Remember When? (April 25)

A look back at what has happened in the Columbia Valley over the last 50 years.

50 years ago: The Windermere District Board of Trade was informed that public works crews were set to begin work on on Highway 95 from Springbrook to Windermere. In other news, Lake Windermere finally lost its ice surface thanks to some sharp winds. The two closest guesses had the correct day but were off by several hours.

45 years ago: Five different plays were set to perform at the East Kootenay Drama Festival, to be held at the Community Centre in Invermere. Awards were to be given for best play, best actor/actress,  and for the second time an award was to be given for best director.

35 years ago: The B.C. Land Commission was set to come to the valley to investigate a number of local applications to have lands removed from the “land freeze.” Several of the applications would have direct impact on the farming and ranching community in the area, as many of the applications were asking to be removed from the agricultural designation.

23 years ago: The Fairmont airport received a $250,000 provincial grant. The funds were to be used to install perimeter fencing, electronic navigational aid, and to lower a powerline at the airport. The airport also still needed an additional $250,000 for the installation of night lighting, an amount the airport was hoping to receive from the federal government.

20 years ago: A group of citizens in Windermere were quietly working to preserve some of their heritage buildings as well as their lakeshore. Following a four-month study, the group of citizens were hopeful that they could be granted a license of occupation for the foreshore.

15 years ago: The District of Invermere was looking to increase the amount of affordable housing by creating a new zone that would allow for higher density and smaller lots. Opponents of the zoning called it an “abomination,” and described it as “infill housing.”

10 years ago: The Canal Flats and Radium elementary schools were once again facing the possibility of closure. The Rocky Mountain School District 6 was facing a $2.1 million shortfall, and closing the two schools seemed to be the only answer. With a projected loss of up to 800 students over the following three years, an administrator called it an “ugly picture.”

5 years ago: The Little Badger Early Learning Centre opened and was quickly filling up with kids.  At the time, 15 kids had already been confirmed to attend, and there were plans to increase the total number of supported children to 20. Staff were to focus on ensuring all areas of development were met, including physical, emotional and social skills.