Back in Time

Historical Perspective

  • Jun. 14, 2020 12:00 a.m.


Gilbert T. Kennedy, deputy attorney general and magistrates from all parts of British Columbia and the Yukon, many accompanied by their wives, found the end of the rainbow at Dutch Lake Resort. They enjoyed a delicious hot dinner served open-air style under a canopy to protect them from a sudden June shower.

Arrangements for the event, attended by 150 people, were under the capable management of H.C. Higgins of Victoria and W. Scott, chief warden of the gaol at Kamloops. Scott arranged transportation by bus from Kamloops to the resort, where the group enjoyed refreshments before continuing on to the minimum security prison in Wells Gray Park.


Police in Clearwater received a call at about 3:15 p.m. and on responding found a young Birch Island man lying on the beach at Dutch Lake. The youth, recently from Nipawin, Sask., had got into difficulties while in a deep portion of the lake.

When RCMP arrived he’d been revived and was conscious with a doctor in attendance. He was pulled from the deep water by Ronald Parker, Clearwater, and Don Fraser, Chilliwack, who heard his calls for help.

The young man was said to have gone under a number of times before they were able to pull him by the hair to safety. Both rescuers claimed to be poor swimmers.


The Thompson Valley Golf Course, owned by Ian and Betty Davidson, recorded the first hole-in-one of the season on the 135 yd. second hole. While everyone was busy congratulating, lo and behold, Dale Jacobson went and fired a hole-in-one on the 100 yd first hole.

To complete the crazy weekend, Betty said one customer claimed he scored a birdie – knocked it right out of a tree, however, the ball disappeared.

Anything can happen at golf.


The Sunshine Valley Stingers under coach Gary Thibert would be representing Zone 11 in the provincial playoffs in Langford. The Stingers won the Juvenile ball tournament at Clearwater diamond, playing against teams from Kamloops, Valemount and Barriere.

Part of the success of the tournament was due to the efforts of the umpires, scorekeepers and announcers, all of whom donated their time.

The ballplayers appreciated the assistance of Ralph and Elsie Sunderman, who billeted the umpires during their two-day stay. Norm and Betty Burrows were also very helpful to the ballplayers.


Yellowhead ecological Association, the group that led the fights to stop the dams on the Clearwater River and stop the uranium mine near Birch Island had been resurrected. The group which had in fact been kept alive over the years by a small executive was being wheeled out to take aim at a planning process that was underway for Wells Gray Park.

The decision to re-awaken the dormant YEA was made at a meeting of 15 individuals, many of them Association members, held at Dutch Lake School. The meeting was organized and chaired by Frank Ritcey, local computer consultant and so of the former Wells Gray Park manager.


There had been a number of bear-related incidents in Wells Gray Park, B.B. Parks supervisor Earl Sinclair had reported. A nuisance bear, which was causing problems near Placid Lake was relocated into the “Management” in early June.

Parks staff closed off the trail into Norman’s Eddy temporarily. A mother and cub there had apparently left the area. Four camps had been ripped apart in the Murtle Lake area as well, he said. A trap was set for a bruin that was becoming a nuisance near Spahats Creek Park and Bear Creek Camp, but apparently this one had moved on as well.


The provincial government had turned down a proposal to establish a first responder program in the Clearwater area with Close to Home funding.

A letter to Ken Kjenstad, chairman of the Thompson Regional Health Board, from the co-chairmen of the Closer to Home Funding Committee (CTHF), on the Ministry of Health letterhead, stated the proposal from the Clearwater area was not recommended by the Ministry’s CTHF assessment committee as, “while recognized as an effective emergency services program, did not address the basic CTHF criteria of hospital to community shift or reduction of acute care utilization and a major portion of this proposal was for equipment.”


“It was really overwhelming for me, a guy who doesn’t seek a lot of attention,” said Jim Munn. That was how the Clearwater Forest District manager described a retirement celebration held in his honour on Saturday, June 3 at Clearwater ski hill.

Guests at the event included visitors from various locations all over the province where Munn served during his 32 years with the B.C. Forest Service. Displays on the wall held photographs showing the various locations where he had worked and his various hobbies and interests.


Two women from the North Thompson Valley had taken on important jobs with the British Columbia Women’s Institute, according to a press release. At the institute’s triennial conference held in Penticton Elsie Karl of Little Fort W.I. was elected president, while Wanda Richter of Blackpool’s Star Lake W.I. was voted Vice President.

Guest speaker at the conference was the president of the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada, Margaret Yetman from Newfoundland.

A committee was continuing to work on a history book. One Hundred Years of Women’s Institutes in British Columbia, to be completed by 2008.


Clearwater and District Chamber of Commerce had its president resign. Former president Steve Pelton announced before a chamber meeting he was resigning. Pelton said he was too busy setting up a new sawmill in Crescent Spur to continue as president.

Pelton had been president for two years before, was away from the Chamber for about five years, and then returned to become president in 2009 and again in 2010.

One project Pelton led while president was the Shop Local campaign undertaken in cooperation with the Times. Nearly all the storefront businesses in Clearwater were given short profiles in the paper that outlined what they sold and why people should shop there.


‘Growing Tourism together’ was the theme for a gathering of industry leaders and stakeholder held at the Dutch Lake Community Centre. Thompson Okanagan (TOTA), president and CEO Glenn Mandziuk, team members, and Tourism Wells Gray co-hosted the session, with representatives from Valemount to Barriere in attendance.

Mandziuk stated the Thompson Okanagan was one of the leading tourist destinations in the world. In 2010 tourism generated more than $1,7 billion to the regional economy, attracting 3.5 million visitors per year, with tourism employing roughly 15,000 people in this region.


Wells Gray Search and Rescue (WGSAR) held a grand opening and open house to show off its new facility. “It’s great; it’s been many years in planning, this building, and to finally have a building of this size and quality is just fantastic,” said Gy Ovenden, member of WGSAR.

“The old building was pretty small. If we wanted to train we had to move all the furniture to have enough space, so this is fantastic because we have all the space we need.”

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