Feb. 9, 1983 edition of the Kelowna Capital News. Credit: Carmen Weld

Cap News Throwback Thursday: 1983, a battle against porn

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 Feb. 9, 1983.

The first thing one will notice is that the combination of church and state was still very prevalent in 1983 in Kelowna, as city council took on a major problem plaguing the region – pornography.

Bold across the top of the page, the main headline read ‘Week of Prayer’ declared to combat porn.

“City council is voicing its concerns about pornography to a higher authority,” sates the article.

Then Mayor, John Hindle, declared Feb 13-19, 1983 a week of prayer to “ask God for guidance in dealing with the issue.”

The city’s response was following the work of a Winfield resident, Sheila Tourond, who organized a 168-hour vigil with local churches.

“Tourond said the group will be asking for spiritual guidance to impress upon others how harmful pornography is and will be praying for forgiveness for those who are involved already,” reads the article.

Pornography is now a very common thing, free in many forms online for the masses.

Several pages later in this edition another religious based piece appears. This time an editorial cartoon representing Canadians, that are pro-choice and in favour of porn, as the devil.

A “Bernard Stroller” section of the front page included cute little community tidbits and gossip including a rumour that Princess Diana and Prince Charles would be enjoying Okanagan Sumac Ridge Estate wines during their visit to see Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and Ottawa later in 1983.

(Cap News is waiting to hear from Sumac on whether or not the royal couple actually enjoyed the B.C. Wine.)

On the non-religious political spectrum, the front page is rounded out by a piece indicating the Communist Party of Canada has made a triumphant return to Kelowna after years off.

“The Communist Party of Canada is alive and well in Kelowna after an absence of 15 years,” reads the lede.

“By inviting both their provincial and national leaders to speak the party managed to muster an audience of about 40 people…”

According to the party’s website, it is still alive and well after 75 years of existence.

Fun fact: Still of the Night was playing at the Orchard Park theatre at the time. Starring Meryl Streep,Roy Scheider, Joe Grifasi, and Jessica Tandy, it was an an American psychological thriller film directed by Robert Benton. When Meryl Streep was interviewed by Andy Cohen on “Watch What Happens Live”, he asked her to name one bad film she made. She said, “Uh, Still of the Night.”

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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