Back in Time

Historical Perspective


Clearwater CNT Lions were advertising water sports, prizes and bingo to go with the annual Dutch Lake Regatta during the first weekend in August.

There was an obvious need for more services and accommodation along the North Thompson portion of the Yellowhead Highway, reported Reg Easton, executive director of the newly formed Yellowhead Highway Association.

People in the Flats and Secondary School part of Clearwater were to vote on a new water system at an upcoming meeting. It was predicted that the proposal would go ahead, as the area had become more heavily populated and the well water had deteriorated.


About 75 per cent of the residents of the Clearwater Flats met with MLA Gerry Anderson to find out what could be done to remove the flood plain restrictions on the area. Former TNRD chairman John Harwood wanted to know why persons were still being permitted to build on floodplain land in Kamloops. Civil Defense coordinator Bill Mattenley asked why a Kamloops subdivision was able to get 100 per cent funding for dikes, yet none was available for Clearwater.



Eighteen Clearwater athletes from the Shadowfax Track and Field Club won 12 awards at a junior development track meet in Prince George. Chris Sjodin won gold and Seppi Wadlegger took bronze in the Tyke 2 boys (10-year-olds) class. Shonna Martens won bronze in Tyke 1 girls (eight and nine years). “The athletes performed very well for their first year of competition,” said coach Dan Coleman.

Thompson-Nicola Regional District gave unanimous endorsement for expansion of Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital. The facility was suffering from a $40,000 deficit, but was to receive additional funding after a meeting attended by hospital board chair Fred Braun, vice-chair Lois Moss, administrator Betty Sykes, Minister of Health Bob McClelland, MLA Rafe Mair and others.

Bernie Richardson of Blackpool, one of four members of the Clearwater Fire Department who attended the Volunteer Firefighters Association of B.C. seminar in Surrey, was elected a director of the provincial association.


Three Clearwater teams won all three gold medals in provincial “B” championships held in Clearwater. Safety Mart Squirts were coached by Ken Kjenstad and Bob McMurchy, Star Flight Video Bantam Astros were coached by Dean Redman, Lawrence Redman and Ernie Smith, and Wells Gray Curling Club PeeWees were coached by Les Neufeld and John Yurkiw.


Carole Desbiens was chosen as Strawberry Festival Queen, taking the place of retiring queen Kris Borrow.

Starflight Video Midget B team won gold at their provincial championships in Vernon. “All the guys played super,” said coach Mike Kilba.

Tenders had been called for sealcoating Wells Gray Park Road from Boundary Road to Helmcken Falls, announced the MLAs for Kamloops, Claude Richmond and Bud Smith.

Iva Bonar and her daughters Kathy, Deneen and Michelle officially opened the Chuckwagon Restaurant in Clearwater. Originally called the Sportsman, it had been built in 1969 by Lena and Eric Gunderson, and their sons, Ron and Rick.


Clearwater and District Highway Rescue Society was ready to order a new rescue van, following a $10,000 donation from Weyerhaeuser Canada.


Surging creeks threatened to close the road to Wells Gray Park for the second time in two weeks. A portable bridge had been put across a gap in the road at Spahats Creek, but there were concerns about Canyon Creek and Fage Creek. Upper Clearwater resident Trevor Goward had recorded 165 mm (6.5 inches) of precipitation in June. High water had also damaged trails and bridges in the park.


Cool weather dampened the fire danger in the Clearwater Fire Zone. The 214 hectare Vermilion Fire (also called the Bear Creek Fire) was 100 per cent contained and 30 firefighters were mopping up.

People living near a proposed memorial park for fallen Clearwater firefighter Chad Schapansky were opposed to including a water park as part of the plan, Dave Dobi and Richard Jones told the Wells Gray Country services committee.


Despite a gloomy economic outlook, Clearwater council approved $715,000 to upgrade the town’s sewage lagoons.

Robert Horne, manager of the A&W Restaurant, placed a Now Open sign on the billboard in front of the new Jim’s Food Store next to Highway 5 in Clearwater.

The Community Resource Centre sponsored Red Cross swimming lessons held at Dutch Lake beach. Ten classes with youngsters aged from about two to 12 participated in the four-week session.


Clearwater Town council approved $40,000 for a paved walkway next to the Buy-Low store then under construction. The grocery chain was paying half the cost of upgrading the section of Murtle Crescent next to the new shopping centre.

RCMP removed three stowaways from an empty space on a freight train in Blue River. The two men and one woman had got on in Kamloops and were attempting to get to Montreal.

District of Clearwater will move its operations out of its present office building on the Flats and into the new community center in the former Dutch Lake School on July 18, chief administrative officer Leslie Groulx told council.

She asked for permission to officially close the office for that day.

“We’ll be doing a serious blitz,” she said. Groulx said she understood that Yellowhead Community Services also would be moving some of its operations into the former school on that day.


Anti-pipeline demonstrators had moved their camp of tiny homes north after one of their leaders was arrested and the group ordered out of the North Thompson River Provincial Park. Leader Kanahus Manuel and Tiny House Warriors moved to Blue River, a small community where pipeline workers will camp. They had erected tiny homes along the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion route earlier in the month.

Tourism Wells Gray held the first night of their Stargazing and Sci-fi Movie Night series at Clearwater Airport (Wells Gray Air) 75 Camp Two Rd., offering locals and tourists four free nights of astronomy and b-movie fun. The first night of the series took place July 18 with a screening of the 1959 movie, Planet 9 From Outer Space, and a presentation by Bill Burnyeat, community astronomer for B.C. Park’s community astronomy program.

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