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Trail Blazers: When two towns became one

Trail Blazers is a weekly historical feature in partnership with the Trail Museum and Archives
Members of the Trail and Tadanac councils signing the long-awaited amalgamation agreement on Feb. 26, 1968. Standing, L-R: Otto Gill (Tadanac), Norm Gabana (Trail), V.D. Arcuri (Trail), Ian Somerville (Tadanac), Ugo DiBiasio (Trail), George Wilson (Tadanac), J.P. Logelin (Trail Administrator), John Hopkinson (Tadanac), and D.K. Smith (Trail). Seated and signing the agreements are Percy Halliwell (Tadanac Reeve) and F.E. “Buddy” DeVito (Trail Mayor). Photo: Trail Historical Society

When two towns became one 52 years ago, this lauded union followed years of back-and-forth between the principal characters as well as lengthy go-arounds in public forums of the day.

On Jan. 1, 1969 the independent town of Tadanac officially joined the City of Trail in a much anticipated merge.

This historical photo from almost one year earlier, however, shows when the union actually began - Feb. 26, 1968 - with members of Trail and Tadanac councils signing the long-awaited amalgamation agreement.

“After a lengthy public campaign prior to the December 1967 election and an amalgamation referendum on the benefits of the union, residents voted in favour of the two municipalities uniting under one local government,” explains Sarah Benson-Lord, from the Trail Museum and Archives.

“Issues of balanced representation on committees and property tax equity, as well as pressure from the provincial government to resolve issues, helped to push the vote through.”

This agreement laid out the plan and timetable for a committee of both councils to reach mutually agreeable terms in order for amalgamation to become effective on the first day of 1969.

The agreement gave local politicians the opportunity and the time to resolve their differences, without provincial interference.

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Sheri Regnier

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