Flashback: Back to school, Church anniversary and Coronation Street soap opera

A look back into the history of Lake Cowichan and area

“Dog Days at the tourist booth are over as one of the final touches to beautification of the local landmark are applied. Earle Darling (right) helps Chamber of Commerce president Ted Forrest plant a dogwood tree — B.C.’s floral emblem — among dozens of other plants donated by Darling. Looking on at planting ceremony are tourist booth attendant Sylvia Wilson, Gurminder Sekhon (centre) and brother Gurdeep, both of whom were hired to help in landscaping. The completion of tourist information centre included installation of a sani-station this spring for use of local and visiting campers. Darling Tire Ltd donated 20 dozen marigolds, five dozen junipers and an additional 250 daffodil bulbs will be planted this fall along with eight dozen tulip bulbs donated by the chamber of commerce.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette)

“Dog Days at the tourist booth are over as one of the final touches to beautification of the local landmark are applied. Earle Darling (right) helps Chamber of Commerce president Ted Forrest plant a dogwood tree — B.C.’s floral emblem — among dozens of other plants donated by Darling. Looking on at planting ceremony are tourist booth attendant Sylvia Wilson, Gurminder Sekhon (centre) and brother Gurdeep, both of whom were hired to help in landscaping. The completion of tourist information centre included installation of a sani-station this spring for use of local and visiting campers. Darling Tire Ltd donated 20 dozen marigolds, five dozen junipers and an additional 250 daffodil bulbs will be planted this fall along with eight dozen tulip bulbs donated by the chamber of commerce.” (Lake Cowichan Gazette)

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson 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 area…

10 years ago

The “reinvigorated” Terry Fox Run was the top story in the Sept. 7, 2011 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette.

“The route is set and the volunteers are ready. All the event needs is for you to show up,” wrote editor Tyler Clarke.

“Sunday, Sept. 11, will see the reinvigorated Lake Cowichan Terry Fox Run take place. People of all ages, sizes, and ability are being encouraged to show up to participate in whatever capacity they’re interested in participating at. ‘People can walk, run, or whatever,’ one of the event’s organizers Jean Cozens said. If money’s a barrier, Cozens is quick to point out that there’s no entrance fee; it’s simply a by-donation event. ‘We really do need people to come out. The more the better!’ she said.”

Also in the Sept. 7 edition, it was back to school for many, despite a teacher contract dispute.

“Students will begin easing back into school this week amid political turmoil. But, students shouldn’t notice much of it. ‘What we’re really trying to do is make it so it doesn’t effect students… and at the same time, put pressure on management and administration to encourage negotiations,’ Cowichan District Teacher’s Association president Shellie Trimble said. Teachers are without a provincial contract, so they’re carrying out a job action that rules out administration tasks.”

And finally, the 20th anniversary of the old burned down United Church being rebuilt was celebrated this time 10 years ago.

“It’s hard to believe that it has already been over 20 years since Lake Cowichan’s old United Church was gutted by flames. “’It feels like yesterday,’ church member Audrey Towle said. ‘It was just a traumatic time. There’s such a loss with fire. The acoustics were wonderful in that church, and the wood!’ church member Lilien Kerr said. Another unique thing about the old church was with its seats, which were old theatre seats from Youbou’s shuttered Woodland Theatre. But, a reason to celebrate followed the blaze, with the community banding together to construct a new church, which opened Sunday, Sept. 8, 1991.”

25 years ago

Well it turns out that the one-way-two-way Coronation Street debacle wasn’t over 25 years ago like the paper of the day suggested. The Sept. 4, 1996 edition of the Lake News told a different story than the week before.

“First a one way, then a two way, now back to a one way… well not exactly. The planning of Coronation Street seems to have been doomed from the beginning, or at least since Village Council had decided to change the pattern of traffic to one way. In last week’s Lake News we reported that Village Council had decided to scrap the one way traffic on Coronation Street and make it a two way with parallel and angle parking. That was wrong too. It was, for once, not our mistake. The Lake News received the wrong information. Coronation Street, we are now told, will remain a one way, but will be turned around. Instead of forcing traffic onto South Shore Road, traffic will only be able to enter Coronation from South Shore and will have to exit by Renfrew Street and King George. The total confusion has the Village office blushing with embarrassment.”

Also in the Sept. 4, 1996 edition, “Joe Allan, director of Area F (Skutz Falls) is going after a grant in excess of $300,000 to update Honeymoon Bay’s water system, but first he must request a change in regulations for Forest Renewal B.C. money. He has received full support from the CVRD.”

40 years ago

Well this one just made me sad.

“Gas prices upped 50% in one year” was the headline on the Lake News of Sept. 2, 1981, and I can’t help but think of how hard it would be to see the same type of hike in today’s prices. I know it would put me on a bus, that’s for sure!

Even so, I’m sad to think about what gas used to cost.

“A survey taken in July 1980 showed the average price for regular to be 25.2 cents per litre,” said the story. Tipton’s, for example, was charging “37.2 cents a litre, for regular and 39.5 cents a litre for unleaded before the increase. They are now charging 38.5 cents for regular and 40.8 cents for unleaded.”

Also on the front 40 years ago, “Angry residents demand action against speeders”. Some headlines never go out of style.

“Lake Cowichan residents who have complained to police and politicians about drag-racing and dangerous driving are going to have to live with the problem. Police have promised to patrol problem areas at random intervals and use radar where possible, but they have also asked for the cooperation of the public in dealing with the situation. Citizens may help solve the problem by reporting the incidents as soon as possible. In addition to making a complaint, they must also be willing to attend court if necessary to successfully prosecute the offenders.”

A delegation of angry residents from the Cottonwood, Boundary, and Grants Lake Road area appeared before Lake Cowichan village council Aug. 25 demanding that the village do something to increase police patrols in their district.”



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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