Remember When? (December 21)

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

December 23

50 years ago: Unemployment in the valley had increased for the month of November, as there were 200 new people seeking employment through the Cranbrook employment office. Many of the job-seekers were heavy-construction workers who had recently completed projects.

45 years ago: Santa Claus rode into Invermere atop Invermere’s “giant turtle Plasso,” which had new shining red eyes for the occasion.

“Children greeted him, some shyly confiding hopes of special gifts, some awestruck and a few definitely uncertain about the strange white-bearded gentleman in the red suit.”

40 years ago: Ski enthusiasts were enjoying the powder at both Panorama and Fairmont Hot Springs. Fairmont had recently completed their new ski lodge, and at Panorama a tobogganing runĀ  and a skating rink had been built “for the youngsters.”

32 years ago: The Laotian refugee family that the Invermere Rotary Club had been sponsoring revealed that they were not, in fact, a family.

The group, which included a man and his wife, infant son, and five brothers revealed that the five brothers were in fact not related to any of the others, and had banded together to increase their chances of escaping the refugee camp.

25 years ago: The Invermere Hospital Auxiliary was celebrating its 75th anniversary as one of the oldest auxiliaries in the province, and were presented an honorary plaque from the B.C. Association of Hospital Auxiliaries.

20 years ago: The Radium Elementary School gymnasium project was to be put on hold. The Windermere School District received three bids for the project, with the lowest bid coming in at $150,000 over the project’s preliminary budget.

15 years ago: The Christmas business was thriving in Invermere, and Super Sunday had been considered a great success. Ray Brydon was quoted at the time saying, “I think people may be shopping a little earlier this year, and of course the weather has been co-operating with retail.”

10 years ago: The DTSS leadership class set out to collect 2001 cans of food to help out with the Christmas demand at the Columbia Valley Food Bank. The group vastly outdid themselves however, and ended up collecting 3,945 cans of food.

5 years ago: Two Invermere residents were among five Canadian men nailed in a drug smuggling bust conducted by Alberta police agencies. A nine-month investigation led to the seizure of $5.2 million in illicit drugs, as well as a private airplane.

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