Editorial: Yesterday’s news items still echo

Lots to learn from days gone by

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Or so it goes.

For many years, Jackie Perry has been diligent in her search for items to run in the Echoes from the Past column, on behalf of the Agassiz Harrison Historical Society. Each week, she manages to dig out interesting tidbits from 50 year old newspapers.

And what’s more, she somehow manages to find not only interesting news from days gone by, but news that relates to what is going on today.

These are stories that really do ‘echo’ through the years. Over the past few years we’ve read about the late ’50s and early ’60s. Stories have included disastrous farming seasons and drought-weary crops, funding for new schoolhouses and educational programs, the lack of local doctors and tragic boating accidents. There were notes from the social blotters, reliving the stories of local people growing up, moving away or winning competitions.

This week’s column is no different, and comparisons can be drawn from yesterday to today.

Fifty years ago, Harrison Hot Springs’s population dropped, which affected councillors’ pay. Currently, over the past few years, population increases in Kent have dramatically affected local taxes due to an increase in policing costs.

Fifty years ago, MacCallum’s Clothing Store closed. This week, unfortunatelly will see the end of Black Sea Organics’ 20-year fun in Agassiz.

Fifty years ago, TV reception was reliant on bunny ears. At the end of this month, broadcasters will be required to send out their signals digitally, making those bunny ears — and the analog information they could collect — truly a thing of the past.

It’s fun to draw the comparisons from the past. But it can also be an important exercise in remembering who we were, seeing how far we’ve come, and watching for ways to improve for the future.

– Black Press

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