December 10

Remember When? (December 14)

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

50 years ago: David Thompson Secondary School principal Norman Macpherson was a guest speaker at the Lake Windermere Lions Club Dinner. Macpherson told his audience that the budget for schools in the area was $400,000 for that year, but valley residents spent $275,000 at the liquor store alone, not counting the bars.

“So you see where we place education in our system of values,” he said.

40 years ago: A performance of The Three Bears benefited the local hospital. Children from Grades 1 to 5 performed the play over three performances to an estimated 1,000 people, and ended up donating $100 to the local children’s ward.

35 years ago: Objections were raised at a regular Invermere council meeting as to a bylaw to narrow parts of 4th Avenue to provide more building lots. The land in question had been reserved for parkland, as it had an excellent view of the lake.

32 years ago: A record number of municipal candidates led to a record turnout of voters—92.22 per cent in Invermere. The record turnout was thought to be due to the recently expanded municipality, as Invermere had only averaged about 50 per cent turnout in past years.

25 years ago: Striking I.W.A. workers at the Crestbrook Forest Industry plant in Canal Flats ended a province-wide four month strike. Early returns from ratification votes showed that nearly 20,000 of B.C.’s forest industry employees would overwhelmingly approve a settlement package.

20 years ago: The Great Columbia Mining Corporation’s controversial “Beaches” housing program was again coming to a public hearing. The proposed developments on Lake Windermere had provoked massive public opposition the year prior, causing the company to revise its proposal to , “reflect responsible, first-class business practices.”

15 years ago: The Radium sawmill was undergoing about $13 million in renovations in order to use wood more efficiently. A new outer mill was being constructed around the existing mill, which was then to be dismantled from the inside and then removed.

10 years ago: According to a 2000 report from the World Conservation Union, humans had caused the extinction of 816 species of wild animals, and was at risk of adding one more if governments in B.C. and the U.S.A. did not take action, as the mountain caribou was facing extinction due to B.C.’s current management regime. At the time, only about 2,300 were left on the planet.

5 years ago: Grasslands programs in the Columbia Valley were to receive a major funding boost courtesy of the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. Funds totalling $521,000 were slated to be released to support 17 projects, two of which were located in the Kootenays.

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