The Vancouver Sun from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada on May 23, 1958 · 1
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The Vancouver Sun from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada · 1

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Issue Date:
Friday, May 23, 1958
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Mostly sunny. Cooler. Low tonight, 50; high Saturday, 70. ax; SUNNV FOUNDED 1886 VOL. LXXII NaT: 94 MUtual 4-7141 aticouper&m INDEX Finance, 14; Sport, 18; Crossword, 31; Theatres, 48; Women, TV, Bridge, Comics, Gardening, Boating, Third Section. FATHER TELLS J t TRAGEDY ,ccb v, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA, FRIDAY, MAY 23, 1958 . $ v at V MP FINAL C PRICE 10 CENTS J2cPAerRS Hopeless Vancouver Sun reporter Paul St. Pierre was the first reporter on the scene of the mission-hospital fire which killed 12 children at Alexis Creek, 60 miles west of Williams Lake Thursday, here is his graphic account of the tragedy. By PAUL ST. PIERRE Vancouver Sun Staff Reporter On the pale yellow sand of a Chilcotin hillside stood Billyboy and his wife, Aileah. Chilcotin Indians . . hard people of a hard land ... Behind them grey rock cliffs. In front of them the blackened ruins of their school and hospital where some of the bodies of 12 Indian children still lay. One of the bodies belonged to them. "I don't mind to talk a little," said Billyboy. "I was home just from work. I looked up (from his sod-roofed cabin on the Ana-ham rancheree) and I saw the smoke. "I got my kid in there. I come running barefoot. When Billyboy reached the school and hospital, smoke covered all one side of it and flames shot out the other side. "There was four of us," said Billyboy "Mclure Jim, Otto Chell, and the Shuswap from down below." Fight Against Flames (The Shuswap was Chief Charley Draney, of Denman Creek Reservation, on the other side of the Fraser, the lands of the Chilcotin tribe. (Draney is an employee of the Indian Affairs Department. He is here supervising the laying of an irrigation system with which this reserve is hoping to continue its rapid march into the Twentieth Century.) "We broke in the windows. The fire came out," said Billyboy. "Otto Chell broke in some of the wail. We try to get in up the back stairs for them kids. "Smoke drove us back." Just as he gave up ids hope less fight two acetylene cylinders exploded near the wall at which he had been battering and a shower of debris went up through the roof. Billyboy, overcome by smoke, went back and sat on the same piece of hillside where he and his wife were standing all through the hot morning hours of the day. Occasionally Billyboy wiped his eyes but Aileah never put her hand to her face. A tear moved continuously down her cheek and splashed down in the sand. "You should see Billyboy's older children," said Father Patterson. "Bright. Well dressed. Getting a good education. "There are still sod roofs here but these people are making their place in the world. You write that down," he said. He is a short stout man, white-haired who hails from Ontario and until a few years ago he, too, lived in a sod-roofed cabin among his people at the Anahim Rancheree. Now he has a frame home and a remodeled church. There are nine sisters of the Order of Christ the King (whose headquarters is in Gaspe, Que.) who have a home here beside the school which burned. The hospital and school which burned two storey, frame, white-painted, provided with electricity, was just 75 yards away. The sisters were at the scene within seconds of the time when Sister Mary of the Holy Cross came running through the flames with little Wendy Char in her arms. She had been sitting in the downstairs dispensary when she first saw smoke. The blaze began upstairs where 13 Indian children and infants were being cared for. It is only known that Sister Mary ran upstairs, managed to grab Wendy, came downstairs, found flames already in her path, got through them to safety. Her nun's habit was parti ally responsible for limiting her injuries. She was burned only on the hands and on the face where it was not protected by her headdress. These burns, however, were severe. Five minutes later it was carrying the injured woman to Williams Lake Hospital. The cause of the fire remains a mystery. The heating system was not on, the electrical system, gasoline-motor operated, was also idle. Father Patterson said the flames moved so fast "by the time I had run up here from my house there was fire coming out of every window." Fiery Death Struck In Midst of Prayers CURBS ON SPRINKLING START HERE TONIGHT