Yesterday’s Site C announcement brought back some memories. Premier Gordon Campbell loaded a bunch of Liberals, B.C. Hydro reps and reporters onto airplanes and flew them up to the W.A.C. Bennett dam to announce that the province will proceed with the long-controversial Site C hydro plan for the Peace River.
Back in 1967, W.A.C. himself traveled to his namesake dam — in a rail car. He called me to that car late one night to say he would be announcing at the next day’s official opening of the dam that the reservoir would be named after Ray Williston, just as the Prince George newspaper I was working for at the time had campaigned for in editorials.
The following day, I rode up to the opening in Ben Ginter’s Lear jet. I remember trying to muscle my way through the crowd to get a half-decent shot of Bennett officially firing up the plant. Just as he was about to push the button, I raised my second-hand Pentax above my head and clicked, having no idea whether it would be in focus.
Not only was it in focus, it was a pretty damn good shot. Good enough to be used by B.C. Hydro as the official photo of the opening.