Back in Time

Historical Perspective

  • Aug. 1, 2019 1:15 p.m.


The Clearwater Lions had things lined up for the Aug. 2 and 3 long weekend Regatta at Dutch Lake. Events included the swim from the island, canoe races, a bingo booth, a greased pole climb, dunking machine, dance and all denomination church service Sunday morning.


A fire at the Roger deVooght ranch in Vavenby the week prior destroyed about 2,000 bales of hay and brought about the prospect of a bleak winter. Mr. deVooght attributed the cause of the fire to his young son playing with matches.

Steelwork was being placed on the ‘new’ Clearwater bridge spanning the Clearwater River on the ‘new’ section of Highway 5.


The construction of Blackpool’s fire hall was on-schedule, with the roof up on July 25 and siding expected in the next week. Director Keith Hanna said a delay was anticipated in getting siding for the building, but discovered supplies arrived on time.

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Chris Sjodin and Shonna Martens of the Shadowfax Track and Field Club were chosen to represent Zone II at the B.C. Summer Games in Burnaby at Swangard Stadium. Sjodin brought home a gold medal in high jump, with 185 cm, equal to the third-best jump in BC by a 15-year-old. Martens won gold with discus, throwing 31 m, 96 cm, was counted the third farthest thrown by any 14-year-old in B.C.


Party plans were in place to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Wells Gray Park. Starting at 8:30 a.m., an open house was held at Mike Wiegele’s Heli-Village in Blue River, where visitors could meet Man in Motion Rick Hansen, a number of provincial ministers and Jerry the Moose. Other activities highlighting the park were planned for the weekend.

Long-time Weyerhaeuser carpenter John Stefanyshyn celebrated his retirement from the Vavenby division after working for the company for 32 years.


Forest fires abounded, including one north of Barriere, a brush fire near Birch Island, and another in the Valemount watershed at Swift Creek. Deemed ‘out of control’, the Barriere fire had “very suspicious” circumstances and had a ranking of 6 out of 6. Both local crews and Ontario crews worked on the 170 ha blaze. The Birch Island fire was quickly brought under control, thanks to the Clearwater Fire Department and residents.


As temperatures soared into mid-30s, Clearwater residents tried to find various ways to keep cool. Demand was up on air conditioners and fans, with delivery trucks being followed by hopeful customers who bought the items before they could hit the floor.


Nearly one year later, fewer than 10 per cent of the workers who lost their jobs at Tolko’s Louis Creek sawmill had been re-hired.

Kelly Graffunder was on his way to Poland to compete in the International Six Day Enduro motocross race. “It is good representing Canada,” he said. “I finished as the top Canadian in the Czech Republic in 2002.


According to B.C. Forest Service, the Momich Lake fire had grown to about 350 hectares and more than 100 firefighters were being brought in to control it.

A floatplane crashed on Azure Lake in Wells Gray Park, while reportedly attempting to land. The pilot and passenger received minor injuries. The airplane remains on the bottom of the lake.

Clearwater Bible Camp had a new climbing tower that was a hit for the more than 40 youngsters who attended their weeklong sessions.


Clearwater town council approved spending up to $90,000 to begin repaving Candle Creek and Barber Roads. The two roads had been omitted from a repaving program completed earlier. About 20 members of the public attended a special meeting on the topic.

RCMP were asking for public assistance after the remains of a small car were found in the North Thompson River downstream from the Mad River junction. No body was found with the vehicle, and it appeared to have been in the river for at least 40 years.

Environment Canada recognized the Moilliet family of Vavenby for collecting weather data for over a century. One hundred and one years earlier, Theodore (Tam) Moilliet had inquired of the federal government if it was interested in establishing a weather station at Aveley Ranch.

Heavy rains meant the Clearwater River was higher than usual for the Clearwater Kayak Festival. Sean Bozkewzcz won the rodeo event for the men, while Beth Million won for the women. Hippy Carter won the downriver event.

About 40 people took part as prey and trackers during the first Wells Gray Invitational Man Tracker event at Nakiska Ranch.

Four Girl Guides plus one leader from Japan were with 10 members of the local Guiding movement when a severe rainstorm struck a SOAR provincial camp in Enderby. Many of the 2,500 participants were forced to take shelter in the Enderby arena.


Vienna Moilliet, who grew up on the family sheep ranch and helped with lambing in the spring as soon as she was old enough, is now headed back to the Philippines to be a missionary and do some midwifery.

Arnold Lim, originally from Blue River and who by day serves as Black Press’s multimedia editor based in Victoria, will direct his first full-length feature film, All-in Madonna, in 2019 after being announced as one of the winners of Telefilm’s Talent to Watch production grants.

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