‘Gran’pa grew it, says young Stephen Nahirnick as he maintains a tight grip on one of Steve Nahirnick’s Hallowe’en pumpkins. Stephen is son of Jack and Joan Nahirnick and he took the opportunity last week to enjoy splendid autumn weather while perched on grandfather’s knee while the elder Nahirnick was harvesting luxuriant and large garden.’ (Lake News/Oct. 22, 1980)

‘Gran’pa grew it, says young Stephen Nahirnick as he maintains a tight grip on one of Steve Nahirnick’s Hallowe’en pumpkins. Stephen is son of Jack and Joan Nahirnick and he took the opportunity last week to enjoy splendid autumn weather while perched on grandfather’s knee while the elder Nahirnick was harvesting luxuriant and large garden.’ (Lake News/Oct. 22, 1980)

Flashback: Halloween night full of activities, crime

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

Halloween won’t be the same this year as it was 10 years ago, that’s for sure. According to the Lake Cowichan Gazette of Oct. 27, 2010, there was going to be “lots to do this Halloween night”.

“Cowichan Lake area residents seem committed to make this year’s Halloween festivities the creepy fun it’s meant to be, with various groups organizing events for local youngsters. All events are to take place Halloween night, Sunday, Oct. 31,” wrote then-editor Tyler Clarke.

He went on to describe events in Lake Cowichan proper, in Honeymoon Bay, and of course, the big event in Youbou.

“The annual Halloween events in the community of Youbou will take place at the Community Hall, beginning at 5:30 p.m. ‘It’s got bigger and better each year,’ Cowichan Lake Recreation manager Linda Blatchford said. The upper hall area will be made into three rooms, divided with black plastic, with each room becoming its own haunted house. ‘It’s funded by all the taxpayers in the Cowichan Lake area, so everyone is welcome to come,’ Blatchford said.”

For those wanting a different type of “scary” around the same time, well, Clarke gave them an option, too.

“Those living in the Youbou/Meade Creek area who are interested in lowering greenhouse gas output should clear their schedules, Wednesday, Nov. 3,” he wrote. “In order to comply with a provincewide Climate, Land, Resources and Energy Efficiency Bill (27), the Official Community Plan will be amended on this day, during a public meeting at 7 p.m. Bill 27 requires that all Official Community Plans contain plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

25 years ago

According to the Lake News of Oct. 25, 1995, “History was made in Lake Cowichan on Wednesday night, with the first annual meeting of the Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative.

“There was a feeling of achievement among guests and speakers in recognition of the propitious occasion. Coun. Jean Brown, who was later elected chairman of the Co-operative chaired the meeting.

“Many people who attended have spent many years working towards the goal of starting a community forest.

“The Cowichan Lake Community Forest is ‘a first for B.C. and the first for the forestry sector,’ Wendy Klyne director of B.C.’s Cooperative Development Branch told the meeting. ‘This is a landmark in history. People should have a say in the future of forestry,’ Jan Pullinger told the meeting.”

Speaking of forestry, the paper of Oct. 25, 1995 also reported “forestry is looking good, according to Andrew Petter”.

Now, I don’t know who Andrew Petter is but he must know what he’s talking about if his whole name was in a headline. Let’s see what he had to say.

“Forestry in the Cowichan Valley is looking good. Andrew Petter, minister of Forests, visited Lake Cowichan a week ago and presented an overview of his ministry’s achievements. He also attended the first annual meeting of the Cowichan Lake Community Forest Co-operative.

“He pointed out that the previous governments failed to protect the forest resource. Consequently one of the things his ministry is doing is carrying out a timber supply review “giving us an inventory” which did not exist, he said.”

40 years ago

Well what would a Lake Flashback be without a little bit about those pesky thugs?

We shant be disappointed thanks to the Oct. 22, 1980 edition of the Lake News.

“Police ‘ready’”, said the top head with “Hallowe’en thugs get early warning” as the main header.

“Local volunteers will join the RCMP on Hallowe’en night to cut down on the chances of a repeat of last year’s near-riot in the centre of town. Sgt. Don Douglas, head of the lake Cowichan RCMP detachment has provided a grim reminder to parents that pranks can lead to serious injuries and even death. He recalled the death of a Youbou man who was killed in 1969 when a tree cut down by a Hallowe’en prankster hit his car ‘making a convertible out of the car and nearly decapitating the driver,’ according to a report at the time.”

Holy smokes. That’s not funny at all.

“This year, patrols will be increased with all members on duty and assisted by local volunteers from the fire department.”

I can’t wait to see next week’s paper to learn how the Big Night went.

Also sharing the edition’s front page was a challenge for Village council from a “concerned resident”.

“A Lake Cowichan woman calling herself a “concerned resident” has challenged the village council to clean up the streets. Gail Misener said she is currently unemployed and would take on the job herself on a contract basis if the council agreed.

“Lake Cowichan is a pretty town,” she said in her letter to the mayor and aldermen. “Why do the streets look like a garbage dump?”

Council ended up contacting Misener to ask her rates.

historyLake Cowichan