Santa Claus is seen on the fire truck in Nelson in December 1969. This picture appeared in the Nelson Daily News.

1969: Maglio re-elected mayor, Santa comes to town

Stories from fifty years ago in the Nelson Daily News

Excerpts from the Nelson Daily News in December, 1969

Compiled by Greg Scott

Dateline Dec. 4, 1969

In expanding and enlarging its premises after purchasing two pioneer properties, and moving from the 300 block of Baker Street, Bee Building Supply Ltd. becomes part of a complex of a number of businesses in Cottonwood Industrial Park. The site is an area bordering Railway and Silica Streets, and so level that a joint motto “We do business on the level” has been suggested.

The two properties on which Bee Building is now located comprise six lots between Railway Street and Cottonwood Creek in the 100 block of Silica Street and were the homes of the pioneer Bradshaw and Stangherlin families, respectively. Owner R.M. (Rudy) Boates has for many years been dreaming of the final day when he would be able to build and offer shoppers of Nelson and District a complete indoor building supply shopping complex all under one roof, and now that day has become a reality.

Dateline Dec. 8, 1969

Santa got a rousing welcome when he arrived on his pre-Christmas visit Saturday morning and, as he is such an important visitor, he was greeted by the mayor. His helicopter set down at the south end of Nelson Bridge where the Nelson fire truck was waiting to take him into the city. Santa was out of the Okanagan helicopter before the rotor blades stopped whirling in his haste to greet the hundreds of children who awaited him downtown. Some children had the fun of riding on the fire truck with him.

On Baker Street he was almost mobbed as he handed out treats to the children. It was the biggest turn-out yet, Fire Chief Elwyn Owens reported. Nelson Fire Department members always become willing helpers for Santa Claus when he makes his annual pre-Christmas visit.

Dateline Dec. 8, 1969

One of the heaviest turnouts in many years Saturday re-elected Louis Maglio to his third consecutive two-year term as mayor of Nelson. Maglio, first elected mayor in December 1965, was not opposed in the 1967 election but faced the opposition of J.T. (Tex) Mowatt this year.

Maglio won by 490 votes, collecting 1,527 to Mowatt’s 1,037. G.H. (Hank) Coleman, who failed in his bid to gain a seat on city council last year, led the aldermanic contestants with 1,651 votes. The remaining two council seats were filled by the re-election of Fritz Farenholtz and Edith Van Maarion.

With 67 per cent of the eligible voters going to the polls this year, the Sunday entertainment referendum, which also allows Sunday sports, received its necessary two-thirds majority … and then some. The referendum now goes to council for final acceptance.

Dateline Dec. 15, 1969

Regional District of Central Kootenay directors have supported a request from Inland Gas Company to construct a pipeline into Alberta for the purpose of exchanging gas with the Alberta and Southern systems. While the directors said they would support the request, there was also concern over the number of pipeline through the area.

“We are getting too many pipelines through the area, for gas, oil coal, etc. We should ask the provincial government to set up one route for all lines so we can develop lands which would be taken up by all the various lines. We should set up a single corridor for all transmission lines – and West Kootenay Power and Light should be made to conform to this corridor in the future.”

Dateline Dec. 27, 1969

For most people Christmas was a season of fun and enjoyment but vandals took some of the joy out of it for a few people. Thieves this winter have been reported busy stealing Christmas light bulbs from outdoor decorations throughout the city. Christmas night they struck at one of the best decorated homes in the city, that of Cornelis Van Pelt taking 30 bulbs and three spotlights.

Van Pelt was staying up all night Friday to ensure the safety of the statues in his nativity scene. The thief or thieves, who did the damage “between 1 and 4 a.m.” removed bulbs from the lower portion of the house and decorated tree.

“The city really looks beautiful this year. Each year more and more people are decorating their homes,” Mr. Van Pelt pointed out, “but if bulbs continue to be stolen and decorations ruined, the people will not be putting out the lights and decorations as much.” City Police have received several complaints this year but to date have not charged anyone.

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