Remember When? (May 9)

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



50 years ago: The Lake Windermere Players took home four top prizes at the East Kootenay Drama Festival, held in Fernie. The players performed a one act play entitled “Silver Nails,” and won best play, best director, best actor and best actress, and this marked the fifth time in seven years the Players had won the overall Festival award.

45 years ago: A gas tanker exploded at Radium Hot Springs. A semi-trailer gas tanker had rolled into Sinclair Creek just below the road. Witnesses said flames climbed as high as 150 feet from the site of the explosion, and the two wooden bridges across Sinclair Creek burst into flames, trapping people on the other side.

35 years ago: The annual Windermere Valley Rodeo was making its return, and at the time, was claimed as the fastest growing spectator sport in America, with only baseball having more paid admissions in the previous year. Cowboys were set to come from Alberta, Saskatchewan, B.C. and the United States to compete for the grand prize: a silver belt buckle.

23 years ago: Record numbers attended the Kinsmen Trade Fair and Heavy Equipment Show. Over 4,000 people visited the annual event, which showcased heavy equipment and a record number of exhibitors. The Trade Fair was the Kinsmen’s annual fundraiser and money raised was to go to a new sound system for the Columbia Valley Arena.

20 years ago: The crossroads just outside Invermere was scheduled to become an 18-hole golf course and 150-unit campground. The 242 acre community golf course was slated to be located on the southwest corner of the crossroads, and was a project of the Lake Windermere Lions Club.

10 years ago: A Fairmont Hot Springs woman had a black bear try to enter her house. This was one of several recent incidences for the woman, but in this case, she became alarmed when a bear began to scratch on her back door. Columbia Valley RCMP were forced to take the call in absence of any conservation officers, but were unable to locate the animal after a search.

5 years ago: Fairmont Hot Springs Resort was given a year-long extension to try and solve the issue of Lot 48. Despite concerns from local groups, the RDEK directors agreed to further delay a bylaw that would “backzone” the area in question in order to halt the hotly contested plans to construct an 18-hole golf resort on the lot.