Editors note: This letter to the editor was in response to The Pioneers Historical Lens photo in the May 24th, 2013 issue of Invermeres old Imperial Bank of Canada.
I recall a few conversations my father initiated during our family car/campingholidays to Radium Hot Springs while we were kids in the 1950s and 1960s.
How Dad was shipped by the bank from Vancouver to Invermere to work at the Imperial Bank of Canada during the 1930s.Apparently, it wasa two or three day trip at that time. How he could not live on the wages supplied by the bank and live in separate accommodations and eat at the same time.How Dad and another teller were thus given the ability to live upstairs at the bank and work downstairs. Working, living, cooking, reading and playing around that old building on the corner. How there was very little insulation in the attic/living accommodation, and a lot of toting and hauling of fire wood over the years.How the trek to the outhouse in the now-parking lot was a very cold trip during the winter, and long as well when nature called in the night. How for winter activities, they would play hockey on the ice in their teams and their groups.Apparently, Dad received amention or two in the local paper for his hockey prowess.
How they would take a drive up to the now-missing bridge over Toby Creek, just for something to do. How they would speed over the washboard on the gravel roads and hope they only hit the high points of the washboard.
Dad also spoke to the feeling of isolation in Invermere at that time for a singlecity in a small town due to the extremely poor travel ability to visit family and friends down in Vancouver. Even though Dad had a few concerns about life in the big town of Invermere by the Lake, he loved it here.That is part of the reason we kept coming back for the hot pools and the reminiscences.
But when the bank said, we want to send you to the Prairies for some advancementwhere its colder and further away from every thing else, Dad said, nope, Im going back to the Big Smoke.
And so our time in Radium and Invermere started, with Dads memories and our family holidays to the Columbia Valley.
David R Pacey
Radium Hot Springs/Summer land