January 21

January 21

Remember When? (January 25)

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

50 years ago: Local mothers and the Invermere Kinsmen Club organized a walk to attempt to raise $300,000 to help support the Poliomyelitis and Rehabilitation Foundation of British Columbia. “Help them walk and work again,” was the motto the foundation went by.

45 years ago: Major layoffs were expected at the Revelstoke sawmill. The mill, which employed roughly 45 people, had been forced to make the move due to a large stockpile of lumber and an unusually low market for spruce.

35 years ago: Fairmont Hot Springs was hosting the fifth annual World Barrel Stave Race. Described as one of the most colourful events of the ski season, the event was open to “anyone wearing a costume and their own custom barrel slats.”

23 years ago: An avalanche in Kootenay National Park closed Highway 93. The “major” avalanche closed the stretch of highway for two days while the snow was cleared. The area had posed an extreme avalanche danger for two days prior, prompting park wardens to bring the avalanche down artificially.

20 years ago: Disney was set to “come alive” at Panorama. A pre-production crew of about 150 people had applied to the B.C. Ministry of Environment for a short-term licence of occupation to shoot a feature film on Crown land. Little was known about the film at the time, other than it was to be called “Alive” and it was about a Chilean soccer team that crashed in the Andes.

15 years ago: The flu season was hitting the valley unusually hard. Some schools reported as high as about 24 per cent absenteeism, and a report from the East Kootenay Health Unit said that people young and old had been getting the influenza-type illness.

10 years ago: In light of the Invermere Forest District (IFD) office closing, concerned loggers met with Invermere Council to explore their options. IFD members were insistent that the building itself not be lost to serve as a “field office,” something district council agreed with.

5 years ago: While Invermere had posted a record year for building, district CAO Chris Prosser said that the following year could break records all over again. 2006 saw the district gain $370,738 from permits and new dwelling units, but Prosser said that the expected permit fee revenue for January of 2007 could exceed 40 per cent of all income from 2006.