Sprinkling restrictions go into effect in Vancouver at midnight. City Engineer Ran Martin said the regulations are needed to maintain good water pressure in higher areas of Vancouver in line with a forecast of continuing dry weather. Odd numbered homes may sprinkle on odd calendar dates and even numbered homes on even dates. TWELVE SICK CHILDREN DIED and one was saved Thursday when fire ripped through this combination hospital and school at Anahim Indian Reserve, west of Williams Lake. Hospital was on top floor on far side of building. Classroom windows are shown on ground floor in. centre of picture. Cronin photos. is SERIOUSLY BURNED when she ran through flames carrying lone surviving child is Sister Mary of the Cross. School is operated by nuns of Order of Christ the King. She is holding baby she adopted for one year. Hey There, Skinny! Last One In Water Is a Rotten Egg! Heavy Loss In Alberni Shop Blaze ALBERNI (CP) A fire wiped out three stores and damaged a bank in this Vancouver Island city today. Destroyed were Bronson's Hardware and Furniture, Anderson's Grocery and the Effa Eectrical Store. Some damage also was caused to the Bank of Commerce building. No one was injured. . ' F. E. Bronson, owner of the hardware store, estimated the loss at both his store and Anderson's Groceteria will be from $250,000 to $300,000. The fire is reported to have started in the hardware store. Algiers Rebels Call For Coup in France Frenchmen Urged to Overthrow Pflimlin and Back Gen. de Gaulle By JOSEPH GBIGG PARIS (BUP) The Algiers army rebels today called on the French nation to overthrow the Fourth Republic and sweep Gen. Charles de Gaulle to power. The challenge from the Five Students Killed ST. LIBORY, 111. (BUP) Five students at Southern Illinois University were killed today when their car struck a bridge abutment south of here. army generals and their revolutionary "committees of public safety" issued from Algiers, was one of the most defiant challenges ever flung at a French government. Meanwhile, Premier Pierre Pflimlin risked his shaky government today on a demand for immediate constitutional reforms. Failure could bring down his cabinet within a week and put Gen. de Gaulle in power. Premier Pflimlin's constitutional reform bill was approved Thursday night by the cabinet. Today he was to present it to the National Assembly. The bill is designed primarily to strengthen the powers of the government and to make it that much more difficult for Gen. de Gaulle to win office. ALL ABOUT MEN, PAGE 27 Mather's Nightcap By BARRY MATHER LONDON While here it seemed to me that I should make myself useful to Sun readers by explaining the various international crises. By DENIS BLUNDEN Vancouver Sun Staff Reporter Hey, skinny! Let's head for the beach. It's your favorite time of year. You can drink pop, eat hot dogs, french fries and Ice cream without worrying about your weight. You look better in a bathing suit, too. It's the plump people who suffer most in the hot weather, perspiring in the sunshine that boomed temperatures up into the 80s in downtown Vancouver and to 76 at the airport Thursday, the hottest day of the year. A high pressure ridge over most of B.C. is keeping the sun shining. The weatherman says a minor storm from the south will bring showers tonight but that the sun will be back as usual Saturday. It's a "high pleasure ridge" to people who like the sun and water. It has boomed sales of all the summertime props suntan lotion, insect repellent, sun glasses, bathing suits, fishing tackle, boating gear, the soft drinks, beer, ice cream and ice. Thousands are flocking to the beaches for after-work picnic suppers. Auto towing firms are being kept busy with help calls from motorists with vapor lock. Weak fuel pumps can bring on vapor lock. In the case of the French crisis the trend is, of course, becoming quite clear. The present government of France is determined to avoid dictatorship. It is therefore taking on dictatorial powers. It is becoming an authoritarian regime in order to protect France from authoritarianism. It will preserve democracy by doing away with it. The full principle of freedom of speech will be maintained so long as it is not used. Very much the same thing is apparent in connection with the summit peace meeting. Every European nation is dedicated to the idea that there must not be another war. They are so against war here that they will take all steps against it short of peace. Diplomats are doing everything in their power to bring about a summit parley only stipulating that nothing come of it. It is something the same with that other international