November 2003 — Retiring Invermere Fire Rescue member Nester Fodchuk (middle)

Remember When? (November 27th, 2013)

A look back through The Valley Echo's archives over the
last 50 years.

10 years ago (2003): Frank Kernick, the owner of a home under construction in Lakeview Meadows, resolved to begin anew after his home, three weeks before its scheduled completion, was engulfed in a fire and burned down.

“It’s been a dream of ours for over 10 years, and I guess it will remain a dream for a little while longer,” said Mr. Kernick.

The house was fully insured, and the fire was thought to have been caused by an electrical problem.

15 years ago (1998): The District of Invermere was intending to increase development cost charges by two and a half times the current rate. There were concerns that the rise in development cost charges could result in people building elsewhere. Per unit residential rates were to rise from $978 to $2,588.

20 years ago (1993): Icy conditions on Highway 93/95 were blamed for a cattle liner accident that saw three steers die and a dozen spill out of the truck. The 37 mixed steers were from Airdrie, Alberta. It took nearly four hours for members of the Invermere and Radium Hot Springs RCMP detachments, the BC Ambulance Service, BC Forestry Service and the public to release the cattle using the Jaws of Life, a backhoe and a cutoff saw.

25 years ago (1988): Twenty workers at Brisco Wood Preservers faced a layoff if no market could be found for wood chips from the business. Owner George Lautrip blamed the situation on a disastrous fire in April 1983, from which the insurance money was not sufficient to rebuild the sawmill, instead requiring it to be changed to a wood preserving plant.

A 15 per cent softwood tariff imposed by the United States in 1986 was not helping either, as it raised the cross-border competition.

30 years ago (1983): A woman was killed while crossing the highway near Ron’s Auto Body. Florence Sam, a well-known resident of the Shuswap Band and wife of Mathias Sam, was hit by a logging truck from Golden. The tragedy occured on the day of her 25th wedding anniversary.

35 years ago (1978): Asked about the holdup in building the long awaited overpass in Athalmer, MLA James Chabot said it was Ottawa’s fault. Mr. Chabot said the preparation of the Urban Transportation Assistance Program Master Agreement was being delayed by the federal government, thereby holding back on the issuance of a construction order for the overpass, which was expected to be built soon.

40 years ago (1973): An Invermere man was lucky to get out alive from an avalanche that swept him hundreds of feet down a slope in the Paradise Basin. Bill Nicholson was  buried except for one arm, but was able to free his head soon after the avalanche swept over him. It took 20 minutes for members of his party to dig him free from the snow.

50 years ago (1963): Bussing Edgewater High School students to David Thompson High School was discussed as a possibility during a meeting between Edgewater parents, school officials and teachers. Edgewater parents wanted their children to have access to a wider range of curriculum that would include industrial arts and home economics.

However, they weren’t crazy about the idea of their children spending so much time being transferred to Invermere. School board chairman Alfred Laird told the group parents must decide the best solution for themselves.

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