Flashback: 50 years ago today in Powell River

The following story was published in the Powell River News on September 18, 1969.

Officers earn bravery awards

Officers from Powell River Detachment ‘E’ Division RCMP paraded in full dress in municipal council chambers Monday night to see two of their members receive bravery awards. The ceremony was not only unique for Powell River, but as the commander officer of the detachment said: “This is the first time in 23 years of service I’ve had the pleasure of attending a ceremony like this. Bravery awards are often applied for, but seldom awarded.”

Mayor Jim Court read the official citation, which went as follows:

“At 8:30 p.m., May 20, 1969, constables Arnold Cameron Reid and David Nels Sigvaldason, with other members, attended a complaint in the 4000 block of Joyce Avenue. The person phoning in the complaint said there was a man in the alley of that area with a loaded shotgun.

“Constables Reid and Sigvaldason entered the alleyway from one direction while members in another police car entered from the opposite direction. Upon sighting constable Reid the armed man pointed the shotgun at Reid and uttered words to the effect that the rifle would only be taken from him by shooting.

“The armed man’s attention was taken from constable Reid by the police car entering the alley from the opposite direction. Constable Reid and Sigvaldason then moved from the alley into property adjoining, separated from the alley by a fence. Under cover of the fence, constables Reid and Sigvaldason came to a position immediately adjacent to the armed man and were in a position where they could see the rifle barrel protruding beyond the end of the fence and pointed at the police car.

“A citizen watching from a nearby dwelling was threatened by the gunman who pointed the rifle at him and intimated he was going to shoot. Constable Reid jumped from behind the fence, grabbing the gunman with one hand and the rifle barrel with the other, forcing the barrel towards the sky. The rifle discharged into the air and constables Reid and Sigvaldason disarmed and arrested the gunman.”

Constable Reid earned a Commissioner’s Commendation for Bravery and constable Sigvaldason earned a Commanding Officer’s Commendation. On receipt of their awards both officers thanked other constables who had assisted with the arrest. They included constable Jim Allan, auxiliary constable Edward Baloun and Ben Blyth.

Mayor Jim Court also presented Mrs. Lauren Reid, wife of the young hero, with a bouquet of roses and carnations.

 
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