Vernon historian has unearthed footage of summer on the ocean as well as a historic tragedy

Old summer memories

It may officially be fall, but summer memories remain.

And these summer memories from 64 years ago were captured on film.

Vernon-based videographer and historian Francois Arseneault takes a trip back to 1958 on the waters of the Strait of Georgia and Puget Sound.

“Piloting a powerboat on lakes is enjoyable, but blue water cruising is another experience altogether,” Arseneault said. “Navigating waters with large cargo ships, enjoying the sea air while bobbing along in a small powerboat make great memories.”

The grainy, colour footage shows unspoiled coast lines as the boat navigates around freighters and other pleasure craft.

Arseneault has also unearthed footage from 1958 when disaster struck the Second Narrows Bridge on June 17.

“As a crane stretched from the north side of the new bridge to join the two chords of the unfinished arch, several spans collapsed,” said Arseneault. “Seventy-nine workers plunged 30 metres into the water. Eighteen were killed, a diver searching for bodies drowned later, bringing the total fatalities of the collapse to 19. Colour film footage of the tragedy is quite rare.”

The vintage reel ends on a brighter note with footage of an undeveloped Horseshoe Bay, strikingly different from how it looks like today.

Arseneault is always looking for more information on the vintage footage he digs up, and he encourages people to add their input in the comments section on his Youtube page.

Arseneault has an extensive collection of vintage footage, and he is looking for more.

Anyone who may have old 16 mm or 8 mm film footage of the Vernon and Okanagan area is invited to email Arseneault at [email protected].

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