As we come into the Christmas season in the North Thompson Valley the Star/Journal took a look back at what was making headlines in our newspaper 20 years ago in December of 1996.
Here are a few of the articles and photos running in the December 1996 issues at the time about what was happening in some of our North Thompson Valley communities.
* It was noted that the McLure and Little Fort Ferries had been removed from the river Nov. 25 due to “unseasonably large volumes of ice began to choke the North Thompson River”. At the same time rumour had it that ferry service had been halted until spring as a government cost-cutting measure, which the Ministry of Transportation and Highways immediately denied.
* David Smid, the manager of the Brookfield Mall Liquor Store in Clearwater said the store estimated they would sell about 360 Share-a-Bears before Christmas from their outlet.
* The North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association reported their annual election of officers returned all four members of the executive; president Karl Rainer, vice-president Ed Salle, secretary Nina Clearwaters (for the 27th consecutive year), and treasurer Donna Salle.
* The first Little Fort Home Based Business event was planned in October and resulted in a very successful event on Dec. 8.
* By mid December Clearwater Christmas Amalgamated volunteer elves were rushing to fill orders for 96 Christmas hampers.
* Blue River Motel owners, Wilf and Val Moore, held a grand opening of their new building on Nov. 29 after picking up the pieces when an early morning blaze destroyed their establishment on July 31, 1996.
* Barriere’s Christmas Tree Light-Up and Carol Sing proved to be the biggest one ever. An estimated 150 to 200 gathered around the community tree at the Barriere Health Centre to join Barriere Secondary Choir members, RCMP, Cadets, Brownies, Sparks and Guides, Cubs and Beavers in their favourite carols and songs. When toes and fingers grew numb and youngsters began to tire, the Barriere Smoke Eaters – event sponsors – signalled the arrival with a blast of fire truck sirens.
* Residents of the valley were still being asked to be on the lookout for any sign of a missing pilot and plane that disappeared en route from Prince George to Kamloops on Oct. 28. The pilot was Robert Blair, 36, of Kamloops.