Opening New Caledonia - Opening New Caledonia - Timeline 1958
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1958

Mayor Carrie Jane Gray opened two new recreation facilities in the city. The ribbon was cut for a new 1,600-seat ice arena on March 19 and, the following month, the Coliseum opened with great celebration on April 11. Mayor Gray presided over the opening ceremonies for the $455,000 Coliseum, an edifice which she was instrumental in naming. Acknowledging that it was during former Mayor John Morrison’s administration—and largely due to his initiative that the building came to be—she stood aside and allowed him to cut the ribbon.

The city began installing natural gas service. Anticipating the comfort and convenience for automatic central home heating, Prince George residents signed up for the service more quickly than anywhere else in the province.

Northern Hardware owner Harold Moffat introduced a unique city symbol—the Spruce Dollar. A large wooden nickel, it was negotiable for merchandise at stores in Prince George. Spruce Dollars would become popular as souvenirs for tourists and convention-goers.

Prince George’s PGTV station offered hookup of closed circuit television—a service which could be used for group communications (such as national sales meetings) , industrial television, educational television and home entertainment.

This was a difficult year, economically. For the first time in many years, business growth took a downward turn. A number of factors contributed to the economic downturn, including low lumber prices and a threatened IWA strike. Major projects which had provided significant employment, such as the PGE Railway, the Westcoast Transmission gas pipeline and road construction, were completed. To stimulate the economy, the Development Commission successfully attracted a large home-building contractor, a wood preservative company and a hardboard plant. However, the Commission’s second annual report acknowledged that large industrial or commercial investments take time to materialize.

Photographic History of Prince George
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