COLUMN: Nelson in October, 1967: End of a bad fire season and a mystery hole under the lake

Columnist Greg Scott on life in Nelson 50 years ago…

October 3, 1967

Weekend torrential rain brought an abrupt end to Nelson fire season. It came as a welcome relief to weary firefighters who faced renewed worry when fresh fires broke out during the past week. Rain and snow in some higher spots are rapidly extinguishing any remaining fires in the Nelson Forest District. Yesterday 38 fires were still burning, but the majority of them were in the mop-up stages. There were 38 Forest Service men employed in these operations and 13 industry men. The spokesman said: “Things look very good now. However, the situation will have changed by tomorrow once we have had a chance to find out how the weekend rain affected things.”

October 3, 1967

A student of Nelson Notre Dame University will make academic history here Sunday when he becomes the first student in Canada to graduate as a result of an athletic scholarship. Murray Owen, 24 year old hockey player with the Nelson Maple Leafs, is used to making history. He was the first student to receive a full time athletic scholarship when Notre Dame became the first Canadian university to offer such a program three years ago. Owen, whose home is Kamloops, will graduate at the University’s first fall convocation since receiving degree-granting status in 1963, and will receive his Bachelor of Arts degree.

October 24, 1967

A huge mystery hole beneath the surface of the West Arm, large enough to engulf the city hall with space left over to hold a two-story parking garage, has aroused the interest of City Council, its planners and engineers and the officers of Selkirk Health Unit. City Council has requested the health unit and the Water Rights Branch of the Provincial Government to launch studies to determine the source of the water found in a hole in the West Arm opposite Ross Point that measures 60-feet in depth by 150-feet in length and 100 feet wide. Existence of the hole was virtually unknown until studies of Federal Government sounding charts were made by city staff. There is a possibility that the hole signifies that a spring does exist there and if so the water could be pure enough for a municipal supply. If it was it would be a comparatively simple matter to cap the spring and pipe the water into the municipal system.

October 28, 1967

Two out of every three cars in Nelson are probably so unsafe that they shouldn’t be on the road. These are the frightening statistics produced by the city police spot safety checks and a recent provincial motor vehicle inspection in Nelson. What made them even more startling was the advent of winter.

Last week in an afternoon spot check, 43 of the 69 vehicles police flagged to a halt were found defective. In the government inspection, organized by the Motor Vehicle Branch, results were similarly disturbing. Sixty-seven per of the 466 cars tested were rejected by the examiners which included all the cars of 1951 vintage and before. City police will now be carrying out more spot safety checks in an effort to combat the menace of the unsafe cars. Warning tickets will be given out and if the repairs are not completed within 48 hours, the driver will be charged.

October 31, 1967

The Great Pumpkin may not descend on the Kootenays tonight but thousands of big and little trick or treaters certainly will. And in readiness for the invasion of the happy horde, area police are bringing an extensive “safe Halloween” plan into operation. Working beside the police will be firemen, and backing them up will be a small army of citizens beefing up the police patrols. Their main purpose will be to make sure there isn’t any vandalism. As well as making sure the Halloween spirit doesn’t go too far, police will keep a tight check on motorists.

It is illegal to let off fireworks other than in designated areas of Nelson. Parents can bring their children to three city parks where they will be properly supervised by firemen in letting off fireworks. Last year’s Halloween resulted in no serious incidents in the Kootenays and the police want it the same way this year.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Convoy of essential service vehicles visits Nelson hospital and care homes

The event was meant as a thank you to front-line workers

Nelson and COVID-19: everything you need to know

Check this page for every local story related to the outbreak

Vehicle incident causes Hwy 6 closure and power outages in Slocan Valley

A Thursday afternoon incident has closed the main highway in the Slocan Valley

Over 440 complaints issued in 3 months about Central Kootenay governments: B.C. Ombudsperson

Most common complaints were about decisions and bylaw enforcement in local governments

Castlegar hospice director says COVID-19 measures make serving the dying heartbreaking

Social distancing brings big challenges to offering support

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Most Read