Opening New Caledonia - Opening New Caledonia - Timeline 1956
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1956

Alderman Carrie Jane Gray was appointed Deputy Mayor by Mayor John Morrison.

Mayor Morrison owned a menswear store. In the 1950s, banks were never open on Saturdays. Men coming in from work in the bush needed to cash their cheques and knew they were welcome at the mayor's store. Allowing his customers to use the store like a bank was accommodating and practical, and a gesture that people appreciated.

The first Saturday morning children's story hour took place at the Brunswick Street library on January 12. The opening session was attended by 130 children aged 3 to 12. Mrs. MacFarlane was storyteller for the younger children while Mrs. Musgrove engaged the 8 to 12 year olds. According to Librarian Bill Fraser's philosophy, reading to children was "a way to help the child obtain a love of books and reading." These and other events proved so successful that eventually the library became a very crowded place.

City Council voted in February to grant a natural gas distribution franchise to the Prince George Gas Company Ltd. Immediately, the company applied to the provincial government to build a lateral line to connect with the Westcoast Transmission main line running four miles east of the city. Over the next year, the Prince George Gas Company and Inland Natural Gas Company were before the courts in a dispute over distribution rights. Eventually, three referenda were held and Inland won.

The Prince George Curling Club installed the first artificial ice ever made in Prince George. The new rink covered 12,470 square feet.

In the spring, the Northwest Telephone Company commenced building a $1 million automatic telephone exchange, converting all telephones in Prince George to the dial system.

Major changes to downtown streets came with a springtime conversion of four avenues to one-way traffic flow. The return of angle parking added 500 parking spaces.

In August, the Pacific Great Eastern Railway made its long-awaited inaugural trip from Vancouver to Prince George.

The fastest growing industry was sawmilling. There were more than 500 sawmills set up within a hundred mile radius of Prince George.

Photographic History of Prince George
| Milltown to Downtown | Settlers' Effects |

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