Remember When? (August 14th)

A look back at all the cool happenings in the valley over the past 50 years

August 2007 — One of Radium Hot Springs' resident Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep makes his way down Jackson Avenue on August 26. The animal seemed to have found a great spot to munch on a resident’s greenery.

5 years ago (2008): An 18-year-old man from Calgary was playing with fireworks on the hillside between 7th Avenue and Industrial Park. His fun led to disaster as a grassfire broke out and he ran for it. Nearby residents saw the man and alerted police, who were quick to apprehend him. Twenty-three firemen attended the scene, and averted disaster. Four homes were evacuated because of safety threats. Four helicopters were deployed and a dozen members of the B.C. Forest Service were dispatched to the scene, along with business owners willing to lend a hand. Phone service was lost in Athalmer and Windermere because of affected utility lines and a fireman suffered minor burns on his hand while rolling over a burning log.

15 years ago (1998): A new skate park was being constructed on 14th Street and one of the residents wasn’t happy about it. With half of the money already spent on building the park, the other half should be used to relocate the skatepark to a more “socially acceptable” location, she said.

20 years ago (1993): A forestry recreation site near Radium Hot Springs was vandalized for the fourth time that year, after eight incidents in 1992, and the man who managed the site said it’s time to close it.

“They really did a number on the toilet this time,” said Invermere Forest District’s forestry recreation officer Kreg Sky.

In the previous two years, one picnic table has been stolen, another burned, the toilet doors were stolen twice, and the railings were destroyed four times.

Mr. Sky said the site was too close to town and that dozens of other recreation sites that he managed went unvandalized.

“It’s hard to see where it will go – I can’t see another agency taking it over,” he said.

30 years ago (1983):  Around 100 people from Invermere took a bus to Cranbrook, where they took part in an Operation Solidarity protest against then Premier Bill Bennett and the Social Credit Party. No particular issue was at stake. Complaints on posters ranged from “Hitler’s Germany 1933, Bill Bennett’s B.C. 1983” to “Social Credit is a social disease.”

40 years ago (1973): An open house was held at the Der Schlafwagon Hostel for Youth in Invermere. The hostel had 14 beds upstairs for men, and 6 beds downstairs for women. Guests received dinner, bed and breakfast for 50 cents. Drugs, weapons, alcohol and local youth were not allowed and guests had to sign the registration book to confirm their identity. Most hostel visitors were young people but one was a grandmother, an Echo story at the time read.

45 years ago (1968): Pension eligibility was gradually being reduced from age 70 to 65, with the final change expected in January 1970.

50 years ago (1963): Hospital staff were busy with the summer tourism season. During the long weekend, horses caused minor injures to five children, a second home owner from Calgary fell down his stairs and broke his arm, two children required treatment for dog bites, a woman from Pennsylvania broke her foot and another woman broke her arm in separate but nearby accident in Radium Hot Springs.


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