Back in Time

Historical Perspective

  • Jun. 6, 2019 9:07 a.m.


The new owner of the Blue River Hotel was R. Wishlow.

There were 18 entries for the North Thompson Fall Fair Queen: Ann Deane, Angela Fowler, Debbie Chambers, Lorna Marriott, Beverley Kupsch, Heather Wallin, Heather Masterton, Patty VanVuren, Sharon Schaan, Wendy Whitford, Bernice Humphreys, Colleen Fennell, Janice Farnsworth, Caroline Fraser, Barbara Holland, Bonnie Campbell, Linda Johnston and Loretta Taylor.


There were 172 visitors at the tourist information booth in Clearwater over the previous three weeks.


Concerns about future generations dominated a hearing of the Royal Commission into Uranium Mining in B.C. held in Clearwater. Dr. Robert Woollard said in his brief that wastes from a proposed mine near Birch Island would be dangerous for perhaps 80,000 years. A spokesperson for Consolidated Rexspar, the company proposing the mine, said that the company would participate in the community to the same extent as the local lumber companies.

Dutch Lake Resort had offered to back a possible referendum to acquire property to be used for a proposed park on Dutch Lake, TNRD Area A director Karl Simmerling told a meeting of the Clearwater Improvement District.

The annual April fundraising drive brought in almost $9,500 in the North Thompson area, announced Cancer Society branch president Pauline Gregory.

Back in Time


McCracken’s Store, a 66-year-old landmark in Birch Island, burned to the ground. The store, built in 1918, had been partially demolished by owner Bob McCracken over the previous several months.

M.P. Nelson Riis said he was not upset that a proposed resumption of passenger rail service between Edmonton and Vancouver would not take place until the fall of the next year. The federal government’s reversal of a decision to not provide rail service was restoring his faith in democracy, he said.

Yellowhead Youth Services opened a special care home for young people in Pump Town. Priority was to be given to local young people who could not remain at home.


Kamloops-North Thompson MLA and provincial attorney-general Bud Smith announced that Rick Hanson was to open a newly constructed handicapped trail to Murtle Lake. Hansen was well known following his epic around-the-world Man in Motion wheelchair tour.

All of the first batch of 5,000 Clearwater dollars had been sold already, said organizer Anne Krawec. Another 5,000 were on order.

There would be no fire service for Birch Island anytime soon, said TNRD Area A director Paul Caissie. A committee had looked into taxes, geography, water sources and the number of potential volunteers, and concluded that it was not economically viable. However, the community was to receive a new garbage container transfer station to replace the existing dump, Caissie told about 20 residents.


M.P. Nelson went to bat for a proposal to transfer Clearwater Salmon Hatchery to School District 26 (North Thompson) and took the idea to Brian Tobin, Minister of Fisheries. The school district wanted to use the site for expanded programs with UCC, Grizzly Anglers, Wells Gray Education and Research Center Society and North Thompson Indian Band.

Vavenby Improvement District took over the finances and decision making for the Vavenby Fire Department. The trustees on the fire department were never a legal entity, said TNRD Area A director Carol Schaffer.

A mudslide closed the Clearwater River Road at nine km.


Author Roland Neave reported that the fifth edition of his perennial classic, “Exploring Wells Gray Park,” was now on sale.

The CSS Girls rugby team finished the season with a fourth place finish at the provincial championships. “We’ve been going for three years, but this is the best we’ve ever done,” said Justin McMain, one of the coaches.


After 20 or 30 years, swimming lessons would once again be held at Dutch Lake. “Red Cross swimming lessons have been held in private swimming pools in the community over the past few years,” said Community Resource Center manager Sylvia Arduini. “However, insurance concerns have made it more and more difficult.” This year, the Community Resource Center approached Red Cross and arranged for lessons. Insurance has been arranged and at least one highly qualified instructor had been located.

It appeared that senior levels of government were stepping in to help the upper North Thompson Valley. One of the first phone calls Mayor Harwood received after learning about Canfor’s announcement that it plans to close its Vavenby sawmill indefinitely was from M.P. Cathy McLeod. “She wanted to let us know that she’d do whatever she could to help,” said the mayor. Another early phone call of support was from Terry Lake, the newly elected MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson.

Rental rates for school facilities were on the rise in Kamloops-Thompson School District for all user groups. Over the next two years, School District 73 would incrementally increase its rates for classroom, large room, cafeteria and gymnasium use, making them competitive with other districts.


TNRD issued an evacuation alert to the residents of Upper Clearwater as high water threatened the crossing at Second Canyon.

Wells Gray Park has a unique geological history that deserves designation as a UNESCO Geopark and even a World Heritage Site, said Dr. Cathie Hickson during a presentation at the Infocenter. Formerly with the Geological Survey of Canada, Hickson had done her Ph.D. thesis on the park’s volcanoes.

Local residents were being invited to sign a petition to keep convicted killer David Shearing (Ennis) from being released on parole. In 1982 he had murdered 6 members of the Johnson Bentley families.

Members of Simpcw First Nation and Canim Lake Indian Band joined others to celebrate the grand re-opening of the Wells Gray Infocentre and Art Galley. The displays had been renewed and now included more about local First Nations history and culture.


A pair of charitable cyclists made a pit stop in Clearwater during a cross-country adventure in support of cancer research.

Luis Nasim and Juan Manuel Alonso, both from Montreal, created the 100 Days Across Canada fundraising bicycle tour from Victoria to St. John’s Newfoundland.

Shelley Loring was sworn in as new chief for the Simpcw First Nation band council in Chu Chua. New councilors were George Lampreau, Tina Donald, Ron Lampreau, Edward Celesta, Alison Eustache and off reserve representative Lori Eustache.

Clearwater Youth Soccer Association held its Footy Festival with roughly 250 youngsters. Players in the festival wore green tape on one sock in memory of Brody Wynne who passed away and was considered by the association as its little soccer star.

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