Georgean Price shakes hands with John Hart electrician Kyle Beck after shutting down generator no. 5 at the John Hart Generating Station. Photo by Jocelyn Doll/Campbell River Mirror

Original John Hart generating station family shuts down the first turbine after 70 years of operation

Georgean Price, wife of the original manager of the generating station, flipped the switch on Monday

On Monday morning 98-year-old Georgean Price shut down turbine No.5 at the John Hart Generating Station.

Her late husband, Art Price, the first John Hart plant manager, was with John Hart to start up the first turbine at the generating station 70 years ago.

“It has been a lot of years and I remember how excited we were when the first turbine went into action, it was a Sunday I believe, and the whole province was excited,” Price said.

The first of six turbines to be shut down, Stephen Watson, BC Hydro spokesperson, said the next few will be shut down in early 2018 so that construction crews can work on the substation and begin the transition from the old site to the new site.

“It’s just another step in the process but today is about the history, celebrating the history of this facility and what it has done for the community,” Watson said.

The Price family lived in Hydro Hollow, a small community of houses that was once located beside the generating station for many years.

“I have such wonderful memories of growing up in the old hydro town site,” said Joan Miller, Price’s daughter. “The experience created strong bonds between the families that lived and worked together. Now, by participating as a community member on the liaison committee, it allows me to feel that in some small way our family will stay connected with the John Hart facility well into the future.”

Three generations of the Price family have been involved in Campbell River hydroelectric system with Miller, being one of two-dozen community members on Hydro’s liaison committee, and her brother and her son working on the project and inside the new underground powerhouse area.

Chris Thompson, Price’s grandson, has been working on the new powerhouse since the beginning.

“Seeing it before they even blasted out the hole underground, and now we are underground building that power house, it’s pretty special to see the whole project develop from just a hole in the ground to a big powerhouse,” he said.

Thompson is a pipe fitter with Co-Gen Mechanical, one of the contractors working on the project.

“It’s been special working on this project and thinking about him and my family and the roots we have here, it’s been a great experience,” he said.

Though his grandfather retired as plant manager before Thompson was born, he has many memories of visits to the site.

“We came through here and walked around and he showed us where everything was and where the house was and where they used to pick apples off the trees and go to school and the bus would pick them up,” he said.

In the fall of 2018, the new generating station is scheduled to be fully operational and all of the turbines in the old station will be shut down.

“Bit of mixed emotions for Hydro too…of course what is going to be great is the amazing facility that Inpower B.C. is building, it’s a fantastic facility, so unique,” Watson said.

In other news:

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Georgean Price, widow of the first manager of the John Hart Generating Station, shut down the first of six generators. Photo by Jocelyn Doll/Campbell River Mirror

Georgean Price, widow of Art Price who was the first manager of the John Hart generating station, shut down the first of six generators in a process that begins the transition to the new generating station that is set to be complete in 2018/2019.

Georgean Price and her family, including her grandson Chris Thompson who is currently working as a pipefitter on the generating station project, gathered to witness their family history come full circle. Photo by Jocelyn Doll/Campbell River Mirror

Just Posted

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Oyster River department battles Black Creek house fire

UPDATED: House suffers extensive damage, no one inside at time

Campbell River fruit tree project carries on despite pandemic

More volunteers wanted for Greenways’ initiative

Downtown storm drain repair will begin on August 10 in Campbell River

Starting Monday, drivers and pedestrians will expect minor delays between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m

What does the nearly $10 million RCMP contract get the people of Campbell River?

Despite discussion around police funding, response techniques and use of force, the… Continue reading

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

U’mista Cultural Centre will host a native art contest to raise funds for artists

All artists of Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw descent are being called to participate in the contest to be held on August 28

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Most Read