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Settling In: Highlighting 50 Years of Kitimat's History

Public Peace & Protection

Public Peace & Protection

Municipal administration and fire and police protection were housed in the Public Safety Building. Reeve Wilbur Hallman officially opened Kitimat's first civic building on Labour Day, September 7, 1956.  It replaced the temporary Firehall on the same site and temporary municipal offices at another location. On March 3, 1955, The Northern Sentinel referred to this effort to establish permanence as a "quick-action programme" and, at the opening, stated the building marked three-and-a-half years of municipal progress.

The Volunteer Firefighters and Kitimat Civil Defence Auxiliary Police supplemented the ranks of the regular staff firefighters and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  The District of Kitimat purchased its first fire fighting equipment, a 12-cylinder La France that arrived in July 1955.

As representatives of Canada's emergency planning, Civil Defence volunteers mobilized to protect Kitimat against invasion, nuclear attack, and other disasters.  A municipal civil defence plan was put in place, and volunteers received training in search and rescue, survival, bomb shelters, and emergency feeding.

The Kitimat General Hospital opened its doors on March 27, 1960.  Eric Martin, Minister of Health and Welfare, did the honours and 5000 toured the new ultra-modern $3.5 million facility.

Victim Services

Formed in Kitimat March 1, 1988, Victim Services was a province-wide program launched through the Ministry of the Attorney General.  Funding comes from the Ministry, the District of Kitimat and in-kind donations - office and telephone - from the RCMP.  For several years in its history, the program has also received funds through the Aluminum City Telethon.

The Tamitik Status of Women Association

The Association formed in Kitimat during International Women's Year in 1975 for women to come together, voicing views and concerns and rectifying injustices inherent in the system, especially those that affected women such as violence and poverty.  Programs for anti-poverty and work in education, the labour force, political action, and support to women and family life have remained key elements.  The facilities for the TSW are Bread and Roses Women's Centre and Dunmore Place Transition House.

Aerial View of City Centre and Nechako

The new hospital opened its doors in 1960. Its size anticipated Kitimat's future population of 50,000.

Civil Defence Equipment

Mayor Sam Lindsay (on right) has a look at the new mobile feeding unit equipment purchased for use by Kitimat Civil Defence, April 9, 1964

RCMP Auxiliaries

Kitimat RCMP Auxiliary Police gather with Magistrate Hugh Meldrum in the Council Chamber, Public Safety Building, 1967.

New ambulance

New ambulance presented February 11, 1963.

RCMP Kitimat Auxiliary Police

RCMP Kitimat Auxiliary Police, 1964.  Back row, left to right: Bill Struthers, Steve Stevenson, Bert Orleans, Lou Truesdale, Bob Merriam, Arv Sestrap, John MacKenzie, Dave Allen, John Smith, Jack Rewers, Barney Mahon, and Miles Bode.  Front row, left to right: Cpl. Gordon Mercheson, Sgt. John Morrison, O.C. Prince Rupert S/D, and Cecil Brooks. 

School Students, Fire Dept. Awards- Visitation N.S.P.

George Couto receives the honour of Junior Fire Marshall from Fire Chief Aubrey Creed, circa 1961-1962. The Kitimat Fire Hall runs this contest for children annually. Photograph by Max Patzelt.

Fire Truck and Personnel

Fire Chief Aubrey Creed (far right) and a firefighter from the regular staff stand with Kitimat's volunteer firefighters in front of Fire One in 1956.

Opening Public Safety Building

Percy E. Radley, B.C. Project Manager for Alcan speaks at the opening of the Public Safety Building, Kitimat's first civic building, Labour Day, September 7, 1956.