situation, the Princess Margaret and Townsend one. My informants assure me that everything is quite over between the princess and Townsend. For instance, It is now clear that they will see each other only when he is in Britain. Actually I am told the two have nothing in common except their affection for each other. In London the princess and Townsend story is now quite dead. Indeed you would never know there was such a story unless you read the front pages. This should help our readers get a clearer picture of what is going on here. I'll send more information later as soon as I read the papers. Clothes for her baby when it arrives will be purchased with $20 won by Mrs. Don Britz, of Ladner, for finding Vancouver Sun Lucky Buck. (Story, list on page 11). A GOOD EVENING to everybody and especially to those at home. Groceries will come from $20 won by unemployed telephone repairman John De Lauw, of New Westminster, for picking up Vancouver Sun Lucky Buck. 12 Tots Dead; Nun Saves One ALEXIS CREEK Twelve Indian children perished here Thursday in a raging fire that broke out as the Roman Catholic nuns who cared for them were at prayer. The children ranging in age from six months to nine years were hopelessly trapped by the flames that mysteriously engulfed the Sacred Heart Hospital and School. Sister Mary of the Cross, the lone nun on duty, carried one child to safety from the inferno. The sister, horribly burned, her clothing afire, ran out screaming, "Save the babies! Save the babies!" The child she had carried downstair was snatched to safety from the doorway but nothing more could be done. The other sisters ran from their prayer in a convent close b;- but could only watch helplessly as the two-storey frame structure burned swiftly to the ground. Rescued was Wendy Char, 5, of the Redstone Indian Reserve, who lost two brothers in the blaze. The dead: Three sisters, Joan Case, 10 months, Joyce Case, 2, and Julia Case, 4, of the Redstone Indian Reserve. Two brothers, Herbert Char, 1, and Marvin Char, 9, of the Redstone Indian Reserve. Roy Quilt, 6 months, Eileen Myers, 11 months, and Susan Amut, 15 months, of the Stone Indian Reserve. Lucy Billyboy, 7 months, Ronny Jim, 7 months, Earl Alphonse, 1, and Ronald Cooper, 3, of the Anahim Indian Reserve. Marvin Char was seen screaming for help from an upstairs window in the first few minutes of the fire. There was no way to reach him and he finally fell back into the flames. Please Turn to Page Two See: "Fire" f?ese?v ) I iUO0T Map shows location of Anahim Indian Reserve, near Alexis Creek, where the 12 children burned to death Thursday. 'Oldest Woman' Likes Port, Gin WINTER BOURNE, Eng. (Reuters) England's oldest woman likes a drop of port or gin daily. Mrs. Sophia Wellstead, who is 107 today, also is partial to cold meat and pickles. She has three children, eight grandchildren, 133 great-grandchildren and 19 great-great-grandchildren. Eight Out of Nine arks Fall at Meet (Picture on Page 3) EMPIRE STADIUM Existing track records ran for cover in the 47th annual Vancouver and District Inter-High School track meet today. Of the first nine recorded I events, only the 60 metre senior girls' low hurdles withstood the assault of the 400 young athletes. As expected, John Oliver, the largest high school in Canada, shot into an early lead, piling up 31 Vt points at press time. But North Vancouver was giving a surprisingly-strong chase with 23 followed by West Vancouver with 15 and King Edward and Vancouver Tech, each with 13. West Vancouver's Mary Kaffka picked up her second junior girls' victory with first place in the junior girls' high jump. She previously won the junior girls' 60-metres low hurdles, setting a meet record and placed third in the 60-yard dash, giving her a total of 12 points. The senior boys' discus record fell when Vancouver Tech's Neil Beaumont tossed the discus 134 ft. 9 in. His effort was one-quarter inch better than the 1956 mark of Burnaby North's Peter Kempf. The third Canadian inter-scholastic record to go was in the senior boys' mile relay when the King Edward team Please Turn to Page Two See: "Records" Railbird Selections 1 Rovnl Standard, Noahlaude, Seven Nltes. 2 Colwo'nd Girl. Tevas, Gunner'i Record. 3 Miss Keith. Aklmbcne, Bob'i Mistake. 4 Indian Splines, My Lands. Inveresk. 5 Onllywood, Hans - Im - Glueck, Text. Exhibition Mazur. Kron.te, Magic Note. 6 Moonweed. Power Dial. Frayed. 7 Flying Flute, Pursuance, Rim Rock. 8 Fair Reading. Cunnamulla, La Vlscalna. , . Sub Soloist. Jante W, Jlgaloo. One Best Royal Standard (Entries on Page 2)

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