Who’s here? 1992 Lady of the Lake candidates. From left, Chelsea Larsen, Brittany Stinson, Kristal Cornett, Chantelle Peters, Katie Rowlinson, Jamie Russell, Paige Lindquist, Jennifer Gauthier, Kaitlan Cassidy, Samantha Foolkes, Jackie Johnson, and Lisa Anderson. (Gazette file)

Cleaning up after sealcoating, Wilmer Gold dies, and where to put Lake Cowichan’s first apartment

Mid-April always seems to offer a mixed bag and these three editions certainly filled that bill.

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Lexi Bainas has been combing through old newspapers with the assistance of the Kaatza Station Museum and Archives so we can jog your memory, give you that nostalgic feeling, or just a chuckle, as we take a look at what was making headlines this week around Cowichan Lake in years gone by.

This week around the Cowichan Lake…

10 years ago:

The April 18, 2007 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette announced that the provincial government was finally deciding what to do following the sealcoating debacle of 2006.

“Beginning this week, Ministry of Transport workers and officials will be studying a small section of controversial Highway 18 in an attempt to fix the decrepit highway.”

The plan, according to Transportation Ministry spokesman Jeff Knight was to “try a different kind of road topper on each of three sections, then try to determine which one is best to repair the road.”

It had to be right because the previous decision to sealcoat, despite local warnings, had seen 3,700 claims going in to ICBC for broken windshields from flying rock.

Regardless, whichever material is deemed to be the best for the job, a new topper was to be laid in 2007, Knight said.

25 years ago:

An important short story on the front page of the April 22, 1992 Lake News says simply “Wilmer Gold dies”.

Wilmer H. Gold, “memorable for his photographs of logging on Vancouver Island, slipped quietly away on April 14, without pain, two weeks short of his 99th birthday,” the story said.

Gold was a former Citizen of the Year and his pictures had appeared in Time and Life magazines as well as his own book, Logging As It Was.

At that time, most of his negatives were in the collection of IWA Local 1-80, but they have since been relocated to the Kaatza Station Museum in Lake Cowichan.

According to the story, “Lucille Smith of Youbou and Emily Garnett of Lake Cowichan were calling on him and were among the first to hear that he had died.”

40 years ago:

The Lake News of April 20, 1977 reported that council was still pondering the location for an apartment building in Lake Cowichan.

Why were they pondering? The answer is not what we would expect today.

“The meeting was called at Tuesday’s regular council meeting where it was learned that Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) had left it up to council where the proposed apartment would be located,” the story said.

Council had earlier given approval to all three apartment building proposals on the understanding that CMHC would ultimately decide which one would get the go-ahead.

Developer Ken Heal of Nanaimo “said he was afraid a stalemate was developing and urged council to make a decision on the matter” but councillors weren’t happy.

Ald. Halliday said CMHC had “bounced the ball right back in our court. It’s up to us to make a choice. We may as well face it.”

However, they still put it off for another week.

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