The Hope Mustangs girls team headed to provincials after placing second in the Fraser Valley basketball finals February 1987. The team members were, from left, Joanne Hasell, Carmen Mitchell, Tracy Nazarchuk, Tanya Kornum, Kim Crosby, Leanne Quipp and Alanna McGee. Missing from the photo are Tammy Nazarchuk and Sandy Robberstad. Coach Don Macdonald is pictured behind. Hope Standard archive photo

Hope in History: Train robberies, explosive finds and musical vandalism

Looking back at February 2007, 1997 and 1987 in Hope and the Fraser Canyon

11 years ago: February 2007

An explosive piece of history found in Flood garden

The normally quiet Silver Ridge mobile home park in Flood was the scene of some excitement when an artillery shell was pulled out from the yard of a recently vacated trailer home.

After park managers and a resident unearthed the shell, the RCMP and the Canadian Navy got wind of the discovery.

Members of the explosive ordinance disposal unit from the Fleet Diving Unit, Pacific Region out of Esquimalt arrived a day later, taking the shell to be detonated in a secure location.

Surprisingly, this was not the first time an explosive device was found in Hope. The previous year, a military shell was found under a kitchen sink by a new resident of a home in Hope.

Boston Bar mourns man killed in barn fire

One man died and another was severely injured in a fire which consumed the converted barn where both men lived, in a remote piece of land four kilometres south of Boston Bar.

The man who died was believed to have saved his friend, who survived with severe cuts, smoke inhalation and a broken hand and ribs.

“The male survivor recalls smashing a window to escape the fire and being pushed out of the second storey to safety by his friend,” Cpl. James Paulsen said at the time.

The men’s names were not released at the time, pending an autopsy.

21 years ago: February 1997

Front page crash hits the paper

Normally a reporter has to chase the news; this time the news came straight to her.

A 1987 Buick crashed straight through the front window of the Hope Standard office Feb. 4, 1997. The driver missed hitting two employees by just a few feet, as glass shattered and a front counter was pushed across the room.

“Before I knew it, it was parked right beside my desk,” said Pattie Desjardins, an employee at the newspaper. “I will never forget seeing it. I thought it was coming right at me.”

The 21-year-old driver, Robert Leslie Giroux, was charged with driving without a licence and driving without due care and attention.

31 years ago: February 1987

Wild west arrest of train robbers

“A dramatic arrest in the style of the wild west has resulted in charges pending against two men in connection with a ‘robbery’ last Friday near the Sailor Bar tunnel between Yale and Boston Bar,” reporter Janice Abbott wrote about a Feb. 13, 1987 robbery.

The robbers were spotted by a Canadian Pacific Railway officer as they were busy loading stolen goods from a train into a waiting car.

Local RCMP were contacted and nine officers responded, including a Chilliwack dogmaster.

The suspects fled on foot into the woods and evaded capture for two hours, before being caught by the RCMP.

Just another brick in the wall?

A $200 reward was announced for information leading to the arrest of the person or people who defaced a brick wall in downtown Hope mid-February.

The words “Pink Floyd The Wall” were scrawled in thin black spraypaint on a downtown building, and Chamber of Commerce president Inge Wilson said the reward was meant to deter future vandalism.

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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