The Soviet harp quartet Chitiri Arpi performed at Coquihalla school in March 1972, as part of their first North American tour. Archives/Hope Standard

Hope in History: Criminals make great escape, fingerprint expert gets decorated and skiers fly off lift

Looking back at March 1982, 1992 and 2002 in Hope and the Fraser Canyon

16 years ago —March 2002: Fingerprint expert living among us

A Hope resident was awarded the meritorious service decoration from Governor General Adrienne Clarkson for his world-leading work on fingerprint analysis.

Dave Ashbaugh, former Staff Sergeant at the Hope RCMP, was the first to coin the term ridgeology. The term refers to a method of forensic fingerprint analysis that has since been adopted by law enforcement agencies in the U.S., the U.K., Sweden, Finland and Australia.

“As a result of my research, fingerprint science could be defended on a scientific basis,” Ashbaugh said, adding that until he published his method in a 1999 book there was no scientific way to analyze fingerprints. Before this, the approach was to compare fingerprints subjectively to find a match. Ashbaugh’s method involved measuring ridges and spaces between ridges on fingerprints to find a match.

26 years ago — March 1992: Hope B.C. a popular destination, when planning your prison break

Hope seemed to be a favourite place for fugitives to end their escapes from penitentiaries and the law.

A youth on the lam from a detention centre in Surrey was arrested in Hope March 3, after police spotted him driving a 1981 Datsun 280 ZX reported stolen. Four days earlier, a man facing fraud charges on Vancouver Island was caught by Hope RCMP. The fugitive Charles Orland Ballard was driving while impaired, he crashed his car into a cement pillar on the Hope-Princeton highway. The car, a 1986 Pontiac sedan, was allegedly bought with a fraudulent cheque.

36 years ago — March 1982: Hope tops crime list, skiers injured and local stores sheds some lbs.

Hope’s crime rate was seventh in the province in 1982, Cpl. T.J. Hewitt told The Hope Standard it was partly due to the transient population moving through the town. The top crimes in Hope were stolen property, wilful damage, theft of motor vehicles and break-in and entry, all these crimes saw an increase from the previous year. The six communities with a higher rate of crime per 1,000 population were Spence’s Bridge, Whistler, Watson Lake, U.B.C, Williams Lake and Prince Rupert.

A chairlift at Manning Park derailed March 20, seriously injuring four skiers and surprising many others. Hope resident Lori Clausen was on the ski lift when the main cable derailed on one of the towers, tossing skiers like Clausen out of their chairs. “It was quite the experience,” she said at the time, the weather was sunny and she was feeling relaxed. “The next thing you know, you’re in the middle of a near tragedy.” Several skiers were transported to hospitals in Chilliwack, Hope and New Westminster. The ministry of transport and highways started an investigation of the incident.

“Pound of ground round? Not anymore,” read the photo caption in the March 17 edition of The Hope Standard. Two days earlier retail food stores converted their scales to weigh food in kilograms, as mandated by the federal government. “The conversion is part of the national changeover from the Imperial units of pounds, ounces, yards, miles, gallons and degrees Farenheit to kilograms, grams, metres, kilometres, litres and degrees Celsius that began in 1977,” the story read.

Hope in History is a monthly feature, delving into the archives of the Hope Standard and your community history. Have a particular story you want to relive? Email

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