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Throwback Thursday: Week of March 21

Cute kids and their dog, a cute kid with his umbrella and a CN derailment are all part of Throwback Thursday's look at the Citizen's highlights in history.

“George Campbell Loses His Life Crossing Fraser,” proclaimed the front-page headline in the March 20, 1924, edition of the Citizen.

“A man of about thirty year,” Campbell was carrying a pack with his belongings at the time and it was guessed he chose cutting across the ice, instead of walking a couple of miles to the bridge, to catch the train that would have taken him to one of the logging camps west of the city.

Two men heard his cries for help and ran to the area.

“They did not catch sight of Campbell, but out on the ice, about fifty feet from the bank, they saw a cap, close to open water.”

Police recovered his body two days later a short distance from where it was believed he fell through the ice.


Under the headline “Your School Problem,” an ad taken out in the March 23, 1944, edition of the Citizen invited residents to an open house “to see your high school in action” on March 29.

“Avail yourself of this opportunity and see why a new Junior-Senior High School is necessary. Do not be misled by those not acquainted with the facts,” the ad urged. “Vote FOR the school bylaw.”


March is National Social Worker Month and the only local resident to have a statue immortalizing their contribution to Prince George is the legendary social worker Bridget Moran.

“Bridget finished for good, result of explosive scene,” the Citizen headline declared on the front page of the March 20, 1964, edition.

Moran attended a sitting of the legislature in Victoria after she was suspended from her job for communicating with the press and branding the government’s welfare services as “sick, sick, sick.”

“Mrs. Moran sat in the public gallery to hear herself branded ‘disloyal’ by a Social Credit backbencher,” the story read. “The result was explosive debate and the certainty she will never get her job back as a Prince George social worker.”

While this week 60 years ago was perhaps the darkest time in her professional life, Moran’s social work career in Prince George was not done, nor was her work as a social activist, and her work as an author was still 25 years in the future.


Jumping ahead a few days, the March 23, 1964, edition of the Citizen featured an aerial shot of a huge train wreck about 100 kilometres east of Prince George.

Miraculously, no one was killed and only an engineer “suffered cuts and shock when three locomotives 18 cars of his 46-car freight were derailed.”


Fifty years ago, Billy, John, Laura and Sam Masich, the children of Tom and Anne Masich, appeared with their dog Putt Putt on the front page of the March 21, 1974, edition of the Citizen.

Putt Putt’s life was saved by an open-heart operation performed at the College of Veterinary Surgeons in Saskatoon after Prince George veterinarian Dr. Alan Olson “detected a heart murmur when the pet was brought into his clinic for a routine rabies shot.”

Dr Olson “made arrangements with the Saskatoon college to have the necessary operation performed free of charge,” the story said. “The only cost to the Masich family was the $49 return air fare to Saskatoon.”


Lastly, it’s been 40 years since a cute three-year-old by the name of Landyn Fellers appeared on the front page of the March 21, 1984, edition of the Citizen, staying dry under an umbrella bigger than him.

Any Citizen readers know what Landyn’s up to these days?

Neil Godbout is the former editor of the Prince George edition and a current member of the Prince George Heritage Commission.