Opening New Caledonia - Opening New Caledonia - Timeline 1959
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1959

Plans were announced for the construction of two new 500-car drive-in theatres. One was located at the foot of Cranbrook Hill and the other along the Hart Highway.

City Council voted to support the cost of installing and maintaining mercury street lights along First Avenue between Victoria Street and the Nechako Bridge. The twenty special street lights were lit during March. The cost of installing the tall overhead mercury vapour lamps was shared between the city and the B.C. Power Commission.

Disaster struck in March when ice conditions broke Inland Natural Gas Company's pipe in two places along the point where the line crossed over the Fraser River into town. The interruption happened at 8:30 on a Friday evening and continued for forty chilly hours until a temporary line was hooked up and service was restored. Commercial users were reconnected first by 10:00 a.m. Sunday. By noon that same day, service was restored to all residences. Later on, a permanent re-connection was made, replacing the old four-inch pipe with a six-inch diameter one that was suspended two feet below the railway bridge.

Long distance telephone service was connected in April, integrating the city's service with the rest of Canada and the United States. This meant that telephone operators in prince George could dial direct anywhere on the continent and to Hawaii without contacting operators at the point called. Actual direct dialing from customers' telephones was yet to come.

May saw the opening of a new $250,000 nurses' residence located adjacent to the $2 million hospital which was under construction. The residence could accommodate 54 nurses.

The Prince George Flying Club formed and put on its inaugural air show in May.

All 19 city restaurants were approved as having acceptable health standards. Although an inspection conducted by medical health officer Dr. K. Benson turned up "everything from dogs to smashed soap dispensers in the restaurants," all of the businesses were declared sanitary with respect to their food-handling practices.

Demolition began in June on the old Provincial Building, a three-storey structure at the corner of Third Avenue and Brunswick.

Moving a building is a dramatic sight and a practice that began during the times of the earliest settlements. In July, the old Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church was moved from Patricia Boulevard downtown to Seventh Avenue and Brunswick Street where it became a Ukrainian Catholic Church. The tall steeple had to be removed so the building could pass underneath overhead wires along the route.

Over the summer, construction was underway on two new drive-in movie theatres. One was built at the foot of Cranbrook Hill at Fifth Avenue and the other along the Hart Highway. Drive-in screen size was 40 x 100 feet and the parking lot had space for 500 cars.

Photographic History of Prince George
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