Back in Time

Historical Perspective


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. They 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 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 over $1 million in assets of the 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.


“Life is one new and exciting trip,” valedictorians Kristy Jackson and Tim Olson told the graduating class of 2004. Principal Rick Kienlein quoted Emerson’s words: “Do not follow where others may lead. Go where there is no path and leave a trail.”

“We think it’s a good thing. It will allow both industries to move ahead.” That was the assessment of NTIB councilor Keith Matthew of a draft Winter Recreational Sustainable Resource Management plan for the Valemount to Blue River area. Open houses to get public input on the plan were being held in Valemount, McBride, Blue River and Clearwater. Project coordinator Ernie Maynard said he hoped to start implementing the plan by the following winter.


Doctor Soles attended a medical education conference in Hazelton to reinforce the message sent by Clearwater when it hosted a rural health symposium that small communities can put together top-notch educational events.

Wells Gray Country TNRD director Tim Pennell presented Ed Buck with a gift for his 33 years of service with the local Advisory Planning Commission.

Clearwater Squirt Boys attended a tournament in Barriere and came away with gold medals.

Despite the summer heat, the 2009 CSS Grad class commencement ceremony was a success with the graduating students sharing memorable moments.


Clearwater council gave the go-ahead to apply for $1.9 million in federal gas funding to help pay for a sewer extension to the area south and west of Dutch Lake. The funding would pay 2/3 of the projected $2.8 million cost. Affected property owners would pay a large share of the local cost.

David Shearing, convicted of killing six members of the Johnson-Bentley family in 1982, applied for parole for a second time. The former local resident had been sentenced to life with no eligibility of parole for 25 years.

An impressive total of 193 people gathered at Rotary Sports Park for a Zumba session as part of Healthy Families BC’s Move for Health Day.


Tourism Wells Gray will benefit from a grant provided by Community Futures that went toward the tourism organization’s marketing plans for the year. The $15,000 donation came after local consultations following last year’s wildfires when Community Futures learned the degree tourism in the area had been impacted.

The Clearwater Sno-Drifters Snowmobile Club, local snowmobile X Games gold medal winner Brett Turcotte and his wife Niki presented a cheque to Easter Seals, with funds raised for children and families who stay at Easter Seals Camp Winfield and Easter Seals House in Vancouver.

The amount was $19,482.55, which was raised in March during the Snowmobile Drag Race and Freestyle show organized by the Turcottes.

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