W.A.C. Bennett is seen at left during the dedication of the Arrow Dam. This photo is from the Nelson Daily News of June 10, 1969.

COLUMN: 1969 – Premier Bennett heckled at Hugh Keenleyside Dam opening

From the files of the Nelson Daily News

By Greg Scott

from the files of the Nelson Daily News

Dateline: June 10, 1969

A protest song, hecklers, a surprised renaming highlighted dedication ceremonies at the Arrow Dam. Exercising one of the prerogatives of his office, Premier W.A.C. Bennett named the dam in honor of Dr. Hugh Keenleyside, retiring co-chairman of BC Hydro and new chancellor of Nelson’s Notre Dame University.

About 300 people attended the ceremony were distracted briefly from the official proceedings when a small group of Castlegar area young people broke into a song protesting dam construction and pollution of the Columbia River.

A heckler interrupted Premier Bennett’s dedication speech suggesting that Dr. Keenleyside should take Premier Bennett into retirement. During the dedication Premier Bennett pressed a button to raise the gate allowing Arrow Boat Club craft to pass through the navigation lock.

Dateline: June 14, 1969

They did it again. The King and His Court have another game to their credit, defeating Nelson All Stars 4-1 in a hilarious but exciting softball game at the Civic grounds Friday night. Winning pitcher Eddie Feigner recorded 14 strikeouts, two of them being pitched blindfolded. Losing pitcher was Ernie Moisey, collecting one strikeout.

Mighty Mag (Mayor Louis Maglio) in the fourth inning hit a first base run but was put out trying to steal third.

At the end of the game, Feigner put on an exhibition and amazed the fans by his remarkable pitching. The origin of the King and His Court goes back to 1948 as a dare. He told his opponent that he would only use four men, a catcher, a shortstop and a first baseman. Eddie Feigner and His Court donate $1,000 annually to various charities. ($1,000 in 1969 is approximately $6,900 today)

Dateline: June 19, 1969

Sunset and sunrise in Western Canada have taken a lurid red cast as smoke from widespread forest fires blanket most of the sky. More than 300 fires were burning in the two territories and the four western provinces and more than 60 of these were thought to be out of control. B.C. had 200 fires, more than 50 out of control.

A B.C. Forest service spokesman could see little hope for relief as the hot dry weather continues across the province pushing temperatures into the 90s. “We have never had a June like this before and if this hot weather runs into July and August, it will be a disaster.” Forest officials tightened restrictions in an attempt to keep the number of B.C. fires below 200.

Dateline: June 25, 1969

A question Monday from the Nelson Maple Leafs hockey club brought the matter of Sunday entertainment before Nelson city council. In a letter to council, the club said it is “very interested in playing some of its hockey games on Sundays.” “We would like to know if the council is going to put Sunday sport to a referendum and if so, when will this be done?” City administrator C.W. Harper told council any referendum on Sunday hockey would automatically include all types of sport and entertainment.

Any entertainment could take place only after 1:30 p.m. It was felt that the approval of Sunday sport could produce more revenue for the Civic Centre and that council needed more indication of popular support for this before they went to referendum, which would cost between $400 and $500 to hold. Council has referred the question to the Civic Centre manager and the recreation director for a report on the effect on recreation in the city if Sunday entertainment were approved.

Dateline: June 26, 1969

Cardboard boxes can no longer be used as containers for garbage to be collected by the city, according to a garbage bylaw passed Monday by city council. Under the new bylaw, all single family dwellings must have from one to three garbage containers and businesses can have up to six. In the past, cardboard boxes containing garbage were picked up by the city.

Modern large plastic garbage bags may be used in place of the standard container. Any number of these bags may be used as long as they are tied and placed in a shelter that must be built by the property owner or occupant. The city will not collect any container or bag of garbage heavier than 150 pounds and will collect garbage once a week from dwellings.

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