10 years ago (2003): Propane slowly leaked into a trailer occupied by a couple at Dry Gulch on October 9th. As the man attempted to light a fire around 5:30 p.m., the trailer exploded. Fortunately, the couple escaped with their lives before the trailer became entirely engulfed in flames.
• Six cows were not going to be harvested by a Westside Road farmer this year, as two had been found dead and four were missing. “This happens every year. Last year there was almost 30 head missing,” said the rancher.
” I’m sure that some of them ended up in somebody’s deep freeze.”
15 years ago (1998): Retailers in Invermere were allowed to operate on their patios for the first time. A bylaw change allowed the opportunity for outdoor vending on local sidewalks.
• A 17-year-old girl drove her parents car into Diamond Heating and Spas on September 6th and was subsequently charged with dangerous driving and hit and run. She caused extensive damage to the store and had not convinced authorities she was driving sober.
20 years ago (1993): The Columbia Valley RCMP received 144 complaints over the week prior to this issue. The police report mentioned one student at David Thompson Secondary school had pulled a knife on another student, but failed to injure him before the RCMP intervened. Also, Eddie Mountain had his radar detector stolen out of his vehicle while it was parked in front of the arena that would one day be named after him. Because those crimes weren’t of an environmental nature though, it was suggested that those charges would not lead to tough convictions.
That paper’s editorial column, in reference to forestry debates, mentions a hefty sentence that was delivered to an environmental protester, and then advises readers to “go to Invermere provincial court Monday and watch as repeat offenders get slapped on the heiny and skip off to celebrate freedom by breaking into a cabin in Timber Ridge to steal some booze.”
30 years ago (1983): At the Mountain Village Dining Lounge, a one-year-old dog was shot and wounded by hunters. The dog managed to limp to a friend of the family’s and was taken to the vet for treatment.
• With a looming closure of the Canal Flats Junior Secondary School, the Echo’s editor worried that the dropout rate would rise in the southern end of the valley.
“Canal Flats citizens do not want to see this happen again and feel that closing their high school would be a costly measure in terms of disruption of a community and the injury to overall student welfare,” reads the editorial. “And they are right.”
40 years ago (1973): At a capital cost of $1.33 million, Invermere’s proposed sewer system was examined by The Echo. “The cost at first glance seems insurmountable, however, if each property owner would prepay his share of the capitol costs for the collection system the amount per front footage would be approximately $15.80,” it was reported. The Echo then laid out the several financing options.
• The cost of living seemed to be going down. An average hour of work was worth 11 quarts (one quart equals 0.95 litres) of milk in 1973, up from 9 quarts in 1969. In 1939, an average hour of work was only worth 3.9 quarts of milk.
45 years ago (1968): “Skiers will have the choice of two valley ski hills this winter with plans to have the Fairmont Hot Spring ski hill in operation in November,” teased The Echo. “With the completion of the ski hill the valley will have its first year-round ski resort in the Fairmont area. Plans for a new Plexiglas-domed swimming pool which will be joined to the new lodge are also well advanced.”
• After an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting was held in Invermere, seven recovering alcoholics were identified by first name and last initial in The Echo. The article was titled, “Just for Today.” “The idea is that if an alcoholic can control his desires for each current 24-hour period, he has won a definite victory,” the article stated.
50 years ago (1963): “Six years ago, when the traditional Hallowe’en frolic widened to include UNICEF collections, some protests were voiced.
“Don’t rob the youngster of Hallowe’en fun – it’s their night!,” wrote one person. But that adult reaction was unable to move fun-loving youngsters, reads a column in The Echo. “Hallowe’en is STILL THEIR NIGHT – but they have made it also a night for children ’round the world,” it read. “UNICEF is a crusade for children by children. Let’s not dampen the ardour of youthful unselfish giving. Today’s world needs it.”