Back in Time

Back in Time

50 YEARS AGO: Department of Highways crews with 12 trucks and a loader built about two miles of dykes to protect the town of Clearwater.


Department of Highways crews with 12 trucks and a loader built about two miles of dykes to protect the town of Clearwater and the mill yard. The four foot dykes were about 1 1/2 feet above the level of the 1948 flood. A pile-up of logs took out one pier of the Raft River overload bridge.

Combined efforts by local residents, the Blue River fire truck and a hose from the CNR’s fire pump saved the home of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Pepiv. The fire destroyed the garage and a chicken coop.


The North Thompson River rose to its highest recorded level, higher even than the flood of 1948. Local trucks, cats and other equipment converged on the Clearwater Flats to erect a dyke between the old highway and the river. Trucks dumped loads of rock to stabilize the bridge across the Clearwater River. Swift-flowing water swept across the Birch Island Road near the highways yard, and a Bailey bridge was installed as a temporary crossing. There was 1 1/2 feet of water over the road in Blackpool. Mail and bus service were suspended as the highway was closed.


There should be a public inquiry into the environmental and work hazards involved in a proposed uranium mine near Birch Island, said Robert Skelly, New Democrat MLA for Alberni.


A RCMP dog-master, police, helicopter, Bear Creek inmates and about 130 volunteers searched for a deaf, mute and mentally handicapped boy in Wells Gray Park. Five hikers and two staff members from Tranquille School had been walking on the old trail to Helmcken Falls when the boy went missing.


Ida Dekelver suggested that the Ray Farm be the focal point of any celebrations to mark Wells Gray Park’s 50th anniversary, scheduled for 1989. She was speaking at a meeting of the Friends of Wells Gray Park, B.C. Parks officials and Chamber of Commerce members.


Clearwater resident Mohammed Sattar got into a fight with two escaped inmates from Bear Creek Camp after they invaded his home to get the keys to Sattar’s truck. One held his nearly 70-year-old mother by the neck and shouted, “Give me the keys or else!”

The North Thompson Times’ front page was judged the second best in the country in its circulation class by the Canadian Community Newspaper Association.

Clearwater Fire Department had a new Ford F-800 pumper. The monitor on the roof could throw water 100 to 200 feet.

A delay in opening the road along the west side of the Clearwater River was jeopardizing the area’s reputation as a whitewater and fishing destination, said rafting guide Doug Trotter.


Dutch Lake had some of the highest concentration of nutrients he had ever seen, said Don Holmes of the Ministry of Environment. Hooking everyone to a sewage system would be the most useful way to fix the problem, he felt. He was speaking at a meeting arranged by Dutch Lake resident Dr. Cary Lam.


The road to Murtle Lake remained closed until senior Ministry of Transportation staff decided its fate. Two major washouts shut down the 26-km-long road from Blue River to the canoe-only lake in Wells Gray Park.

Baylee and Travis Sallenback answered the question of the week, “What does the word ‘Dad’ mean to you?” — “Fathers help you out … like when you’re camping. He buys ice cream cones. Going to soccer matches and cheering.”

The only student from SD73 to win a medal at the BC Track and Field Championships was CSS Grade 12 student Dustin Walchuck, who earned a silver with a 6 m 53 cm long jump.


B.C. Forestry crews were filling sandbags for flood suppression. TNRD emergency coordinator Terry Kress reported incident command teams had been dispatched to patrol the river in Vavenby, Birch Island, Clearwater, Blackpool, Darfield, Barriere, Louis Creek and Exlou twice daily.

About 40 people attended an information meeting about incorporation for Clearwater. This compared to over 200 at some earlier gatherings. Residents and property owners took to the polls June 16 to decide if Clearwater would become a municipality.

Representatives from Clearwater Improvement District (CID) met with an engineer from TRU Engineering to discuss possible types of water meters. After looking at the options they chose the Nepture T-10 meter, which could be read remotely by radio.


“The tassel is worth the hassle.” That quote from fellow grad Joey Pastorek was how valedictorians Cassandra Brown and Bowen Foulkes ended their address to the Clearwater Secondary School graduating class of 2012.

CSS student Emma Persad won the TRU Ambassadors Entrance scholarship plus the Dogwood C Fine Arts scholarship, giving a her a total of $21,000 in scholarships.

Clearwater Slow Pitch donated the proceeds from its May Day slow pitch tournament to Clearwater Minor Ball. The money would go towards the provincial Peewee and Midget championships to be held in July.


Rural communities face a crisis with aging populations, Gordon Borgstrom of Southern Beetle Action Committee told an economic development forum in Little Fort. The percentage of the population in the North Thompson over 70 years of age had increased from 3.6 per cent in 1986 to 13.6 per cent in 2015.

Former Clearwater resident Susanne Taron was working for the United Nations in Bonn, Germany. It all started with the international experience she gained as a member of Girl Guides, she said.