10 years ago (2003): The British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) entered contract negotiations with the provincial government, and the union members were not optimistic. “Just this morning we hear [then Minister of Education] Christy Clarke announcing that there will be no salary increases for teachers,” vented Neil Worboys, president of the BCTF. “Given the Liberals’ history of intervening in public sector bargaining and ripping up collective agreements, we are understandably skeptical.”
15 years ago (1998): Worries that municipal computer systems would become confused when the clock struck January 1st, 2000 — interpreting the year as 1900 or 1800 because of its double-digit calendar — prompted the District of Invermere to pre-emptively upgrade its system. The town administrator cautioned computer owners against artificially setting their computer clocks ahead to December 31st, 1999, “unless the data on the hard drive is of no value.”
20 years ago (1993): Washrooms in the parking lot behind Home Hardware (located next to the Valley Echo at the time) were being constantly vandalized. In response, electronic locks were installed to keep the facilities closed at night. Those locks were destroyed. Deadbolt locks replaced the electronic ones, and they too were damaged beyond repair. Also, a number of liquor bottles were found in the garbage cans. Extra lighting on the outside was a serious suggestion at a council meeting, and the idea of an armed guard was joked about.
30 years ago (1983): “My sister and I sure had fun on the hayride with you in Invermere,” read a letter to Santa written by Brennan Shaw. “I’ll tell my dad not to burn a fire in our chimney so you can come down. Sure hope you don’t get stuck. Oh, how about a snack, and you can use my cup. And please don’t go to Brian Hoffos’ shop by mistake. We live in the house beside him. I sure would like a new dumptruck and my sister Blaisse would like something too. But not a big dollie she has lots but maybe a Barbie doll. I sure would like a ride your reindeer sometime.”
40 years ago (1973): “Christmas lights will gleam and Christmas carols will resound at Pynelogs again this year and a happy atmosphere of celebration will be shared by all the guests,” The Valley Echo wrote about the December 25th traditions at Pynelogs residential home. Christmas dinner was previously served to residents in their bedrooms, but for the 1973 holiday, everybody was together for the first time in the lounge.
45 years ago (1968): There was no Valley Echo printed this week in 1968, as warned one-week in advance. “We are very interested in family reunions and important events. There will not be room for news of social gatherings other than those on a very large scale.” Taking a week off had become a tradition at the Valley Echo, and “such is the generous and understanding nature of valley people that we have never had this custom questioned.”
50 years ago (1963): Local livestock were tragically lost after seeking shelter in three separate abandoned buildings during a storm. Fifteen cows and horses were found dead; the cattle had all been eaten by bears.