Letters to the Editor: September 30

Original Fish Hatchery, original Lower Dam; World Homelessness Day; United Way East Kootenay

Information sought: Original Fish Hatchery, original Lower Dam

I’m wondering if any of yourTownsman readers can provide me with some further information.

As someone who works in the Cranbrook History Centre I am most interested in following the present ongoing refurbishing of the Idlewild dam and weir. I have done a certain amount of research into the original building of this dam in 1931 and how it replaced a previous dam, the remnant of which can be seen some 100 metres downstream.

In 1949, when the City began to chlorinate its water, the Cranbrook and District Rod and Gun Club was forced to move its fish hatchery facilities from what is now the Girl Guides’ Hall to a new location. A level area between the old and new dams was chosen and this hatchery was supplied with water drawn by pipe over the top of the present Idlewild dam while the lake served as the reservoir for Cranbrook’s water supply.

Over the next nine years, and under the auspices of E. T. Cooper and J. W. Bayley, the hatchery raised and distributed millions of fingerlings and fry to the surrounding lakes. It was said that “this hatchery is the Alma Mater of the majority of sports fish being caught in the various lakes of the east Kootenay.” This hatchery between the dams was closed in 1958 due to a death of some 790,000 of the fingerlings due to warm water and an algal bloom in the City reservoir. This closure proved to be permanent. The removal of the hatchery building was put out to tender by the City in 1968.

Now back to how your readers could help me. I’m wondering if there are any photos of this fish hatchery and the original lower dam in any of your readers’ collections? Does anyone have recollections of the hatchery when it was operating? If there are any people who could add to my knowledge of these structures I’d love to hear from them. I can be contacted by phone at 250-426-8739 or by email at dhumph@telus.net

Dave Humphrey/Cranbrook

World Homelessness Day

Join us in recognizing World Homelessness Day on Monday, October 10, 2016.

Okay, okay so you’re probably thinking, “Oh no not another day of recognition!”   Or perhaps that inner voice is saying, “Why should I care?”   “How does this even affect me, my family or someone I care about?”.  Well what if I were to tell you that there are a lot of people right here in Cranbrook that are hurting, hungry, homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  Now you may be thinking this doesn’t concern you or anyone you know but you may be wrong. Because as we all know life happens, right?  All of us are vulnerable to unexpected events and changes in our circumstances that can leave us unable to provide for ourselves financially. Still think it’s not your problem? Homelessness can be as close as a few missed pay cheques, a serious illness or injury or even the death of a loved one. Yes I could go on and on and on.  So, if you or someone you know has ever experienced a rough patch in life, you know what I’m talking about.

So now that you know why this concerns you let me tell you about World Homelessness Day and what you can do to make an actual difference right here in Cranbrook.

The purpose of World Homelessness Day is to provide an opportunity to draw attention to the plight of the homeless across the world as well as right here in our community of Cranbrook. The goal of World Homelessness Day is to raise awareness of the issues that people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness are faced with every day and to encourage communities to get involved in responding to homelessness.

So what can you do to help?  You can volunteer your time, donate to local organizations, learn more about homelessness and share what you learn with others.  You can encourage politicians here in Cranbrook to support local initiatives as well as existing programs that help the homeless.  You can support more affordable housing options locally. You can lobby your provincial and federal governments to do the same.

So yes it does affect you.  And yes you can make a difference!  Do you want to do something practical that makes a local impact?  If so contact Erin or Tracy at the Homeless Outreach and Prevention Program at 778-517-5355 to find out more.

Tracy Pound and Erin Pan, Homeless Outreach & Prevention Coordinators

Community Connections Society of Southeast BC.

United Way East Kootenay

The Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and the supported agencies of United Way East Kootenay wish to thank Cranbrook City Council and the 130 businesses and organizations who supported this year’s parking meter sign sales and/or donated items for the Silent Auction.

Thanks also to the Youth Impact Youth Center for manning the barbeque, great job!

Parking meter sign sales were down slightly this year but we are confident many businesses unable to support us this year will next year.

This is the only fundraiser held by our United Way and is absolute proof of what can be accomplished when many get involved and play a part.

Special thanks to our Event Associates, who worked at contacting businesses and arranged pick-ups; Fredrick, whom we will miss; and Summer who carried everything forward remarkably.

Donna Brady Fields, Executive Director

United Way East Kootenay