COLUMNS: Preserving history

The report commissioned by the BC government to look at the province’s wildfire history

The report commissioned by the BC government to look at the province’s wildfire history from 2003 to 2017 recommends building fireguards around communities.

The Filmon Firestorm Report in 2003 recommended the same thing. Hopefully this time it will happen, but will it be in time for this year?

This latest report says last year’s experience “demonstrated the consequences of ignoring the growing gap” between spending on response versus mitigating the impact of disasters through planning, preparedness and prevention using fireguards.

I wish they could backburn without any smoke.


Cariboo Chilcotin residents aren’t, in general, too interested in preserving history. For many years, local historians Dr. John Roberts and Irene Stangoe kept extensive files, documents, photos, newspaper clippings, whatever, and they were always ready to answer questions. There is no shortage of authors, local and otherwise, who tell tales of the area, and many private citizens have scrapbooks, but the public collections aren’t that great.

Both Irene and Dr. John left their extensive collections to the library or the museum, but no one has replaced either of them.

Dr. John started the library collection, and under his watchful eye it was cared for by volunteers. Since he passed on, as far I know, no one has kept things up to date. The library provides space, not staff. The museum acquired its archival collection more or less accidentally, and it hasn’t had the capacity to become a real archives. The move to the Tourisism Discovery Centre hasn’t improved that situation. Ideally, both collections should be in one place with a qualified archivist in charge to keep the collection properly catalogued, easily accessed, and continually updated. Hopefully that might happen when and if a new museum is built. Meantime, bits of history are getting lost. Does anyone care?

Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian and book author.

Just Posted

City housing crunch leads councillors to pass rezoning application for secondary suites

Many residents of 375 Mandarino Place furious with decision

Morris Bates takes a chance on life

Morris Bates is by far the Cariboo’s most famous entertainer.

Westridge rezoning amendment faces debate at tonight’s council meeting

A contentious application to rezone for secondary suites in Westridge will be discussed during tonight’s council meeting

Neufeld vying for CRD Area E director

Melynda Neufeld is hoping to get her seat back as a director for the Cariboo Regional District.

Emergency crews attend multi-car collision on Highway 97 Tuesday

Three vehicles involved in incident that temporarily impacts traffic

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

Most Read