A March 1971 edition of the Kelowna Capital News. - Image Credit: Carmen Weld.

Cap News Throwback Thursday: 1971

After 86 years of service, we wanted to utilize our amazing treasure trove of Kelowna history and share it with you.

Over the last 86 years the Kelowna Capital News has served the Central Okanagan – and over the last 86 years it has printed a whole lot of papers.

A conservative estimate puts it at about 8,000 editions.

The new Black Press Okanagan digital team, based right here in Kelowna, wanted to utilize this amazing treasure trove of pieces of our history and share it with you.

Each Thursday we will present Cap News Throwback Thursday for a fun little peak into the past, and a chance for the digital team to climb through the records room.

Today we present the Kelowna Capital News edition— Wednesday March 1, 1971.

The third manned lunar landing has just occurred, the 1970 adaptation of Wuthering Heights was on the Kelowna big screen and danger was stalking nearby highways – in the form of deer.

The cover photo shows highway department employees Allen Clements, Frank Hawley and Ron Barker posing with a dead deer that was struck in Westbank.

“Danger stalks the Kelowna area highways in the form of deer like this buck which was killed when struck by a vehicle near Westbank,” reads the lede.

Highway employees were cautioning drivers as 42 deer has been killed between “Okanagan Bridge and Trout Creek” in just a few months, causing “considerable damage to vehicles” and some injuries.

Twelve-year-old Glen Garvin was rewarded by the Kelowna Capital News for being an outstanding paper carrier.

He was able to chose his own prize and, unlike kids of today might, Garvin chose a fishing rod, reel and lures.

“Glen generally fishes Okanagan Lake from the shore and the largest fish he has caught so far was a 12-incher.”

Like paper’s this week, Prime Minister Trudeau made it to print (our current PM’s father). He was set to be honoured with B.C. Daffodils.

The article reads that his desk in the House of Commons was set to be decorated with a “bouquet of daffodils Monday when British Columbia official declares that spring has arrived in the province.”

At that time the The Greater Vancouver Visitors and Convention Bureau delivered 30 dozen daffodils to Ottawa each year.

Interesting, Trudeau was in B.C. the next day to marry Margaret Sinclair on March 4, 1971 in North Vancouver, B.C. Sinclair was 30 years younger than Trudeau. They separated in 1977 and divorced in 1984. Their eldest son, Justin Trudeau, is now the Prime Minister of Canada.

Of interest at this time in Kelowna, the prominent government building, still standing beside the Queensway Bus Loop, was unveiled to the public with the removal of exterior boarding.

The building was set to host the main post office and other federal offices. In 2017, the building houses the Service Canada Centre, Veterans Affairs office and other federal offices.

Further in the paper, a rather precariously placed bicycle had caused the anger of some Kelowna motorists. So much so, it made it in the paper.

The photo shows a cruiser-style bike with a basket parked in the centre of an angled parking spot along Bernard Avenue.

The cut line reads that the bike, “drew hostile looks from several motorists who had signalled to turn into the spot before sighting the bike.”

Fun fact: 1971 got some attention on Facebook this week as well. The popular Old Kelowna Facebook page highlighted a aerial shot of Kelowna from that year. Orchard Park Mall can been clearly seen surrounded by a whole lot of green. That same area now paints a very different picture of strip malls, roadways and parking lots. Check it out below!

You can also check out our previous throwbacks here: 1936, 1960, 1941, 1985, 1962, 1983 and 1994

The Cap News is now owned by Black Press Community Media. Founded in 1975, Black Press now publishes more than 170 titles in British Columbia, Alberta, Washington state, Hawaii, Ohio and California.

Do you have an important date or piece of history you hope we can find in our historical editions?! Let us know at okanagan@bpdigital.ca.

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