EDITORIAL: Squamish in 1997

Editor's note: The Chief's weekly editorial represents the official opinion of the newspaper.

Looking back helps us assess and understand where we have been and can help determine where we are going.

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For many, this is why the new year brings with it emotion and retrospection. 

With that in mind, at random, we pulled out a dusty 1997 stack of The Squamish Chief papers to see what locals were reading and talking about at the time.

Some items on those pages make it seem as if more than 22 years have passed.

“Do you have $6,000 down? Can you afford $670 a month?” reads a real estate advertisement.

Housing prices have definitely changed.

Also, there were pages of TV listings.

Remember those?

The annual “Thunder in the Streets,” which saw cars race a downtown Squamish course was celebrated. Hard to imagine that happening nowadays in the height of tourist season.

Another blast from the past: a story headlined, “Young people offered introduction to the internet.”

Seems that internet thingy caught on in the end, huh?

An item in the “Police Blotter,” notes the theft of a gum-ball machine from a local car dealer’s office.

Small town woes.

A few spots in the papers seem even more shockingly out of date.

One advertisement for cell phones — the size of a shoe and shaped like a banana — shows a woman in a dress sitting on a man’s lap while he talks on a cell phone.

Obviously, she was drawn to him for the power of that brick-like device, folks.

Don’t think any marketing guru would call that depiction wise in today’s #MeToo reckoning.

And the 1997 papers themselves seem — well — quainter.

Our Darts and Daffodils section routinely contained 30 entries back in 1997, including one dart that bemoaned “unemployed” people blasting rap music. For shame!

Other things published in those time-worn pages have remained constant over the two decades.

From StyleZone to Greg Gardner’s dealership to Loggers Sports, many of the businesses and events of the time continue to thrive.

Some stories remind us that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Liquefied natural gas was a hot topic back then, though not as close to home as today.

Westcoast Gas Services Inc. was proposing to build an LNG storage facility in the Sunshine Coast Regional District at McNab Creek.

That obviously didn’t pan out.

The papers of 1997 contained discussions of getting a community forest established, and the importance of getting a heritage policy in place to protect Squamish trees.

Both are projects the current council aims to complete.

In November of 1997 then-mayor Corinne Lonsdale presented Squamish Nation’s Gwen Harry with a certificate of recognition for her commitment and dedication to the Nation and the community. She is still giving back today.

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

Here’s to another year of making memories, and history, Squamish.

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