Weekend of violence in 1966 brawl

And more from the 1966 files of the Nelson Daily News

Greg Scott

October 12, 1966

It’s bulging at the seams, sagging in the middle, sinking on one end, decayed and dry rotted in spots. Nelson’s floating band shell is beyond the point of economic repair.

In a report to Council, the City Engineer stated that the entire structure “is in need of extensive repair.” He further noted that the cost of repair depended largely on the degree to which the shell proper is going to be renovated and that it would appear that a sum of $1,600 could easily be spent without improving anything of the structural design.

Council decided to arrange a meeting with the pageant committee and the City Engineer when the floating band shell will be inspected to determine just what action will be taken.

October 12, 1966

It looks as though the Kootenay Skyway will be open this winter contrary to the rumors that the high cost of snow removal would cause a shutdown of the route. According to Highway officials, the rumor is “absolutely ridiculous.”

They pointed out preparations for the winter camp at the summit of the Salmo-Creston route were now under way and 50 per cent completed. Equipment is now moving in for snow removal.

It is believed government announced austerity led to the rumor.

October, 1966

Two early morning fires involving two Nelson trucks are being investigated by the Fire Department and City Police.

The fires resulted in heavy damage to a partially loaded semi-trailer parked in the 100-block Hall Street, and to minor damage to a Coleman Electric truck parked on Lake Street.

It was also discovered an attempt to set fire to another Coleman vehicle parked in the same area had been made. Fireman found the Miller and Brown semi-trailer “completely aflame” but were able to put it out in 15 minutes.

One side of the vehicle, composed of aluminum siding, partially melted. The contents were gutted. Both police and firemen received worried calls from other businesses owning trucks, concerned the possibility of an incendiarist being at work.

October 23, 1966

Nelson reeled Sunday from a weekend of violence during which at least four people were brutally attacked, a city store was robbed of over $3,000 and 15 people were arrested and held in custody.

The violence started Friday night when young first year students at Notre Dame University were beaten up by a gang of thugs. This was followed by several other incidents.

Early Saturday morning when news of the fights reached the men’s dormitory at the university, a reprisal was planned by students.

A large group of students prepared for a vengeance raid but City Police talked to them and persuaded them to give up their plan. Both police and university officials are afraid that a “gang war” could break out between students and their aggressors.

Now four men are to appear in court charged with offenses arising out of the fights. As well as the senseless brutality, 15 people were arrested and held in jail on charges ranging from being drunk to impaired driving and supplying minors with liquor. But the biggest crime and headache for City Police is tracking down the thieves who broke into Overwaitee on Vernon Street.

They gained access through a window at the rear of the store and made off with the entire day’s takings, $2,200 in cash and another $1,000 in cheques which were in a filing cabinet.

October 31, 1966

Treats for the kids, tricks for the police, fire officials and motorists. That is the story of Halloween in the Kootenays and in Nelson. Highways were blocked, nearly every road sign between Nelson and Castlegar was removed and firemen dealt with two blazes.

RCMP dubbed themselves garbage collectors as they strove to keep highways clear of an assorted collection of debris, strewn there by Halloween jokers.

Nelson’s fire department was first called out when pranksters set fire to two tires at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Kokanee Avenue.

The flames and smoke soon attracted a crowd of people. The department’s second call was to a more serious fire. Children are believed to have ignited an old shack off Granite Road.

Tomorrow the Department of Highways employees will have the arduous task of putting dozens of road signs back in place along the highways.

 

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