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 front page of the April 27, 2011 Lake Cowichan Gazette featured five female athletes with their hockey sticks.
“Local girls have fun with female-only hockey” was the headline and the story’s first sentence was “Hockey’s just more fun without the boys.”
It’s not that it was horrible with the boys, mind you. It’s just better without them.
“Thus was born the idea of creating a bunch of all girls teams in the Cowichan Valley, local hockey dad Greg Clayton said. ‘They don’t want to play against the boys in the physical hockey game,’ Clayton said, adding that as soon as girls hit the Bantam League, where body checks come into play, the number of registered girls drops. A group of local girls that gathered in Duncan last weekend for hockey practice agree. ‘You get more confident,” Crystal Bell said, of playing alongside other girls. ‘…Without the boys hogging the puck,” Amber Fournier added. Although they also get along with their male hockey-playing friends, there’s a better sense of comfort and community within a girls-only team.”
The story took the entire front page and was followed on page two with another long story: one about smart meters.
“Anti-Smart Meter enthusiast Mary Lowther is asking others to join in her fight against the radiating devices. ‘There are a number of people against it, but don’t have time to do anything,’ she said. The Smart Meters are a BC Hydro project, wherein all existing hydro meters will be replaced by new, ‘Smart Meters’.”
25 years ago
The front page of the Lake News of April 24, 1996 took on a catch-22.
The story was about the removal of a beaver dam.
“The extent of environmental damage caused by the removal of a beaver dam last week may never be fully known,” wrote Susan Lowe. “Using a backhoe, Monday, April 15 Village Works employees removed a beaver dam from inside a culvert. The dam had stopped the flow of water which drains from Grants Lake into Kwassin Lake to the Cowichan River. Greendale Road residents quickly became concerned for the young salmon fry and trout eggs which at this time of year, would be plentiful, and which large amounts of dirt and silt could damage.
The story went on to explain that the problem was two-fold.
“Not only was erosion damage caused by removing the beaver dam which created a huge surge of water, but where the water flows out of Kwassin Lake to the Cowichan River, there is a steep incline increasing the speed and pressure the water is travelling. The force of the water Monday caused erosion thus dislodging clay and rock which were carried into the Cowichan River.”
To leave it be would have caused flooding when it rained.
40 years ago
The RCMP were getting a new facility, so it was announced on the front of the April 22, 1981 Lake News.
“The RCMP, frustrated after trying for years to buy a piece of land from the school board for a new police station in Lake Cowichan, have decided instead to build a new station next to the current facility on Stanley Road.
“Representatives from Public Works Canada, which has been trying to acquire property for the RCMP, have cajoled and pleaded with the School District 66 board of school trustees, and this year even threatened to pull our of negotiations, if the school board didn’t make a decision about selling a piece of property at the corner of King George and South Shore roads, opposite the new senior citizens home.
“The trustees still have not made a firm decision, and the police have turned their backs on the possibility of a station in the centre of town.”
Also 40 years ago this week, “a water bomber ran into difficulties on a practice run and had to beach on the North Arm of Cowichan Lake for repairs.”
“The big plane, a Cando flying tanker with a capacity of about 1,140 gallons, owned by Flying Firemen Ltd. of Victoria, was attempting to pick up a load of water when one of the compartment doors came open and wouldn’t close, according to company chief pilot Mike Person.”
The plane was towed to shore by a flotilla of small pleasure boats. Later the Youbou fire department brought cables and a backhoe so the plane could be hauled up into a position to be repaired.”
Talk about a small town rallying to help!