New City Hall opens

Touchstones Nelson's Greg Scott takes us back through the headlines of the past looking at the opening of City Hall in 1962 and more.

Dateline

January 8,1962

The tang of fresh paint, polished floors furnishings, bright brass, and new wood will greet the public in Nelson’s new City Hall this afternoon in the opening ceremony. Over the weekend city crews have been readying the former post office building for its official debut after an $80,000 overhaul. The renovations not only alter physical dimensions but may have repercussions on its inhabitant’s human element. This is most likely to be noticed in the building’s showpiece, the council chamber. No longer will council be able to mutter confidences in a close knit group around a small table. Needed henceforth will be a voice that not only rings with authority and clarity, but volume.

Dateline

January 8,1962

In the beginning, an outstanding example of victorian architecture. In the end, a public eyesore. Now this one time pride of Nelson has been condemned to violent death as hammer blows end the old Nelson City Hall life. The old City Hall building was like the man who came to dinner and forgot to go home. Like the persistent guest, only death could remove it from the lakeside landscape. Originally it was built in 1893 for the purpose of a courthouse and government building. For 58 years it harbored city administration within its weather scorched wooden walls, sheltered them in cramped dingy lit cubicles and like an ancient patrician, whose life was past, refused to yield directly to modern times. With paint peeling, timbers sagging, boards warping, the elderly matron held on to its past dignity, though it lost its tenants in the summer of 1960. In 1960 the City Hall staff left the building not only due to poor ventilation but also a strongly worded note from the fire marshal condemning the building.

Dateline

January 10, 1962

A packed gallery of Sons of Freedom sect members stood in court Tuesday as a woman said grace before the special sitting of Supreme Court called to hear terrorist charges brought against 41 sect members started, and then the sitting was adjourned. Sixteen trials will be held during this sitting, the first of which was to begin Tuesday but has been delayed due to the late arrival of defence council from Vancouver. After the Freedomite woman had recited grace, and prior to the judge’s appearance in the courtroom, a large cloth banner was produced in the gallery and read out by another member of the sect. The banner was later displayed on the court house steps and on city streets. A group stood on the corner of Baker and Ward Streets singing hymns but were told to move along by police.

Dateline

January 18, 1962

Portland Buckaroos and Nelson Maple Leafs took the evening of exhibition literally at the Civic Centre as Portland showed the mode of play and Nelson gave the contrasting foil. The Buckaroos, in the exhibition match went through a light scrimmage and failed to work up a sweat as they whitewashed Leafs 11-0. For the Leafs it was their second try against a professional hockey club as last year they tied Spokane, also of the Western Hockey League, 2-2 in an exhibition game. In Trail last night, the league leading Buckaroos had decided who the best team in the west was when they lambasted the amateur hockey kings of the world, Trail Smoke Eaters, 8-4.

Dateline

January 26, 1962

A captain, who has spent 17 years on the sternwheelers on the Yukon River, pilots the tug Glaco II for Kootenay Forest Products. During the freezing temperatures when Kootenay Lake became a solid sheet of ice the sturdy little tug piloted by Capt. A.W. Worley, was kept busy keeping a channel clear for logs going to the mill. Pushing a steel hull barge to break the ice ahead of it, the Glaco shuttles between the booming grounds at five-mile, on the south side of the lake, and the mill. During the morning a smaller tug attempted break free the log booms by running up on the ice and if it didn’t break, the tug would back off and take another run at it. While this was going on a powder monkey and assistant were chopping holes in the ice and inserting powder. The blasting created an opening between the frozen log booms allowing the tug to break through and fasten a line.

 

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