October 3

Remember when? (October 5)

A look back at what happened in the Columbia Valley over the past 50 years for the week of October 5.

50 years ago: Trustees from the Windermere School District attended a convention to discuss an offer from the Ford Foundation to the B.C. School Trustee’s Association and the University of B.C. to provide a $60,000 grant towards a program to develop leadership and public responsibility in education.

45 years ago: The first annual Kootenanny Days was held jointly by the Radium Hot Springs Tourist Association and the Fairmont Hot Springs resort. Events featured a golf tournament, a swim meet and a pair of dances, of which the theme was Kootenay Indian.

40 years ago: The Invermere airport was nearing completion. The strip had been excavated, a gravel fill placed and the access road was also nearing completion. A local resident, only identified as a Mrs. Stevens, whose house was in the flight path was relocated to a site of her choosing.

35 years ago: The new Federal Liberal Riding of Kootenay East held its founding meeting in Fairmont. Guest speaker Senator Jack Austin called the valley one of the most important economic areas in the world, and asked residents to consider what kind of economic growth and development they wanted for the valley.

32 years ago: Parts of the film The First Hello were shot on Mount Swansea. Helicopters and hang-gliders dotted the airspace, and two Invermere residents served as stuntmen for the hang-gliding sequences. The film was budgeted at almost $2.75 million, and followed the story of two social outcasts who fall in love.

25 years ago: The Radium Sawmill was picketed by employees from the Crestbrook Sawmills in Canal Flats. Crestbrook employees had been on a 11-week strike as a result of a labour dispute between I.W.A. and the B.C. forest industry.

20 years ago: The Invermere and District hospital held its official ribbon-cutting ceremony. Invermere Mayor Ron Halvorson called the new facility “the epitome” of the care the society shows for the residents of Invermere and the surrounding municipalities.

15 years ago: An intoxicated man threw a barbecue from a third floor balcony at Riverside Villas in Fairmont, damaging multiple vehicles in the parking lot below. In an unrelated incident, $450 worth of kitchen knives were stolen from Invermere’s Home Hardware.

10 years ago: The aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the United States, coupled with an ongoing softwood lumber battle with the U.S. were the driving reasons behind layoffs at Slocan Forest Products mills, including the Radium Saw Mill. The company announced that they would reduce lumber production by 30 million board feet beginning that October.

5 years ago: The Fairmont Hot Springs Resort (FHSR) was sold to Ken Fowler Enterprises (KFE), of St. Catharines Ontario. KFE president Ken Fowler stated his intention to position Fairmont as one of the world’s most recognized resort destinations, and called it good for both the community as well as the valley as a whole.

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