Back in Time

50 YEARS AGO: Fourteen floats were entered in Blue River's May Day parade


Fourteen floats were entered in Blue River’s May Day parade. Trophy for the best float went to Blue River Ski Club, whose float was a miniature duplicate of their ski hill, complete with tow rope and tow house.

Blue River Chamber of Commerce got an additional 154 guests at its May Day celebrations. They were passengers of a CNR train delayed for 15 hours while a derailed freight train was cleared from the Mount Robson area. One local cafe found itself literally eaten out of house and home before getting new supplies.


K-C Drive In opened in Clearwater, with space for 120 cars. First show was to be “A Man Named Horse,” starring Richard Harris. Owners were Mr. and Mrs. Ken Nelson.

“Callous disregard to the requirements of the community,” was how CID trustee Jack Foote described the refusal of the attorney-general’s department in Victoria to station an additional police officer in Clearwater. The detachment had four men at the time, two of them on highway patrol.

Among those receiving degrees at University of Victoria convocation was Doug (Bud) Smith of Birch Island.


The CNT Softball league held its first Midget Boys tournament in Clearwater May 29 and 30. Seven teams participated in the double knockout tourney, and the spectators had the opportunity of seeing some excellent ball games and a fine display of sportsmanship by all the teams.

Weyerhaeuser Canada has embarked on a 1976 reforestation program involving the planting of over 900,000 seedlings, most of them in the Kamloops and North Thompson regions.


A public meeting narrowly voted 49-45 in favour of going to referendum on the question of incorporation for Clearwater. With a municipal body the provincial government would pay 75 per cent of water systems, said meeting chairman Bill Mattenley.

Tighter security was planned for Bear Creek Camp following a number of incidents, including an attack by an inmate on guards Arnie Stone and Glen Pickering.


Clearwater lawyer Bud Smith announced that he had officially entered the race for premier of British Columbia. The son of longtime Birch Island residents Anne and J. Allan Smith, he had attended school in Birch Island and Clearwater before studying law and becoming secretary to then-premier Bill Bennett.

Parminder Gill collected the Governor General’s award for highest academic achievement at Clearwater Secondary School’s graduation ceremonies. All round student award went to Grant Gegenbach, while Kim Stockton collected the citizenship prize.


A proposal by Multinational Water and Power to divert a portion of the North Thompson River to California created considerable local discussion. The Vancouver-based company wanted to build a 200-foot high dam near Gosnell, sending about one million acre-feet annually south by way of the Columbia River.

Clearwater golfer Ross Kjenstad scored two holes-in-one in one week. His second single shot to the cup was recorded on videotape, and won him a new car during a men’s tournament at Lacarya Golf Course.


Clearwater Improvement District took over administration of the Sportsplex. It had previously been managed by School District 26 for the TNRD. It was decided to change the arrangement when the Minister of Education ordered the school district to amalgamate with Kamloops. The regional district owned the building, while the school district owned the land.

A cougar attacked a small dog near Clearwater Secondary School. The cat only ran when the dog’s owner, Don Collins, approached within five to 10 feet. A search indicated that the cougar then went back up the mountain.

Amalgamated Christmas disbanded after 16 years of service. Committee chairperson Pauline Gregory handed over its remaining funds to Food Bank president Jeanette Stockton.

North Thompson Community Skills Center had found a temporary home in Brookfield Mall, reported interim coordinator Terry Rogers. Development team leader Chuck Emery said a federal/provincial review team would give final approval to the centre soon.


Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger was excited by new structures for cabinet and government introduced by Premier Gordon Campbell. “There’s a tremendous mood of optimism in the capital,” Krueger said following the swearing-in ceremonies for the new administration.


A total of 52 students formed the graduating class of 2006 from Clearwater Secondary School. The commencement ceremonies were held at the Sportsplex where 53 scholarships and bursaries were awarded to 19 students who collected a total of $33,500.

Vavenby correspondent Trevor Harder reported the members of the Sallenbach logging crew deserved a hearty thanks. They had removed multiple pine beetle-killed trees throughout the region for free or at very little cost. Efforts were halted when it was suspected a First Nation’s burial site might be disturbed. Harder reported many Vavenby residents felt this should not put a stop to removing bug-killed trees.


About 50 students took part in graduation ceremonies at Clearwater Secondary School. Valedictorians were Jonah Timms and Clara Shipp.

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure was looking at installing a roundabout at the junction of Highway 5 and the road to Wells Gray Park. “The Ministry’s engineers came to us with the idea,” said Clearwater Mayor John Harwood.

Chief Nathan Matthew and other members of Simpcw First Nation took part in the official opening of a small-scale hydro project on Bone Creek north of Blue River. The run of the river facility generated enough electricity for 4,500 homes, said TransAlta vice-president Hugo Shaw.

District of Clearwater chief administrative officer Isabell Hadford announced she was taking early retirement. The District also welcomed its new director of finance, Sheila Thiessen.

Wells Gray Search and Rescue members spent the night with an Australian man after he was injured falling off a horse. He was airlifted by helicopter the following morning.


A total of 46 students accepted their scrolls from principal Darren Coates and school superintendent Karl deBruijn at the CSS graduation ceremonies. Over $41,000 was given out in scholarships and bursaries to help further the grads’ education.

Ruddock Creek project, a joint venture between Imperial (50 per cent), Mitsui Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd. (30 per cent) and Itochu Corporation (20 per cent), was making progress. That was in a report given by Imperial Metals vice-president Gordon Weevil and exploration manager Jim Miller-Tait to Clearwater town council’s economic development committee. Getting adequate electrical power to the site would be a priority.

Members of Dr. Helmcken Memorial Auxiliary were happy to report during their annual general meeting they had allocated $117,000 for Clearwater’s hospital and for the doctors’ wish list.



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