Opening New Caledonia - Opening New Caledonia - Timeline 1952
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1952

The first concrete sidewalks were poured in residential neighborhoods. Homeowners were assessed and billed for one-time improvement costs of $42.61 for a 30-foot lot.

Carrie Jane Gray became the first woman alderman in Prince George when she was sworn into office at the beginning of January.

The first local branch of the Canadian Forestry Association to be established in Canada was formed January 9 when lumbermen met at the Prince George Hotel. Mill owner, Martin Caine, was elected president, with lumber dealer, John McInnis, as vice-president. The organization’s purpose was to protect forests and the wildlife resources inhabiting them. During the first meeting, plans were announced to organize a junior forest warden movement similar to those in other provinces.

At the annual meeting of the Board of Trade, it was announced that Prince George had become the largest shipping point on the North American continent for white spruce lumber. As many as 700 railway boxcars a month of spruce were being shipped out. The CNR announced a plan for the construction of a spur line into the industrial area.

When Pacific Petroleum Ltd. struck two new natural gas wells near Fort St. John, the company engaged surveyors from Texas and Oklahoma. They began mapping out the route for a gas pipeline from the Peace River area to Prince George.

The Northwest Telephone Company announced plans to spend $250,000 during 1952 to upgrade the city’s telephone service.

A special cargo of five rare trumpeter swans arrived at Prince George Airport February 11 as a B.C. Airways Junkers skiplane settled gently onto the runway. The flight had originated at Lonesome Lake in Tweedsmuir South Provincial Park west of Williams Lake where the birds were captured. The swans were an official gift from the Government of British Columbia to Elizabeth II, who had become Queen of England on February 6 upon the death of her father, King George VI. The swans were transferred to a Canadian Pacific Airlines flight to Vancouver, and then flown on to London. By the next afternoon, the swans were swimming in the Thames River.

The Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Louis St. Laurent visited Prince George on September 8. Mayor Garvin Dezell hosted a civic luncheon, following which the Prime Minister addressed an assembly of high school students.

During mid-October, the CNR announced plans to construct a spur line into the city’s growing light industrial zone. Plans called for an investment of $18,000 into building a spur on the south side of First Avenue from Kingston Street to a point midway between Queen and George Streets. The 2,000 foot long track would service six blocks of land and companies such as Marshal Wells Hardware, Prince George Builders Supplies and the provincial public works department.

The First Pacific Great Eastern Railway train arrived in Prince George on Saturday, November 1 with 550 passengers on board. The train was met by 5,000 people, the largest crowd to assemble in the city’s history to that date. Premier W. A. C. Bennett declared, "Today marks the opening of a new era for this part of British Columbia." Celebrations involved three brass bands, three banquets, a free barbecue and dance, a fireworks display and a children’s party.

Photographic History of Prince George
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