Mike Laughton as a member of the Oakland Seals

1969: Mike Laughton has career night against Montreal

Greg Scott brings us four stories from 50 years ago in the Nelson Daily News archives

Excerpts from the Nelson Daily News in February, 1969, compiled by Greg Scott

Dateline: Feb. 10, 1969

Last season, a magazine writer suggested that even if former figure skater Mike Laughton couldn’t score goals, Oakland Seals should keep him around to perform double salchows as between-period entertainment. The muscular centre from Nelson had only two goals in 35 games with the Seals last year and the club was last in the Western Division of the NHL almost from the start of the season.

But this year, the only time Laughton pirouettes is when he gets a goal or picks up an assist, and in 29 games, he’s done it 30 times. Laughton took a lot of kidding about the singles, mixed pairs and dance titles he won three years running in figure skating competition in the Kootenays, but since being called up from the Cleveland Barons of the American Hockey League he has scored 13 goals including five in the last three game including two goals and two assists in Oakland’s surprise win over the Montreal Canadiens.

(Later that week Laughton was named Player of the Week in the NHL’s Western Division.)

Dateline: Feb. 24, 1969

Fourteen men have been charged after a police raid on the Percolator Club, 356 Baker St., early Saturday. One man has been charged with being the keeper of a gaming house and 13 men charged with being found-ins of a common gaming house.

The raid was carried out at 1:30 a.m. Saturday by nine members of the Nelson Police and the Nelson RCMP. Two policemen guarded the rear exit of the club while the remainder entered through the front door. Sgt. F.J. Vecchio read a search warrant to the keeper and then they were asked to sit and keep their hands off the table.

Chips, cards and money on the table were seized by police. Other chips, cards and money in the club were also seized. The club was then closed and secured. Police were assisted in their investigation by special police brought in to play at the club and gather evidence. City police Chief H.L. Thomlinson said the club has been under surveillance “for some time.”

Dateline: Feb. 25, 1969

Ratepayers in Nelson, Salmo and area, and within School District 7 (Nelson) will be asked to approve a referendum vote, a million dollar expenditure for school construction. The referendum will ask voters to approve spending for a new school in the Uphill area of Nelson, an addition to Trafalgar Junior Secondary School in the city, and additions or renovations to a number of district schools.

The addition to the junior secondary school comes instead of a proposed new secondary school on the North Shore. The Trafalgar addition will relieve the pressure at L.V. Rogers Senior Secondary School by allowing the transfer of 100 Grade 10 students to Trafalgar, freeing the rooms they now occupy for other use. The addition to Trafalgar will have six rooms, including a gymnasium, long one of the major needs of the school.

A special study room, a new classroom, a power mechanics room, a social science room and a library will be the other additions to the present building. The new school in the Uphill area is planned to relieve pressure from Central and South Nelson schools. The approved plan calls for construction of a five or six room school and would handle about 137 children in Grades 1 and 2 with a possibility of an additional room — the sixth — for kindergarten.

Dateline: Feb. 28, 1969

The B.C. Telephone Company will invest more than $1.5 million in new facilities this year to prepare the way for introduction in 1970 of direct distance dialing service throughout West Kootenay. The program also includes facilities to make Nelson the primary toll centre for the district. Direct distance dialing, which will enable telephone customers to dial their own long distance calls directly, is scheduled to start during the first half of 1970.

This year, the company’s main office building in Nelson will be enlarged at a cost of $320,000 to create space for automatic ticketing and switching equipment required to provide DDD service. The building expansion also will provide a long distance operator room and offices for the company’s district and commercial staff. The major part of the outlay, totaling nearly $1.2 million, will go into radio, switching and related facilities required to establish Nelson as the primary toll centre for West Kootenay.

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