“This might well be Sara Ferguson’s first snow of the season, but it wasn’t found falling from the sky. The only snow to be found other than on the mountain tops was at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena’s Winter Wonderland on Ice this past weekend. Sara is 21-months-old and was among the many children who finally got to play in the snow this year. While old man winter has been scarce this year, the Arena staff did not let any of the kids down.” (Lake News/Dec. 17, 1997)

“This might well be Sara Ferguson’s first snow of the season, but it wasn’t found falling from the sky. The only snow to be found other than on the mountain tops was at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena’s Winter Wonderland on Ice this past weekend. Sara is 21-months-old and was among the many children who finally got to play in the snow this year. While old man winter has been scarce this year, the Arena staff did not let any of the kids down.” (Lake News/Dec. 17, 1997)

Flashback: Doctor shortage, kitten stowaway, Routley mill chair

A look back at the history of the Cowichan Lake area

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

It was urgent news that shared the front page of the Dec. 12, 2012 edition of the Lake Cowichan Gazette with Santa Claus himself: “Community meeting scheduled to address dwindling doctor count Tuesday, Dec. 11”.

It was a big deal then and remains so to this day.

“First there were three, now there are two, and in a year there will be only one doctor in Lake Cowichan if the town is unsuccessful in recruiting new doctors to the community. Along with the mayor and town council members, representatives from VIHA and the B.C. Physicians’ Recruitment Services will be in attendance to discuss ways to fill the need for doctors in our community. It is a public meeting, and residents from all communities around the lake are encouraged to attend. Meeting time is 5:30 p.m. at Upper Centennial Hall, South Shore Street, in Lake Cowichan.”

School funding and possible closures were also at issue in the same edition, but this time the community was fighting back.

“It was a real demonstration of community commitment. In spite of the graphs, figures and statistics destined to justify School District #79’s underlying message about impending closures and cuts, the 100-plus concerned parents and citizens who attended the Dec. 8 Community Consultation meeting didn’t go away without getting their own message across.

“‘Keep our kids at the lake,’ ‘we won’t let go of anything in order to keep programs, services or facilities,’ and ‘charge for busing’ were some of the replies to questions put out for discussion.”

25 years ago

“RCMP closer in auto theft case” was Susan Lowe’s headline on the front of the Lake News of Dec. 15, 1997.

“Police believe they are closer in identifying those responsible for a rash of auto thefts and thefts from vehicles, but they are in need of witnesses, Sgt. Gerry Poitras of the Lake Cowichan RCMP said. And he is asking that anyone with information call the local detachment at 749-6668 or CrimeStoppers which pays for information leading to an arrest, at 1-800-222-8477.

“Police have faced a rash of auto thefts along with a number of thefts from automobiles. While there is no specific time the thefts seem to occur, police have said there are some similarities. ‘I think we are looking for a basic ringleader who has some friends,’ Sgt. Poitras said, adding that the culprits possibly wander around trying doors of cars – finding an open door, if they find keys, vehicle is taken on a joy ride, and if no keys are found, the thieves steal something from the vehicle.”

In other news of 25 years ago, according to the same Lake News edition, a poor kitty had an ordeal and ended up with “one down, eight lives to go”.

“A six week old kitten just lost one of its nine lives over the weekend when it crawled into the engine of an RCMP vehicle to go for a cruise. The kitten was rescued unscathed and is in fine form, organizing the police to fill its every need while it stays at the detachment until it finds a home.

“Sgt. Poitras said Monday that a local member heard a kitten crying upon returning to the detachment after he had been out driving in the neighbourhood. The crying was coming from the car he had just parked so, walking over, he popped the hood where he found a small black kitten with orange and white markings. Luckily the kitchen did not crawl up into the fan belt area, or as Sgt. Poitras correctly pointed out, the kitten would be ‘toast’.”

40 years ago

Four decades ago, how time flies. The Lake News of Dec. 15, 1982 reports that “Routley [was] named Youbou mill plant chairman”.

“Bill Routley, a 12-year employee at the B.C. Forest Products mill at Youbou, has been elected plant committee chairman, replacing Les Klughart. The election was held at Youbou, Dec. 5.

“Joining Routley on the plant committee are Denis Martel, Dennis LaForge, Stan Sawatsky, Dick Murdoch, Lyle McKenzie, and Jagdish Pagely.”

Also 40 years ago, a page two story in the Lake News recounts a car crash.

“A Mesachie Lake woman received minor injuries in a single car accident on the highway west of Lake Cowichan Sunday night, Dec. 12.

“Gwendolyn Ollinger was driving east on the highway about 9 p.m. when she failed to negotiate a left hand curve and went off the road to the right, according to Lake Cowichan RCMP. She was taken to Cowichan District Hospital for treatment.”

And finally, based on the front page image and the bit of story I could glean, the high school students hosted a Christmas lunch. They raised money for, shopped, prepared, served and ate the meal which featured all the trimmings.

historyLake Cowichan

 

“Filling up at the high school.” (Lake News/Dec. 15, 1982)

“Filling up at the high school.” (Lake News/Dec. 15, 1982)

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