Remember When? (March 21)

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



50 years ago: Terrorism in the Kootenays? Guards had been set up at hundreds of points along a 600-mile power transmission network in response to “Doukhobor terrorists'” bombing of a giant power tower in the East Kootenay that caused industrial shutdowns for two months.

45 years ago: The Minister of Education was set to open the brand new  J.A. Laird Elementary School. At the time, the school consisted of four classrooms, a small library and an administration area, and had only four teachers.

35 years ago: The DTSS drama troupe came home from the West Kootenay High School Drama Festival in Castlegar sporting some awards for their performances. Each of the actors received a merit award for performance and the play itself won an award for outstanding production.

23 years ago: Local merchants had pulled Chilean fruit from their shelves following a ban from Ottawa. An anonymous threat led U.S. officials to find traces of cyanide in red seedless grapes imported from Chile, prompting Invermere shopkeepers to immediately pull all Chilean foodstuffs from their shelves to be destroyed.

20 years ago: Invermere councillors were given a sneak peak at the new sewage treatment plant study. The report said that the current system could support about 2,800 people — a figure that was sometimes reached in Invermere during the summer months. Estimates of the town’s population at the time gave Invermere roughly 2,200 people.

15 years ago: Invermere was set to host its first referendum in years. The issue at hand was whether or not the District of Invermere would take over the responsibility of providing library services. Mayor Chuck Blanchard estimated at the time that the referendum would cost between $3,000 and $4,000.

10 years ago: Loggers, government officials, and forestry industry association leaders unleashed “a war of words” directed at the United States over a breakdown of softwood lumber negotiations. “When we broke off (negotiations) we were convinced… of the utter, corrupt and fraudulent process we’ve been subjected to,” Jake Kerr of the BC Lumber Trade Council said.

5 years ago: Legislation being considered in Victoria had Kootenay environmental groups rallying and preparing for further measures against the Jumbo Resort proposal. According to the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society, the legislation had the potential to “jeopardize the right of local residents” to decide on whether the resort should be built or not.