On June 15

Remember When? (June 20)

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

50 years ago: Three “attractive young girls” were set to vie for the title of Lake Windermere Mermaiden at the Invermere Regatta. The winning Mermaiden would receive her badge from the reigning Mermaiden Karen Askey, and all three contestants were set to have a busy month selling tickets on a $1,700 power boat.

45 years ago: Against a spectacular mountain backdrop and the flags of Canada and Japan, opening ceremonies were held for the opening of the new Skookumchuk pulp mill. Premier W. A. C. Bennett and Japanese Consul General Hestuo Ban were in attendance to mark the largest single investment by Japanese interests in the province.

35 years ago: A full scale search and rescue operation was set to go for two mountain climbers, when the two men met rescuers walking out. The two explorers had been searching for a new route over the Lieutenant Mountains when they were caught in an electrical storm.

23 years ago: Flames devoured $20,000 worth of lumber in Athalmer, however the general manager said things could’ve been much worse. A spark from the sawmills burner was suspected of causing the fire, which burned 40 lifts of lumber. About 72,000 board feet of lumber were destroyed. However, this only accounted for roughly five per cent of piled lumber on the lot.

20 years ago: Estimated costs for a Radium sewer facility were soaring. An earlier estimate of $1.4 ballooned to over $2.1 million, and the village was seeking extra money from provincial ministries. Parks Canada was also involved in the process to ensure the environmental impact of the project was minimal.

15 years ago: David Thompson Secondary School and the College of the Rockies had the chance to share a joint-use facility at the new high school site. The idea was to erect a building with about five to eight classrooms for both the high school and the college, effectively giving the Invermere campus of the college a home.

10 years ago: The Columbia Valley Community Foundation celebrated its first anniversary with a high-profile gathering and the distribution of its first grants to community organizations. Approximately $10,000 went to a variety of organizations, including Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Wings Over the Rockies and the Columbia Valley Arts Council.

5 years ago: The Valley Echo reported on rumours that the Canfor-operated Radium sawmill may face an imminent shutdown after closures in other Canfor mills. The mills manager refuted these claims, saying that there had been no discussions to that effect, and that the Radium mill did quite well compared to other Canfor mills.


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