to maintain our quality of life,” said Chief Nathan Matthew of the North Thompson Indian Band. He was speaking at a meeting of the Wells Gray Country Action Committee.

Former longtime Clearwater resident Gerald Schurman received a Canadian Peacekeeping Medal for taking part in a United Nations force in Korea following the Korean War. The presentation took place in Kamloops.


The provincial government gave Vavenby’s Moilliet family a Century Farm Award in recognition of the Aveley sheep ranch being owned by the same family for more than 100 years. MLA Kevin Krueger attended the ranch to do the honors. “The Aveley Ranch has been operating in the North Thompson valley for more than 100 years and exemplifies the pioneer spirit that has made British Columbia what it is today,” said Krueger.

District of Clearwater was about to receive some hefty payments from the provincial government. The payments included $516,330 through the first installment of the Province’s Strategic Community Investment Fund, $10,000 through the Infrastructure Planning Grant Program, and $1,641 from the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program.

Forest and Range Minister Pat Bell and Community Development Minister Kevin Krueger announced $110,000 to improve travel and safety conditions on 39.4 kilometers of Forest Service Road 2.

District of Clearwater was facing some difficult choices in its water sources … difficult and expensive. That was the gist of a presentation to the district’s infrastructure committee from TRUE (the company that has handled Clearwater’s engineering for many years), according to Mayor John Harwood.

Clearwater needs about six million liters/day of water at peak demand, the committee was told. None of the district’s three water sources: Well #1, Well #2 or Russell-Hascheak Creek, could provide that much volume on its own. The engineers were examining options in a series of studies as they developed a long-term plan for the district’s water supply.


Twelve Clearwater and area residents went to Kelowna to become Canadian citizens. One of them, Jean Strickland, said her husband Lloyd Strickland had had his Canadian citizenship for at least 40 years, but she had always held back in case they had to return to the U.S.

District of Clearwater’s debt amounted to just $130 per person, said the District’s auditor. This compared to about $700 per person in local government debt across the TNRD, or $1,000 per person across B.C.

About 70 people attended a Healthy Forests/Healthy Communities forum in the Clearwater Legion. Speakers included Hans Wadlegger of Wadlegger Logging and Construction, Kim Muddiman of Nest Timber Homes, and forest district manager Rick Sommer.


Willow MacDonald, TNRD director for Area B (Thompson Headwaters) planned to hold a public meeting on whether or not ratepayers in Blue River wanted to pay for mosquito control.

Proposed boundaries for the service would coincide with those of Blue River Improvement District.

An estimate from BRID put the cost of mosquito control at roughly $100,000.

Mike Smith became the new bylaw enforcement officer for Clearwater. In addition to being the part-time fire chief, Smith was District of Clearwater’s manager of roads, fleet, and equipment.

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