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Rediscover B.C.’s Old Glory in video of Canada’s highest weather station

National Film Board of Canada digitally restored documentary of B.C. weather station near Rossland
The National Film Board of Canada released a digitized reel of the highest weather station in Canada located atop Old Glory near Rossland.

It was the highest weather station in Canada, the home an eclectic collection of “professional hermits.”

The Old Glory weather station once stood atop Old Glory Mountain in the Cascade Mountain Range near Rossland, B.C., and you can get a glimpse of the faded slice of national history on a 1954 newsreel, recently released on the National Film Board of Canada’s streaming platform.

The meteorological observatory was constructed in the early 1940s to support commercial air travel with accurate weather data, and was staffed continually throughout the year.

The short documentary has been restored and digitized from the NFB’s vault near Montreal as part of an initiative putting out more NFB collection films from Western Canada.

“Life on top of the world is a year-round experience for meteorologists who work at the highest observatory in the Canadian Rockies on Mount Glory in British Columbia,” reads the release.

“I hope your audience will enjoy reconnecting with the Old Glory weather station.”

The 6.5-minute film was shot in 1954 on Old Glory mountain and features not only the meteorological technicians (aka the “Met Men”) at work, but also the late pioneer and horse packer Wilf Gibbard (1913-2011), who supplied the station with goods in the summer months.

The reel explains the daily regimen of meteorologists stationed at the site, and the task of accessing and transporting supplies to the remote and sometimes dangerous location. Supplies included coal for heating and cooking, groceries, fuel for a generator, hydrogen cylinders for the weather balloons and water in the summer.

The weather station was ultimately destroyed by an over-stoked fire in the wood stove on Jan. 2, 1968.

The film restoration initiative is managed by NFB’s English Program Collections Curator, Camilo Martín-Flórez.

Titled Eye Witness No. 65, the full newsreel is now available for streaming here.

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Jim Bailey

About the Author: Jim Bailey

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