Editorial: Looking back it’s all the very familiar

Going through newspaper archives shows a glimpse of the past is not so different than the present

One local reader, Sylvia Barker, recently happened upon a few yellowing copies of newspapers, including a daily that stoical announced Bobby Kennedy had been laid to rest.

She also discovered a 1990 Observer and two copies of the Agassiz Advance; one from ’68 and one from ’89.

Instead of tossing the historical papers in the trash, she brought them to us. And as could be expected, reading them provided quite an interesting afternoon of time travel, amusement and contemplation.

It was in 1968, we read, that new flood gates were installed at Hammersley.

The pump was planned, designed and installed back when Wes Johnson was mayor, the Kilby’s were retiring and Harrison Hot Springs was simply discussing a sewer system that has since been upgraded. Seems like a long time ago. Certainly technology has changed significantly over the past 44 years, and the upgrades that have been announced are long overdue.

Like flood management, many concerns have stayed constant over time. The lack of local interest in tourism was outlined in a piece by then-editor John Green. He pointed out that  “people are still crying the blues year after year” despite tourism being the fastest-growing business.

Sound familiar?

Perhaps, he opined, business owners with an interest in boosting tourism could learn more about the Sasquatch, and start attending the screenings of a film being shown at Memorial Hall.

Seems like solid advice that’s finally being taken.

Fast forward to ’89/’90, which doesn’t seem so far away, and you’ll find even closer similarities. Even the names in the paper were familiar —  John Allen, Lorne Fisher, Leo Facio, Terrill Scott and Andy Bodnar to name a few — although all for different reasons than today.

It goes to show you that people who are inclined to speak out for the community will always do so, whether you agree with the tone of that speech or not.

And in community news, a softball coaching clinic was cancelled due to lack of interest, and a singles club in Agassiz announced that three members wasn’t enough to keep together.

It would be easy to say some things never change, sure. But it’s probably more apt to note our own history tells us it’s those who are busy speaking up, making their voices heard, and getting involved in the community who really move progress along.

news@ahobserver.com