Back in Time

Historical Perspective

50 YEARS AGO:

The Blackpool School burned when sparks from a nearby fire caught in its shingles.

It had been built in 1915, when the school district extended from Round Top to the Clearwater River.

The first schoolchildren had been Martin, Louie and Alberta Jenkins; Jack and Alice Harpur, and Henrietta Bester.

The Jenkins had to cross on the ferry every day. Peggy Tait was the first teacher.

The school had closed in 1949.

Trustees of the Clearwater Improvement District chose Russell and McDougall Creeks as the source for the proposed water system.

The Clearwater Recreation Commission was planning for a three-day May Day weekend.

45 YEARS AGO:

A contract had been awarded to install the decking for the new Clearwater bridge, the district engineer for the Department of Highways told the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce.

It was hoped that the old bridge could be renovated the next winter.

40 YEARS AGO:

A B.C. lottery grant of $6,000 was to be used to provide a helicopter pad at Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital in Clearwater.

Area A director Karl Simmerling and the rest of the TNRD board rejected several re-zoning applications, including one for a wholesale petroleum, warehousing and storage facility at the intersection of Wells Gray Park Road and Wildwood Road.

35 YEARS AGO:

Former Clearwater resident David Shearing, age 25, was sentenced to six concurrent life sentences with no eligibility for parole for 25 years.

He had confessed to killing the six members of the Johnson-Bentley family while they were camping near Wells Gray Park.

Local community service worker Garry Thibert wanted to give priority to developing a park in Weyerhaeuser subdivision.

Funding was to come from the TNRD.

Clearwater Chamber of Commerce took over organizing the annual May Day celebrations after it had been done by the CID for several years.

30 YEARS AGO:

A study had shown there was enough wood fiber to supply another pulp mill in the Kamloops area, MLA Bud Smith told a town hall meeting in Vavenby.

He said Fibreco had already looked at the North Thompson Valley, but had concerns for supply and water.

CSS student Jennifer Shook won a gold medal at the Regional Science Fair in Kamloops.

Donald Wright won a silver, while Jennifer Morden, Heather Douglas, Reed Mackenzie and Peter Wright won bronzes.

25 YEARS AGO:

Clearwater Improvement District trustee Vern Salden resigned so that he could go public about his concerns about a consulting firm’s study of the inner workings of the CID.

The firm recommended that all reporting go to the Board of Trustees’ management committee, and only then to the Board.

Fire protection outside of fire protection districts was not possible, representatives from various government bodies and fire protection agencies concluded after a series of three meetings.

A home had burned to the ground the previous December in Birch Island, an area without fire protection.

20 YEARS AGO:

A total of about four dozen local residents attended meetings held in Vavenby and Clearwater to set up a Rural Crime Watch organization.

The program was to cover all the Clearwater RCMP Detachment’s area, said Sgt. Bryon Hodgkin.

The CSS Odyssey of the Mind team won a silver medal at the B.C. Finals. Team members were Emily Braaksma, Chelsey Miller, Stephanie Willan, Courtenay Hamerston and Nicole Rushton.

15 YEARS AGO:

“I’m confident that Clearwater will be in line, if not first in line, for a community forest,” announced MLA Kevin Krueger during a Wells Gray Country Action Committee meeting.

He and M.P. Betty Hinton were reporting on their progress to assist the area.

Local First Nations members were planning Clearwater’s first Powwow, to be held May 10. “Everyone is welcome,” said Brenda Celeste.

10 YEARS AGO:

Council approved a 2.1 per cent increase in user fees for the Sportsplex. The increase was based on the consumer price index and a recommendation from the joint services committee.

During a two-day road check in Clearwater 26 tractor-trailer units were inspected.

Eight of the vehicles passed, 11 had defects that did not require immediate attention and eight were put out of service.

Ministry of Forests, Worksafe BC, Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement and Clearwater Traffic Services conducted the inspections.

5 YEARS AGO:

A major police operation delivered three young children from danger after their mother was found deceased.

Police surrounded a house on Joyce Road and several hours later an adult male suspect was taken into custody.

Clearwater town council issued a development permit for Buy-Low Foods’ proposed shopping centre next to the roundabout on Highway 5.

“This is an historic event for Clearwater,” commented Mayor John Harwood.

An excavator and semi-trailer had already been moved onto the site.

A research team from UNBC hosted an open house to inform the public about the seniors’ mobility project called Front Door to Grocery Store.

Rotary Richard went face down into Dutch Lake on April 16. The event was a fundraiser for Clearwater Rotary Club.

1 YEAR AGO:

During a public meeting held in Little Fort Hall, property owners voted 50 to two in favour of having the TNRD conduct a petition assent process to determine if there should be a fire protection service administered by the regional district.

“Running a fire department in B.C. is no longer a simple, neighbour-helping-neighbour situation,” Libby Toman, the fire department’s secretary and a member of its board of directors, told the meeting.

New provincial standards mean that firefighters must have hundreds of hours of experience just to get basic certification, she said.

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