Back in Time

Historical Perspective


Eleanor Shook won the top academic award at the Clearwater Secondary School graduation ceremonies. Donna Madden was outstanding athlete, and the all-around achievement award went to Dennis Arksey.

Coachways started a bus service between Kamloops and Clearwater on a six-month trial. The service was to help older people and those without cars.


The old Clearwater Station Bridge was in a precarious state following a collision with a logjam. Concern was felt about a new bridge built just a few feet downstream should the old structure give way. The river was still swollen, and water had risen within two feet of the top of the dikes.

A 23-year-old Clearwater man was missing and presumed drowned following an accident in Wells Gray Provincial Park. It was believed that he had been attempting to climb down a cliff.


According to Karl Simmerling, TNRD director for Area A, the Vavenby Fire Department was on its way. The department was to be governed by a committee partly made up of Vavenby Improvement District trustees, and partly by people representing the various areas within the fire protection district, but outside the improvement district.

TNRD directors accepted a settlement with the parties responsible for the construction of the North Thompson Sportsplex. Area A director Karl Simmerling thought the settlement was probably “the best which could realistically be expected.” Writs had been issued against the facility’s consulting engineers, material suppliers and contractors more than two years earlier.

“Instead of asking what life has to offer, we should ask ‘What do we have to give?’” said CSS valedictorian Kathy Neufeld.

Rafts were to leave Clearwater at 6 a.m. on June 30 for the annual Overlander Raft Race to Kamloops.


An eight-year-old Vavenby boy was killed instantly after he drove his bicycle into a passing train. Police reported that he was riding at a fast speed down Vavenby Bridge Road as the train was about halfway over the crossing.

Sukh Khaira was named top boys athlete at the CSS graduation ceremonies, and Kathy Horne was top girls athlete. Tim Cooper received the highest achievement trophy. All round trophy went to Dean Sjodin.


Many of the children brought into the world by Dr. Bob Woollard were included in a drop-in for the doctor and his wife, Erlene. The local physician had accepted a position at the University of British Columbia.

Raft River Elementary School was to receive a $3,500 computer as a reward after Jolene Davidson, a Grade 7 student at the school, was one of 12 from across the province chosen to have artwork included in a B.C. Hydro school calendar.

Clearwater’s garbage dump was converted to a sanitary landfill. There would no longer be 24-hour access, and users would have to drop their loads in a designated location for burial.


A Kamloops man was dead following a fiery crash on the Avola bridge. The 38-year-old man’s Mazda 626 went under the wheels of a logging truck.

The TNRD directors passed a bylaw to establish a five-member committee to govern the Vavenby Volunteer Fire Department. There was no discussion regarding whether it might be preferable to elect committee members rather than appoint them, said TNRD assistant secretary and treasurer John Smith. “This is a bylaw that is standard throughout the region for all fire departments,” he said. “No one is elected except for the directors.”


Flooding forced 88 residents of the North Thompson Valley to evacuate their homes. High water peaked at 3.6 meters at Birch Island on June 20, reported Vern Goodwin, incident commander for the Clearwater area.

Opinions were divided as approximately 50 people attended a zoning hearing in Upper Clearwater Hall regarding a temporary industrial use permit for a shingle mill. TNRD directors later approved a two-year permit for the operation.

Clearwater residents voted 83 to 65 to approve spending $226,000 to connect a new well located across from Dutch Lake beach to the CID water system. “It’s not if we need this well, but when,” said CID chair Lawrence Giesbrecht.


Dry lightning ignited five small forest fires in the Clearwater Fire Zone. The 110 hectare Bear Creek Fire, located south of Vavenby just outside the zone, brought back memories of the 4,000 hectare Vermillion Creek fire of the previous year.

A snowmobile/ATV trail being proposed to run from Sun Peaks to Blue River could become part of a larger trail system that could see long-distance sledders do a loop around Wells Gray Park. That was one suggestion put forward during a presentation by Diann Lawson and Al Hodgson, two of the project’s proponents, to Clearwater Chamber of Commerce.

Wells Gray Country Services Committee set aside $2,800 to hire an engineer to design an outdoor skating rink for Vavenby. The money would also be used to design two “Welcome to Wells Gray Country” signs to be erected along Highway 5.


A recommendation in a 46-page report released by School District 73 to close Vavenby Elementary School for the 2010- 2011 year and bus the students to Raft River Elementary in Clearwater, was a report school trustee John Harwood did not want to read.

Seeing the need for free recreation during the difficult times foreseen after Canfor’s recent announcement that it was closing its Vavenby operation, District of Clearwater applied for $600,000 to upgrade Rotary Sports Park.


Repaving to a long list of roads in Clearwater got underway, including Old North Thompson Highway.

Wells Gray Community Forest had distributed about $500,000 in the community over the past five years, corporation president Dave Meehan reported to the annual general meeting of the community forest’s advisory committee. “It’s been a big boost to a lot of societies,” he said.


The District of Clearwater announced it signed an agreement with British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) to give local patients better emergency care. The agreement allows local firefighters to receive extra training and give support to paramedics if help is needed and many have volunteered for the extra instruction, a move which Clearwater Mayor John Harwood said he admires.

The Clearwater Friendly Club celebrated its 51st birthday last week with its monthly potluck lunch and a special tip of the hat to the Silvertones band.

The Silvertones, which is comprised of Jack Perry, Betty Schulte, Lloyd Smith and Mary Smith, has provided the musical entertainment for the events each month, year-round, at Evergreen Acres and were honoured with a special cake before hitting the stage.

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